Questions and Answers Regarding Advisory Committee Membership
What is an FDA Advisory Committee?
Advisory committees provide FDA with independent advice from outside experts on issues related to human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, and food. In general, advisory committees include a Chair, several members, plus a consumer, industry and sometimes a patient representative. Additional experts with special knowledge may be added for individual meetings as needed. Although the committees provide advice to the Agency, final decisions are made by FDA.
How does an individual become a member of an FDA advisory committee?
Nominations for scientific members, consumer, industry and patient representatives originate from professional societies, industry, consumer and patient advocacy groups, the individual himself or other interested persons.
Candidates are asked to provide detailed information regarding financial holdings, employment, research grants and contracts, and other potential conflicts of interest that may preclude membership.
What are the qualifications of an advisory committee member?
Persons nominated as scientific members must be technically qualified experts in their field (e.g., clinical medicine, engineering, biological and physical sciences, biostatistics, and food sciences) and have experience interpreting complex data. Candidates must be able to analyze detailed scientific data and understand its public health significance.
For example, persons nominated for the Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Toxicology Devices Panel in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health should be doctors of medicine or philosophy with experience in clinical chemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical pathology, clinical laboratory medicine, endocrinology, or oncology. Persons nominated for the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research should be knowledgeable in risk communication, risk management, drug safety, and medical, behavioral, and biological sciences as they apply to risk management, and drug abuse.
Can health professionals serve as consumer representatives?
Yes. Any person can serve as a consumer representative if he or she can represent interested consumers and consumer organizations. Consumer representatives who have served in the past have included consumer advocates, college professors, consumer lawyers, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, microbiologists, engineers and veterinarians. A consumer representative should be able to analyze scientific data, understand research design, discuss benefits and risks, and evaluate the safety and efficacy of products under review, but from the consumer perspective.
Where are the advisory committee meetings held?
Most meetings are held in the Washington, D.C., area.
Are advisory committee members paid?
Most members are appointed as Special Government Employees and receive a salary for each meeting day as well as travel and per diem costs.
How often are advisory committee meetings held?
Generally, each committee meets 1 to 4 times per year.
How long is the advisory committee member term?
Members serve terms of up to 4 years.
How do I nominate myself or a colleague?
Any interested person may nominate one or more qualified persons for membership on FDA's advisory committees. Self-nominations are also accepted. Nominations of qualified individuals must include:
- Complete curriculum vitae of each nominee
- Current business and/or home address, telephone number, and e-mail address
- The advisory committee(s) or advisory panel(s) for which the nominee is recommended
- A written confirmation that the nominee is aware of the nomination (unless self nominated)
Other Information to include in your correspondence to us:
We would greatly appreciate if you could also let us know how you heard about us (e.g., attendance at a professional meeting, an article in a publication, our website, while speaking with a friend or colleague). If you heard about us through a professional organization or society (meeting or publication), providing us with the name of that organization or society would be helpful.
You may e-mail your nomination and required information to email@example.com
Nominations may also be sent via regular mail to:
Food and Drug Administration
Advisory Committee Oversight and Management Staff
10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Bldg. 32, Rm. 5101
Silver Spring, Maryland 20993-0002
For more information, call (301) 796-8220.
When are nominations due to FDA?
Nominations are generally accepted on a continuing basis. Advisory committee members serve overlapping 4-year terms and new vacancies become available throughout each year.