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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

For Consumers

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Initiative to Increase Participation on FDA Advisory Committees

Through the Enhancing Diversity initiative, the Office of Minority Health (OMH) is supporting Agency efforts to ensure ethnic, gender and geographic diversity among the pool of membership applicants to FDA Advisory Committees. The initiative seeks to recruit senior health professionals (scientists, academicians and practitioners) who have expertise working in underserved communities and understand the complexity of health disparities.

What are FDA Advisory Committees?

  • Advisory committees (ACs) provide FDA with independent advice from outside experts on issues related to human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products, medical devices, and food.
  • ACs publicly explore scientific questions that have regulatory impact. Although the committees provide recommendations to the Agency, FDA is the final regulatory decisionmaker.
  • There are 49 technical and scientific advisory committees and panels.
  • ACs have a chair, several voting members, plus a consumer, industry, and sometimes a patient representative. Additional experts with special knowledge may be added as needed.
  • Representatives for industry, patients, and consumers are non-voting members of the ACs. They give different perspectives and expertise that give balance to the discussions and final recommendations to the FDA.

Why are Advisory Committees important?

  • ACs are an invaluable resource to help address health disparities and to contribute to the Agency's decision-making process.
  • The expertise provided by committee members is essential for understanding the safety and efficacy of regulated products on the public, including potential differences among communities.
  • It is important to have commmittee members with experience working in underserved, minority populations which are disproportionately affected by disease and disability (i.e. diabetes, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, etc).
  • Such expertise is needed to address cultural practices, health beliefs, and/or disease trends among racial and ethnic sub-populations that may impact product use.

Who can serve on Advisory Committees?

  • FDA seeks an array of health professionals with recognized expertise and judgment to serve as a voting member on ACs.
  • Applicants must be technically qualified experts in their field (e.g., clinical medicine, engineering, etc). Candidates should be able to analyze detailed scientific data and understand its public health significance.
  • Some examples of health professionals needed include:
    • Bioethicist, Chemists, Dentists, Engineers, Food Scientists,Health Literacy experts, Microbiologists, Nurses, Nutritionists, Pharmacologists, Physicians, Public Health Specialists, Statisticians/Epidemiologists, Toxicologists, Veterinarians, etc.
  • In addition to voting AC membership among health professionals, there are other types of advisory committee membership (non-voting) available.

How do I apply?



Contact FDA

Office of Minority Health

US Food & Drug Administration

White Oak Campus

10903 New Hampshire Avenue

Silver Spring, MD 20993