FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) is currently expanding hiring to support our mission of protecting Americans from tobacco-related disease and death. Learn about the many types of career opportunities available, our work culture, and the innovative ways we build talent pipelines to recruit a diverse and qualified workforce.
Recruiting to Meet the September 9, 2020 Deadline
In 2016, CTP’s “deeming” final rule extended our authority to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. By September 9, 2020, manufacturers of deemed new tobacco products will need to submit premarket tobacco product applications to keep their products on the market. We expect an influx of applications by the deadline and will be dedicating significant resources to process, track and review those applications. We have hired hundreds of employees in the last year and expect this hiring surge to continue for at least another 2-3 years.
Key Positions We Are Looking to Fill During the Hiring Surge
Most of the growth in the next few years will be for scientific staff and compliance and enforcement staff. However, we are hiring for a wide range of positions including administrative professionals, biologists, chemists, consumer safety officers, epidemiologists, health communication specialists, health scientists, IT project managers, pharmacologists, physicians, regulatory counsels, regulatory health project managers, science policy analysts, social scientists, toxicologists, and many more.
How to Find Out About Our Career Opportunities
The best resource to learn about our career opportunities is the CTP jobs webpage. This page posts all open opportunities at CTP, allows people to submit their resume and receive job alerts, and provides information on free 1-hour career coaching sessions. During these sessions, we offer to help individuals federalize their resume when applying to CTP jobs.
There are many additional avenues to learn about CTP jobs, such as following FDA on LinkedIn, applying via USAJOBS and placing a searchable resume in that database, attending career fairs, and checking out industry-specific job boards.
Development, Engagement, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at CTP
Professional development, employee engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion are top priorities at CTP. We have an extensive educational platform with a wide array of training programs in various subjects in addition to the robust class schedule offered by FDA University. We are supportive of staff requests to attend classes in support of their position at CTP, such as conferences and other professional development opportunities that enhance job knowledge and career growth. In addition, we have created our own leadership development program and offer executive coaching to hiring managers and supervisors.
Our extensive diversity, equity, and inclusion program provides employees a well-rounded offering of trainings, speakers, newsletter articles, and brown bag sessions, and promotes an inclusive culture that celebrates all forms of diversity. We also work with a wide array of organizations to ensure that we hire diverse staff and have created a CTP-specific hiring process for individuals with disabilities. Individuals interested in this hiring path may contact the FDA’s Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) at SpecialProgram@fda.hhs.gov.
Why Employees Like Working at CTP
The most common reason people choose to stay at CTP is passion for the mission. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States; smoking and secondhand smoke exposure cause 480,000 premature deaths each year. Because of the scale of this public health issue, tobacco product regulation represents one of FDA’s greatest opportunities to save lives. The goal of reducing tobacco-related death and disease also resonates on a personal level because many people have a family member or friend who died or suffered serious disease caused by tobacco use. Many employees also say that they truly enjoy their colleagues, and the people are the best part of the job.
“The best part of the job has really been that the leadership is so fantastic and supportive,” said Tricia Wimsatt, Director of CTP’s Division of Human Capital. “My supervisor really listens to my ideas, some of them pretty far outside the box, and gives me the support to make those ideas happen. I’ve stayed here for 8 years because CTP has really allowed me the flexibility to build an impactful human capital division.”
Find more testimonials from CTP employees.
Ways CTP Expedites the Federal Hiring Process
We work in many ways to speed up the government hiring process. First, we recently received Direct Hire Authority for nine mission-critical types of jobs from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). This has given us an exceptional opportunity to hire new CTP staff because it streamlines the hiring process.
Our hiring managers also share job announcements and resumes of qualified applicants, which can give job seekers more exposure to CTP jobs and dramatically shorten the time to hire. In addition, we provide competitive benefit packages to new employees and retention incentives, when appropriate. We have increased the number of junior staff positions which provides opportunities for growth and career development to individuals who may only have a few years of experience. In addition, we hire mid-level career candidates into certain fellowships, which are noncompetitive appointments that we can fill immediately.
Tips on How to Apply for a Federal Job
The most important piece of advice for someone new to a federal job search is not to use the same resume for every position. Tailoring your resume to the specific job you are applying for is essential to ensuring Human Resources Specialists can adequately assess your qualifications. Additionally, it is important to review the entire job announcement, including the hyperlink to the occupational questionnaire, before you apply, to ensure you meet the qualifications of the job. Qualifications for a federal job can include both work experience and education.
We encourage anyone interested in a career at CTP to attend a free 1-hour career coaching session. During these sessions, a certified Federal Career Coach will walk you through the process of federalizing your resume and applying for a position. The sessions are geared toward people who may have never applied for a federal job before.
Contact Us About a Career at CTP
Please take a look at the open positions on our CTP jobs webpage. Even if you do not find what you are looking for, submit your resume – we will contact you if a future opportunity matches your skills and experience.