Good regulation depends on good science, and good science-while it can come from serendipity or accidents-usually comes from good scientists.
The classic question for regulators at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), then, has been how to recruit those scientists to the agency and then retain them.
It's not always an easy proposition, what with government-wide budget freezes, the heavy and difficult workload of working at FDA, the myriad of factors influencing every regulatory decision, the comparatively low pay compared to industry and everything else that regulators must deal with.
But many of those factors are outside FDA's immediate control. What's inside its control is how the agency markets itself to potential employees with scientific backgrounds to make the case that a career at FDA is where they can best make a difference in the world.
In a posting on FDA Voice, FDA's public-facing blog, Chief Scientist Jesse Goodman said FDA has now launched a "comprehensive, one-stop web portal to showcase FDA's exciting, multidisciplinary scientific work force and culture and how important science is to our public health mission."
The portal, known as the FDA Science Careers and Scientific Professional Development, is intended to be something of a one-stop shop for all of FDA's scientific programs aimed at scientists, Goodman said.
"We want scientists - from students, to recent grads, mid-career, and seasoned professionals - to be aware of the diversity of FDA's career opportunities so that we may continue to attract top scientists, including engineers and medical professionals who want to use their expertise to make a real difference in the world."
Scientists will be able to look into the latest opportunities available in various program supported by FDA, such as its Commissioner's Fellowship Program, the Medical Device Fellowship Program, the Veterinary Clerkship Program, as well as a wide range of internships, fellowships, and graduate faculty opportunities.
Scientists looking for a job will also be able to quickly find links to all current job openings at FDA.
Scientists already at FDA will be able to learn about FDA's courses, seminars, workshops, training and development opportunities, lectures and more, Goodman wrote.
"For scientists and other professionals who want to make a real difference in the world, I can think of no better place to work than FDA," Goodman added. Ironically, Goodman will soon retire from the agency to direct a new Center on Medical Product Access, Safety and Stewardship at Georgetown University.
FDA Science Careers and Scientific Professional Development
FDA Voice Blog