WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is implementing a new hiring protocol that could make it significantly harder for foreign scientists to find jobs and research opportunities at the agency, according to interviews and newly obtained documents.

The FDA recently began directing hiring managers not to extend any employment offers — including for fellowship and contractor positions — to any individual who has not lived in the U.S. for at least three of the five previous years, according to briefing materials shared with STAT that have been presented to some agency employees.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus and enjoy your first 30 days free!

GET STARTED

What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • Online intelligence briefings
  • Frequent opportunities to engage with veteran beat reporters and industry experts
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

  • As a long-term contractor at an HHS agency, I can tell you that you can’t do anything without a PIV card. You can’t get into any government building, you can’t use a computer or access government computer systems including e-mail, you can’t clock in, you can’t use staff parking. Collaboration across national boundaries is the rule not the exeption in health agencies, many are the designated agents for US participation in international organizations. Bullying by security agencies (FBI, DHS) or cross-government administrative agencies (OPM, OMB) which have no responsibility for actually getting scientific work done is all too common in even the best of administrations, of which this is not one.

  • This article confuses me. Federal agencies may only employ United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) in the competitive service. However, Federal agencies may request OPM approval to appoint a non-citizen, if no qualified U.S. citizens are available.

  • It looks like much ado about nothing (new).
    Most federal agencies (and private companies) already restrict hiring to US citizens and permanent residents (https://jobs.sciencecareers.org/job/457742/interdisciplinary-scientist-biologist-microbiologist-chemist-staff-fellow/). The latter, by definition implies foreign scientists had to be residing in the US for a number of years. So, it is like putting the dots on the Is, with little changes in practical terms. The only positions still open to fresh (untrustable and drug free) foreign scientists, are low wages postdoc positions.

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine

Privacy Policy