Phytochemical Research Scientist

NIH funded research study
Beltsville, Maryland
Dec 10, 2020
Jan 13, 2021
Phytochemical Research Scientist
Analyst, Research
Full Time

Research Scientist with expertise in phytochemicals is needed for a NIH funded study of dietary supplements. This project supports the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database (DSID; (, a database for information on analytically verified dietary supplement content. The DSID website provides online calculators converting labeled levels into analytically derived estimates of ingredients in dietary supplement products sold in the US. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for over 15 years, the DSID project has a team that includes a chemist, biologists, IT analysts and statisticians. The research is based on fundamental principles of public health, nutrition and analytical chemistry. For multivitamin/mineral and omega-3 fatty acid studies, dietary supplement samples are purchased according to statistically developed sampling plans for products representative of the US market. The products are sent to contracted laboratories for the analysis of ingredient content. Botanical dietary supplements, including green tea, turmeric and cranberry products have been analyzed in smaller studies. In addition to determining how the analytical content of supplements compares to label claims, we also assess the performance quality of dietary supplements using United States Pharmacopeia protocols for disintegration and dissolution testing. Laboratory data and other related information are stored in Microsoft Access in-house databases. SAS and R programs are utilized for evaluation and statistical analysis of large datasets of laboratory data. Results are reported on the project website, at monthly meetings with the office of Dietary Supplements at NIH, and in articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

Note: This is not a laboratory position.

Minimum qualifications: The candidate must have an advanced degree in chemistry, biology, or a related science with at least 3 years of experience, extensive phytochemical research experience, and research interest in or knowledge of dietary supplements.

Required: excellent communication and analytical thinking skills; experience with analytical chemistry and laboratory quality control; experience with statistical methods; manuscript/grant proposal writing experience; must be able to work both collaboratively in a team environment and independently, with a high degree of initiative and self-motivation; must possess excellent time and project management skills and be able to handle multiple priorities and resolve complex problems within deadlines.

Preferences: experience in pharmaceutical chemistry; experience with the management of technical personnel; experience with complex data analysis, database management, web design.

The successful candidate will coordinate multiple directions/elements of this research program including study design and laboratory data assessment and analysis. This position requires the ability to use technical knowledge to make judgments and decisions, and to work independently as well as cooperatively as a team member to achieve project goals within deadlines.

This is a contracted position for one year, with additional years possible. Health and retirement benefits are included and salary is commensurate with qualifications. This position will begin with remote work and then transition to an on-site position in Beltsville, MD, with timing dependent on phased re-opening plans. When applying, please send a resume and a cover letter.