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  1. Jobs at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

Chemist Jobs in CDER


As a Chemist, you will:

  • Evaluate identification and characterization of drug substance's physical, chemical, biological and mechanical properties and their impact on the drug product;
  • Evaluate manufacturing processes and facilities used by foreign and domestic manufacturers of drug substances and/or products;
  • Apply mastery of chemistry principles, practices and procedures including Process Analytical Technology (PAT) to determine the adequacy of testing for raw materials and intermediates, the control of manufacturing processes, and the testing of the finished dosage forms;
  • Participate in the facility inspections related to the evaluation of manufacturing processes and controls and in support of pre-approval and cGMP inspections.


Basic requirements for all grades in this position include:

  • A degree in physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering, which includes 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus and at least 6 semester hours of physics
  • A combination of education and experience-course work equivalent to a major as described above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
  • In addition to the Basic Qualification Requirements you must also meet the following:
    • Have one year of specialized experience, equivalent to the GS-12 in the federal service. Such experience includes experience participating in the review and analysis of chemical processes and/or formulation involved in the manufacturing of drugs; analyzing and evaluating written scientific and technical data in order to review drug applications and their amendments/supplements; and identifying problems and deficiencies within drug manufacturing processes.

Grade (Salary) Levels

Federal General Schedule (GS) grade levels at which chemist positions are commonly filled are:

  • GS-9 through 13 at the headquarters level
  • GS-5 through 12 at the field level

Qualifying for higher-graded positions requires additional amounts of either specialized experience or directly related education. The amount of additional experience or education required depends on the grade of the position.

Geographical Location

Chemists are located at HQ (suburban Washington, D.C.) and in facilities throughout the U.S.

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