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  1. Scientific Internships, Fellowships / Trainees and Non-U.S. Citizens

Federal Information Privacy Internship Program


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The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Division of Freedom of Information (DFOI) is pleased to offer non-paid Federal Information Privacy Intern positions for interested undergraduate and graduate students, including law school and doctoral students in relevant fields.

No other federal agency touches the daily life of citizens as directly as the FDA. In regulating roughly 25 percent of the United States consumer economy, the FDA is responsible for the safety and effectiveness of two trillion dollars worth of products a year including items as diverse as artificial hearts, surgical lasers, gene therapy, dialysis machines, cloned animals, genetically engineered foods, counterterrorism products, and drugs produced using nanotechnology techniques.

The privacy program is challenging and uniquely positioned to provide a valuable and interesting experience as it is an element of nearly every Agency program. Information privacy interns can expect to work on substantive matters, develop professional skills, gain first-hand knowledge of FDA and government programs, policies and procedures, and, benefit from the personal attention of a mentor.  Internships may be tailored to focus on subject matter that is an Agency priority and of special interest to the intern.

DFOI invites students interested in law, government, and information privacy and security to apply.  DFOI is organizationally situated within the Office of the Commissioner and oversees the FDA’s information privacy program and Privacy Act compliance throughout the Agency. Positions are located in Rockville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC.  The office is located one block from the Twinbrook Station on the local Metrorail system. Specific internship start/end dates and working hours will be determined when applicants are selected.

Purpose of Internship Program

The purpose of the Federal Information Privacy Internship Program is to give students an opportunity to learn about federal programs and policies with a focus on the application of privacy laws, regulations and policies. The internship will equip students with the skills and knowledge to make a significant contribution to FDA's privacy program and public health mission.

Privacy interns will learn about the major FDA programs: foods, drugs, devices, biologics, veterinary products, tobacco and enforcement. Intern activities may include conducting legal research, drafting Federal Register publications, participating in information management programs, review of legislation, Executive Orders, Office of Management and Budget materials, and policy documents issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and FDA.

Intern Qualifications

Candidates should have a record of strong academic achievement.  Experience or interest in information privacy, public health issues, or regulatory matters is helpful. 

All Interns must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age on or before the first day of the internship;
  • Have completed at least six semesters of college education;
  • Be a current graduate or undergraduate student attending a college or university in the United States, or have graduated in the same year of the Internship;
  • Be in good academic standing as determined by the academic institution;
  • Be a U.S. citizen, or national, or lawfully admitted to the United States as a permanent resident or otherwise authorized to be employed (as evidenced by documents proving citizenship). Non-citizens may participate in this Internship program provided that: (1) The non-citizen student is lawfully admitted to the United States as a permanent resident or otherwise authorized to be employed; (2) The agency is authorized to pay aliens under the annual appropriations, although volunteer students do not receive compensation; and (3) the student meets VISA requirements; and
  • Meet personnel suitability, background/investigative, and physical requirements.


Intern(s) will be selected based on their application and demonstrated interest in public service. This may include:

  • Cover letter and resume;
  • Academic excellence;
  • Writing sample(s);
  • Letters of recommendation;
  • Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of government and politics;
  • Evidence of the skills needed to assist FDA;
  • The candidate's proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint;
  • The degree of understanding of the hierarchy of legal authorities and resources;
  • The candidate's experience performing legal research and writing;
  • Personal maturity;
  • The candidate's potential contribution to the Program; and
  • The anticipated benefits for the candidate.

How to Apply

To apply submit a resume via email to: [email protected] and include “SUMMER INTERN APPLICATION” in the subject line.  In addition to the resume, applicants may also submit the following optional materials: copy of transcript(s), letters of recommendation, and writing samples.  All summer intern application materials must be received by March 31.

Privacy Act Notice

General: This notice is provided pursuant to Public Law 93-579, Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. Section 552a, for individuals supplying information to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the course of seeking a non-paid position with FDA’s Division of Freedom of Information (DFOI).

Authority: Sections 3301 and 3302 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code authorizes collection of this information.

Purposes and Uses: This information is collected for the purpose of evaluating applicants for internships and similar non-paid positions with DFOI. This information will be disclosed to personnel within DFOI and to other FDA offices as required by FDA policies and procedures.

Effects of Nondisclosure: Individuals are not required to apply for positions with DFOI. Submission of applicant information is voluntary. Failure to supply the information could prevent FDA from considering the individual for a position.

Related Privacy Act System of Records Notices (SORN):

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