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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Advancing Drug Detection and Identification for Public Health and Harm Reduction


Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Measurement Science Division

opportunity location
50.64.31.C0886 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Edward Ryan Sisco 301-975-2093


This opportunity focuses on the development of analytical methods and/or data processing techniques that could be used to advance drug detection and identification (or drug checking) in a public health or harm reduction environment. The current approach used by many public health agencies for drug checking incorporates a combination of lateral flow immunoassays and portable FTIR spectrometers which may provide incomplete information and potentially miss the identification of harmful substances. To overcome these barriers, techniques that move laboratory-grade measurements towards the field, or new ways to interpret spectra of complex samples are critical. The solutions need to be able to provide rapid and comprehensive information about a drug product – capable of identifying not only the drug(s) but also the cutting agents, diluents, and adulterants. They must also be user-friendly, and deployable in a mobile environment where laboratory resources (high voltage, gases, etc.) are not available. Solutions may be technologically focused (development of new analytical tools) or data centric (extracting more information and insight from existing data). Additionally, development of data processing and visualization approaches to advance the ability to identify changes and trends in a drug market are also of interest. To ensure success of projects for this opportunity, applicants will be encouraged to collaborate with other NIST laboratories as well as local and state public health departments and harm reduction organizations. We are seeking independent, motivated individuals with backgrounds across the chemical, mathematical, epidemiological, and statistical science disciplines.

key words
Public Health; Opioids; Monitoring; Mass Spectrometry; Optical Spectroscopy; Drugs of Abuse


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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