FDA Reviews | Glassdoor

FDA Reviews

Updated January 19, 2019
403 reviews

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3.9
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FDA Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret Hamburg, M.D.
Margaret Hamburg, M.D.
130 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "low pay, very difficult to advance and contracts are unstable" (in 12 reviews)

  • "I hope those who apply understand that it is also impossible and embarrassing to try to go through the hiring process from the inside" (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Orise Fellow
    Former Employee - Orise Fellow

    I worked at FDA (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good lab facilities and very inter-disciplinary research

    Cons

    Research projects are slow paced compared to industry


  2. "Risk Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at FDA full-time

    Pros

    -FDA has overall great work-life balance compared to private sector
    -Telework (depends on office the extent or if offered)
    -Work can be meaningful
    -Much of your day-to-day is dictated by a team leader (so if you have a good one, you are in good shape but if not, well......)

    Cons

    -Lots of red tape/hierarchal culture that inhibits growth/innovative ideas
    -Much of your day-to-day is dictated by a team leader (so if you have a good one, you are in good shape but if not, well......)

    Advice to Management

    -Promote the correct people into correct positions (i.e.- do not promote someone to a team leader position if they don't like to public speaking or talking face to face to other people)

  3. "Great!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at FDA full-time

    Pros

    Very flexible work-life balance and good benefits!

    Cons

    Difficult to progress (not enough work)


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Nepotism, cronyism, and politics at their best"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FDA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good mission, many nice people at the worker bee level

    Cons

    Project manager responsibilities are mostly administrative in nature.
    FDA leadership does not understand the discipline of project management/value to an organization. Many of assignments involve meeting management, minute taking and action item tracking.
    Very hard/nearly impossible to move out of this role.
    Promotions and re-assignments are driven by cronyism, nepotism and politics. Many of the leaders lack technical and leadership experience.
    PHS officers can and do move around more easily and are given many of the leadership positions. This creates an unfair advantage over the federal workforce.

    Advice to Management

    Support 360 degree reviews of all leadership, have impartial individuals assess the responses to these reviews and develop and implement a plan to address the findings.


  5. "Reviewer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Reviewer in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Reviewer in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FDA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Pretty good pay if you have a PhD

    Cons

    - Poor quality work
    - Politics often determines lower level decisions meaning to perform well you need to think more about politics than science or quality.

    Advice to Management

    Top management is congress and the president. Nothing is going to improve.


  6. "Mission-orientated environment!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FDA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Your work makes a difference
    - Collegial work environment
    - Opportunity to work on cross-cutting, innovative science and policy
    - Senior leadership and managers really try to listen, be transparent and make improvements

    Cons

    - Getting in is the hard part (the hiring process is painful)
    - Low pay (but the best benefits)
    - While work-life balance may be better than the private sector, it's not like other government agencies at the FDA. A lot of FDA work has statutory deadlines or "clocks" so things have to get done quickly! Flexible work from benefits though (2-3 days/week).

    Advice to Management

    Improve the hiring process!


  7. "Slave drivers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FDA full-time

    Pros

    If you sleep in the office overnight, you have the whole building to yourself.

    Senior management is good.

    Cons

    Review workload is not fairly distributed. It is piled on a couple people, and the rest have light loads. One can check others' work assignments via an internal program. That is how I have come to my assessment above.

    Far too many "managers" in my division (e.g., team leader, branch chief, director, deputy directors, associate director). They never seem to be working very hard. Except on their research manuscripts. I can't even rely on them to handle "management" related issues. I have to perform many of them myself.

  8. "Great place to be"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at FDA full-time

    Pros

    Job security, insurance, collaborative atmosphere

    Cons

    Hard to advance and even expand responsibilities


  9. "OCI"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends

    I have been working at FDA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Autonomy, good cases, important job

    Cons

    HQ pushes low level drug importation cases


  10. "N.A"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD

    I have been working at FDA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Relaxed and chilling environment. Less stressful

    Cons

    Less opportunities to grow within the company.