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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Chemical Metrology of Dietary Supplements


Material Measurement Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division

RO# Location
50.64.61.B6909 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.


Name E-mail Phone
Phillips, Melissa Meaney 301.975.4134
Phinney, Karen Williams 301.975.4457
Rimmer, Catherine A. 301.975.3651
Sander, Lane C. 301.975.3117


A variety of dietary supplements are manufactured and marketed globally to promote human health and enhance the quality of life. Many of these botanical materials have a long history of use in alternative medicine. The characterization of the chemical composition of these natural products often presents a significant challenge to the analyst. Issues of extraction methodology and efficiency, sample complexity, detection specificity and sensitivity, choice of internal standards, and even the availability of authentic reference standards must be addressed individually for each dietary supplement material. Reference materials and methods are needed to support the analysis of dietary supplements and related botanical materials. Research topics include (1) development of liquid chromatographic (LC) separations of plant constituents, with detection by absorbance, fluorescence, electrochemical, and/or mass spectrometric (MS) detection for quantitative analysis of dietary supplements; (2) use of high-resolution technologies (such as ultrahigh pressure LC, high-temperature LC, two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight MS, and supercritical fluid chromatography) for natural product analyses; (3) evaluation of sample extraction, fractionation/cleanup, derivatization, and hydrolysis processes, (4) application of multidimensional and/or multiple independent analytical methods leading to value assignment of reference materials; and (5) development of chemical fingerprints for characterization of commercial product authenticity or adulteration. The goal of NIST’s ongoing effort with dietary supplements is to provide tools to the dietary supplement industry and measurement communities that will lead to improved quality of dietary supplements and ultimately reduce public health risks that could potentially be associated with the use of these products.


Dietary supplements; Gas chromatography; Liquid chromatography; Mass spectrometry; Reference materials;


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


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$72,750.00 $3,000.00
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