Principal Scientist, Food Additives and Supplements

Washington D.C. or remote
Range is $100,000 to $110,000, based on experience.
September 01 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, America’s food and health watchdog, is one of the nation’s leading public health advocacy organizations with a 50-year record of fighting for science in the public interest.  We’ve led efforts to win passage of many state and local policies to improve school foods and remove sugary drinks from children’s menus. National policy successes include the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act; Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act; Food Safety Modernization Act; Organic Foods Production Act; and Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.

We are searching for a policy-savvy scientist and strategist to improve the regulation of supplements and chemicals added to food, and get unsafe chemicals and ineffective supplements out of the food supply. 

This is a full-time position. The Principal Scientist, Food Additives and Supplements is a member of the Science Department and reports to its Deputy Director. This position is located in CSPI’s DC office or remotely.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide the scientific foundation for CSPI’s work on supplements and chemicals added to food through research and evaluation.
  • Develop CSPI’s policy positions and strategy on the use and safety of food and color additives, supplements, and other chemicals added to or contaminating food.
  • Working with regulatory counsel, identify opportunities to advocate for policy, regulatory, and other structural changes: (1) Mobilize support for campaigns from organizations, academics, health professionals, CSPI members, and other concerned citizens and lead campaigns to advocate for improving the safety and oversight of supplements and chemicals added to food; and (2) Hold government and industry to account, engaging entities cooperatively when possible, and developing public pressure campaigns when needed.
  • Manage day-to-day activities of science team members who work on food additives and supplement safety initiatives, including mentoring and evaluating performance.
  • Analyze relevant issues and prepare written reports to support CSPI’s positions with Members of Congress, executive branch agencies, journalists, and other stakeholders regarding food additives.
  • Represent CSPI and build strategic relationships with the media, funders, coalition partners, policymakers, industry, and the academic community. 
  • Effectively communicate CSPI’s policy priorities and mission with the media to drive our advocacy goals.
  • Help identify and develop new and emerging topics in food additives and contaminants to support CSPI’s position as an industry watchdog. 
  • Update the food additive-related sections of the CSPI website.
  • Contribute to Science Department activities as needed.
  • Work with CSPI’s development team to raise additional funds for this initiative, manage grant deliverables, and draft reports to funders.


  • Advanced degree in toxicology, environmental health science, public health science, or related degree.
  • At least 7 years of relevant work experience, including demonstrated research, objective analytical ability, and writing skills. 
  • Strong commitment to public health and scientific integrity.
  • Experience analyzing, evaluating, interpreting, and translating toxicological and epidemiological evidence and other complex research, policy, and scientific documents.
  • Experience conducting chemical hazard/risk evaluations.
  • Experience providing strategic oversight and public policy campaign management.
  • Familiarity with the process of conducting and evaluating systematic reviews and evidence integration.
  • Experience evaluating research protocols and data.
  • Familiarity with analytical methods for identifying and quantifying chemicals in foods and supplements.
  • Experience writing clear, evidence-based documents, including articles, reports, regulatory petitions, factsheets, and/or memos that synthesize scientific and policy issues for various audiences including policy makers, journalists, funders, colleagues, and the public.
  • Experience working with a variety of stakeholders including academics, nonprofits, funders, and industry officials.
  • Commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Ability to work additional and flexible hours as needed.

CSPI on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

CSPI is committed to including and valuing diverse voices and fostering a culture that ensures all staff feel a sense of belonging and are encouraged to be their best selves. In that spirit, each of us is committed to putting in constant work to live up to our organization’s core values:

  • We are inclusive. We seek to foster an environment where all staff feel a sense of belonging and are affirmed. We are not looking for everyone to think and look the same. We actively welcome and value staff with different experiences, backgrounds, attributes, abilities, and perspectives.
  • We are open. We are honest and direct in how we communicate with each other in order to build trust and integrity within our organization.
  • We are accountable. We acknowledge and assume responsibility for our actions.
  • We are kind. We communicate and treat one another in a respectful, generous, considerate, and compassionate way.
  • We are collaborative. We work together for the common good and shared success.


The salary range is $100,000-$110,000, based on experience. CSPI offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes: 3 weeks of annual vacation leave; additional paid holiday leave between December 24 and January 1; 8 weeks of paid parental leave; excellent medical and dental insurance with CSPI paying a significant portion of employee and dependent premiums; and a 3% employer match contribution to the retirement plan after one year of service.

To Apply

Please use CSPI's Paylocity Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to apply for the Principal Scientist, Food Additives and Supplements position. You will be prompted to answer application questions, and to submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample showing your ability to communicate complex science to those who may not have a scientific background (e.g., policymakers, advocates, general public). Incomplete applications will not be considered. Application deadline is 9/12/2021.


CSPI is committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills and encourages people of diverse ages, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, disabilities, religions, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, work, and life experiences to apply.

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