The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) Pharmaceutical Data Ontology Scientist in Rockville, Maryland

Pharmaceutical Data Ontology Scientist

Tracking Code


Job Description

With nearly 200 years of history, over 800 expert volunteers, nearly 1000 full-time staff, and terabytes of structured and unstructured data, USP is an organization with rich information assets and a wealth of internal and external expertise. The Research & Innovation department is seeking a fixed-term science fellow to develop a prototype knowledge/expertise search and management tool to help identify staff with specific skills and expertise. This will be a Fixed-Term position for at least one year from the date of hire, with the opportunity to extend further, and will include USP benefits and total rewards.

The vision for the prototype uses robust USP taxonomies/ontologies that need to be developed, appropriate technology tools and a staff dataset to help identify staff with specific skills and expertise independently of their role or department. Therefore, in collaboration with Information Technology, other knowledge management initiatives, and the Science Division leadership, the successful candidate will define the scope of the “skill seeker” prototype, define and implement it and any necessary information collection and management tool prototypes (e.g., a compendial science ontology / taxonomy, staff data collection), and evaluate the performance of the prototype.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Develops a prototype ontology/taxonomy for USP compendial science Defines scope and business requirements for the prototype

  • Identifies existing ontologies/ taxonomies, data stores, and query tools for potential use in skill-seeker

  • Describes high-level functional architecture including sources of input data, storage mechanism, data query, and results visualization

  • Integrates ontologies/taxonomies into a skill-seeker prototype demonstrating key functionality such as input, storage, retrieval, analysis, visualization

  • Builds skill-seeker prototype

  • BS with 7 years; or MS with 5 years of relevant experience in computer or data science. Relevant fields of study include data / computer science, linguistics, library information science, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, or pharmacy.

Basic Qualifications

  • BS with 7 years; or MS with 5 years of relevant experience in computer or data science. Relevant fields of study include data / computer science, linguistics, library information science, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, or pharmacy.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in the storage and retrieval of scientific data elements

  • Experience utilizing current web standards (e.g., foundational technologies for Web 3.0 / the semantic web), including both front- and back-end technologies

  • Experience in usage of data models and classifications

  • Experience developing databases, ontologies, user interfaces, with a desire to become proficient in all

  • Demonstrated ability to quickly become competent in technical IT areas

  • Familiarity with vocabulary standards, e.g., RxNorm, LOINC, UNII codes Results driven with demonstrated successful outcomes

  • Possesses attention to details in documentation

  • Strong interpersonal skills with ability to effectively communicate outputs to both lay and technical audiences

  • Experience with planning, tracking and performance management of programs/ initiatives

  • Excellent written, oral and presentation skills

Supervisory Responsibilities


USP offers an impressive benefits package , including:

  • Generous paid time off – 13 paid holidays, 10 sick days and 15 vacation days per year to start

  • An annual 401(k) contribution, beginning after 1 year of service, of 10% of pay (base and bonus) every pay period that vests immediately

  • Comprehensive individual and family healthcare plans with affordable premiums and low annual deductibles ($250/individual or $500/family)

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a scientific nonprofit organization that sets standards for the identity, strength, quality, and purity of medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements manufactured, distributed and consumed worldwide. USP’s drug standards are enforceable in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration, and these standards are used in more than 140 countries.

Being a part of USP means belonging to a diverse culture made up of more than 1,000 talented professionals working together at five international locations. We share our expertise in science, IT, human resources, quality assurance, communications, administrative management, and more...all to support an overall mission dedicated to making a difference by providing standards and programs that help improve the quality of medicines, dietary supplements, and foods worldwide.

USP is proud to be an equal employment opportunity employer (EEOE) and affirmative action employer. Employment selection and related decisions are made without regard to sex, race, age, disability, religion, national origin, color, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected class. We are committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities.

USP does not accept unsolicited resumes from 3rd party recruitment agencies and is not responsible for fees from recruiters or other agencies except under specific written agreement with USP.

Job Location

Rockville, Maryland, United States

Position Type


Job Category Scientific