Job description
There are many positions available for PhDs in government, most centered around research, funding, and regulation. This page will highlight some of the more popular career choices, but there is a huge diversity of positions and careers, many of which are not covered on this page.

Research - National Institutes of Health
The NIH is one of the largest government employers for PhDs. There is a wide range of positions for PhDs, but the majority have to do with research or funding. A research career at the NIH is similar to that at academic RO1 institutions. In general, NIH positions are more competitive and lab funding is guaranteed without having to submit grants. However, PIs are subjected to regular site visits by extramural reviews to determine if the lab’s progress and direction are sufficient to continue receiving funding. The NIH does have post-doctoral positions as well.

Research - Other
There is a long list of government organizations that hire PhDs for research. Defense and military branches, including Military, Navy, and the Department of Defense, employ neuroscience PhDs to study a wide variety of topics such as robotics, anti-bioterrorism, or efforts to help diseases common to veterans (e.g. PTSD and addiction).

Funding - National Institutes of Health/National Science Foundation
While there are many funding agencies for research institutions, NIH and NSF are two of the largest. While most grants are reviewed by external experts, grant submission, approval, organization and review is overseen by program officers, who are often PhDs. Higher positions generally deal with bigger-picture budget issues.

Regulatory - FDA, USTPO
FDA hires PhDs to help test and analyze drugs, medical devices and biologics, among many other things. The regulatory process requires a huge effort, with a wide variety of expertise. PhDs could find themselves conducting an array of tasks, such as testing new devices for safety, reviewing a clinical trial, setting policies, and analyzing datasets. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is another regulatory institution that hires PhDs.

*Depends on career track*
Oral Communication Skills
Interpersonal Ability
Flexibility and Adaptability
Initiative and Motivation
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing
Analytical Thinking
Judgment and Decision Making

Types of Positions
Staff Scientist
Project Manager
Program Officer
And many more

National Institute of Health
National Science Foundation
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Agriculture
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of the Treasurer
Department of Veterans Affairs
Executive office of the President
General Services Administration
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
United States Patent and Trademark Office

External Resources
ARL Post-doctoral Research Programs:
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on-site internships for graduate students
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cyber internships for graduate students
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) visiting scientist Program

NIH Post-doctoral Positions

Job postings
Civilian job: 
Army: and
Navy: and