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HHS Health Communications Fellowship

HHS Office and LocationThere is a fellowship opportunity at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), Office of Communications, at the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C. Candidate must be located in Washington, D.C. to come into the office a few times a week.

The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.

Research Project:  The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), Office of Communications, is looking for a highly motivated recent graduate who is interested in public health communications and eager to contribute to a fast-paced team environment.
The ideal candidate will be a self-starter with excellent interpersonal and time-management skills, who can be highly independent and a team-player. The Assistant Secretary for Health oversees an array of offices and advisory committees, which support many initiatives, campaigns, and programs that promote the Department of Health and Human Services’ public health goals. For more information, visit

The participant will be involved in a broad range of public health communications and public health external relations activities to support the Assistant Secretary for Health, Surgeon General, and the offices and advisory committees the ASH oversees. 

The participant may be involved in the following projects designed to achieve the public health mission of OASH:

  • Support senior-level members of the OASH Communications team in the development and implementation of communications strategies to support OASH principals, initiatives and programs (previous health topic areas have included tobacco control, vaccinations, skin cancer prevention, physical activity and nutrition, and emerging issues such as the Ebola outbreak).
  • Conduct research for and help draft and edit press releases, media advisories, talking points and other communications collateral to support various OASH and Department-wide public health activities.
  • Draft written pieces for publications such as blogs as well as internal OASH communications.
  • Support the OASH social media and website team leader to ensure up-to-date content is available on the OASH website, and help promote other OASH social media and web-based efforts. This could include drafting content and supporting webinars, Facebook Live events and Twitter chats.

Learning Objectives

  • 1. Develop knowledge and expertise in the area of public health communications 
  • 2. Understand what health communications can and cannot do for promoting or improving health as well as the health communication program cycle.
  • 3. Understand how market research and evaluation fit into health communications program.
  • 4. Gain experience tailoring messages, materials and activities to reach various public health audiences. 
  • 4. Gain experience developing health communications strategies for OASH programs and priorities.  
  • 5. Gain experience writing for a variety of public health audiences. 

Mentor(s)The mentor for this opportunity is Tara Broido ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: October 17, 2022. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of HHS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is 20-40 hours to be negotiated during selection. 

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. 

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

ORISE InformationThis program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and HHS. Participants do not become employees of HHS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

The successful applicant(s) will be required to comply with Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) requirements of the hosting facility, including but not limited to, COVID-19 requirements (e.g. facial covering, physical distancing, testing, vaccination).

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.

The qualified candidate should be currently pursuing or have received a master’s or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields. Most recent degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:

  • Experience performing literature reviews and searches
  • Basic qualitative analysis skills
  • Strong writing research, editing, and other communication skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a team
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to independently prioritize time-sensitive work activities
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • Ability to work independently with little or no supervision
  • Demonstrate attentiveness to details and professional and diplomatic judgment
  • Familiarity with digital, mainstream and health-focused publications.
  • Some experience with website maintenance, familiarity with social media tools such as Twitter and webinar software