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CDC/U.S. NAC Laboratory Safety and Sciences Training Fellowship

CDC Office and Location: A research opportunity is currently available in the U.S. National Authority for Containment of Poliovirus (U.S. NAC) within the Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) located in Atlanta, Georgia. This appointment will require onsite attendance at CDC and telework. 

U.S. NAC is responsible for oversight of poliovirus containment activities in the United States, including management of a national-level survey of facilities working with or storing poliovirus infectious and potentially infectious materials and certification of poliovirus-essential facilities to stringent biosafety and biosecurity standards. U.S. NAC also supports strategic planning and engagement with external partners at country, regional, and global levels, such as PAHO and WHO, to inform and improve containment activities to safeguard the global polio eradication initiative. U.S. NAC staff provide technical assistance, audit laboratories, conduct research and evaluation, and support studies to improve laboratory safety and science for polioviruses. NAC staff come from a range of backgrounds, including microbiology, public health, emergency management, regulatory, communications, statistics, economics, and public policy. Further information about CDC’s poliovirus containment work is available at:

Research Project: NAC is seeking a qualified and motivated candidate for a Laboratory Safety and Sciences Training Fellowship focused on developing skills and experience in conducting research and evaluation of poliovirus laboratory biosafety and containment projects. The fellow will participate under the mentorship of NAC staff to develop skills and experience in designing scientific project proposals, protocols, and data collection tools; cleaning and analyzing data collected in the field; and developing presentations, reports, and manuscripts to disseminate results for poliovirus containment implementation.

Anticipated projects include participation in domestic poliovirus containment field visits and data analysis, development of new scientific proposals to address identified gaps in laboratory safety and containment standards, and communications products.

Learning Objectives: Learning objectives include:

  • Improve skills in project design, data collection tool development, and data management and analysis methods
  • Build professional networks and applied experience through collaboration with CDC staff and international and country partners in implementation of the WHO Global Action Plan IV standard for poliovirus containment
  • Participate in online CDC-offered data collection and analysis trainings
  • Participate in domestic field work to support poliovirus containment projects
  • Gain experience in development of poliovirus containment products (e.g., presentations, reports, journal manuscripts)

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

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: October 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 CDC and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

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 CDC. Participants do not become employees of CDC, 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 degree in one of the relevant fields. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.
For field work, applicant must meet agency and site-specific occupational health program requirements, such as proof of vaccination. Anticipated travel: domestic, 10% or less

Preferred skills:

  • Prior work experience in microbiological or biomedical laboratories
  • Interest in biocontainment and biosecurity
  • Ability to collaborate with diverse internal and external partners
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated experience conducting statistical data analysis
  • Prior experience conducting data collection and management