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CDC Health Communication Fellowship

CDC Office and LocationA research opportunity is available in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases (DFWED) in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Participants may be eligible to telework part-time.

CDC's Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch (ORPB) collaborates with epidemiologists, laboratorians, and other public health officials who investigate clusters of foodborne, waterborne, zoonotic, and other enteric (gastrointestinal) illnesses in the United States. ORPB works to ensure rapid and coordinated surveillance, detection, and response to multistate outbreaks caused by Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. The health communicators in ORPB communicate risk to the public and other partners during ongoing outbreaks and create educational materials to prevent enteric illnesses. For more information about ORPB, visit

Research Project: This project offers an opportunity to collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team focusing on outbreak response and prevention activities, a primary component of CDC’s mission. This research opportunity will allow the participant advanced experiential learning in the creation of various health and risk communication materials for a variety of audiences regarding enteric disease outbreaks. There will be opportunities to learn from experienced communicators how to quickly translate science into public-facing materials (e.g., web pages, social media) that accurately communicate risk. There will also be opportunities to learn how to develop educational graphics, data visualizations, and other key communication materials. 

Learning ObjectivesThere will be opportunities to attend branch and division meetings, educational seminars, participate in CDC-wide emergency responses, and other activities as schedules allow. The participant will have opportunities to enhance quantitative and qualitative reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving, communication, and teamwork skills during this fellowship.

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

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: December 1, 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. Participants may be eligible to telework part-time.

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

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR).

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 have received a master's degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing the degree with completion before December 31, 2022. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills:

  • Background in health communications
  • Excellent skills for preparing written documents and giving oral presentations for a variety of audiences
  • Proficiency in Microsoft applications including Teams, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Experience as a translator or experience developing communication products or other documents in Spanish