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CDC Health Communication Fellow

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

CDC Office and Location: A research opportunity is available within the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The CDC is one of the major operation components of the Department of Health and Human Services. CDC works to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

Research Project: 

As an ORISE fellow, you will participate and train in the following activities:

  • Collaborate with the Health Communication Science Office's (HCSO's) Communication Science Team to create 3-6 communication research objectives for NCEZID for the coming year. The research objectives will be used to guide communication science projects (focus groups and surveys) in FY 2025. This activity will strengthen the fellow's ability to assess the needs of the division and programs and turn the fellow's assessment into SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound = SMART).
  • Collaborate with the HCSO's Communication Science Team to support the travel health focus groups planned for the fall. Fellow will observe the discussions and see how the Division of Global Migration Health (DGMH) uses the feedback to strengthen messages. This will give the fellow experience with qualitative research for public health and experience using the feedback to strengthen messages.
  • Collaborate with the HCSO's Communication Science Team to write 3-6 success/impact stories on timely topics that NCEZID leaderships needs this summer and fall. Fellow will collaborate the HCSO and the Office of the Director (OD) Policy Team to identify topics and stories. This will strengthen the fellow's ability to communicate clearly and succinctly about the value and impact of the research as well as key public health concepts.
  • Support NCEZID's emergency response communications and research for the Dengue Response in Puerto Rico. Fellow will collaborate with our HCSO's Emergency Preparedness and Response Communication Team. This will strengthen fellow's Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) and evaluation skills

Learning Objectives: 

  • Candidate will be able to create SMART research objectives for communication science projects.
  • Candidate will be able to define the steps to conduct qualitative research for public health and apply feedback to strengthen messages.
  • Candidate will be able to write success/impact stories that clearly and succinctly communicate the impact of the organization’s research as well as key public health concepts.
  • Candidate will be able to define CERC principles.

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

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: June 2024. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for two months but may be renewed upon recommendation of CDC and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full time.

Participant Stipend: Stipend rates may vary based on numerous factors, including opportunity, location, education, and experience. If you are interviewed, you can inquire about the exact stipend rate at that time and if selected, your appointment offer will include the monthly stipend rate.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

ORISE Information: This 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 bachelor's degree in the one of the relevant fields within the past 5 years. 

Eligibility Requirements


  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree received within the last 60 months or currently pursuing.
  • Academic Level(s): Post-Bachelor's or Undergraduate Students.