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CDC Policy and Issues Management Fellowship

CDC Office and Location: A research opportunity is currently available in the Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

DDT is at the leading edge of the nation’s efforts to end the devastation of diabetes. The division works with other federal agencies, state health departments, health care providers, and community organizations to identify people with prediabetes, prevent type 2 diabetes, prevent diabetes complications, and improve the health of all people with diabetes. These efforts have helped millions of Americans reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and prevent or delay serious diabetes complications.

Research Project: The Policy Team in DDT’s Office of Policy, Partnerships, and Strategic Communication provides guidance and support for planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating multifaceted public health communication and marketing programs and campaigns.
During this project, the participant will be appointed as a member of a multi-disciplinary team and obtain advanced experiential learning in the development of various policy-focused materials for diabetes topics. The participant will carry out public health policy, planning, and evaluation activities in an organizational unit at CDC. The primary functions will include: 1) supporting activities that advance the work of the Division and Center, 2) contributing to the development of public health policy briefs and position statements on key issues, and 3) participating in public health legislative analysis, issues management, policy research, and program evaluations.

Learning Objectives: The participant will be involved in the following research activities:

  • Assist in identifying and analyzing public health legislation, regulations, executive directives, Departmental policy issuances, or other highly visible actions that may impact public health and/or the current activities, goals, and/or mission of the program.
  • Develop background information, layout, design, and charts for briefings, presentations, and speeches to CDC constituents, Congressional staff, and Departmental officials.
  • Help with the CDC budget formulation process (e.g., budget justification, performance metrics, and other budget-related documents) by collaborating with contacts in the program and the organization’s resource management officials. Requires the use of computer systems and coordination with a variety of the organization’s staff to accumulate information.
  • Learn how to communicate externally with the full range of agency stakeholders. Stakeholders include officials from CDC, Department of Health and Human Services, and other Federal agencies, Office of Management and Budget and the White House and representatives of health, education, academic and voluntary organizations, Congressional/legislative committees and staff, state and/or tribal governments, local communities, and individual members of the public.
  • Develop and compile materials to explain programs to the public and to specific groups, such as legislative subcommittees, state policy makers, and other groups interested in specific program activities.
  • Assist with preparation of responses to controlled correspondences and perform the full range of analysis, evaluation, and resolution for non-complex information requests.
  • Perform special projects to analyze and/or identify specific concerns or conditions of relevance and importance to the mission and activities of the center and division (e.g., various types of environmental scanning, review of internal and external communications, assessment of media, governmental and public interest in public health issues, and other types of analyses).
  • Contribute to the preparation of written documents that reflect a thorough knowledge of complex public health issues and appropriate health communication, health promotion, and marketing intervention strategies.
  • Remain current and informed on most issues, policies, and scientific research findings that may influence the planning of relevant public health programs and provide support to those responsible for answering Congressional and constituent organization requests, including controlled correspondence, telephone, and other immediate requests that are highly sensitive and complex.
  • Participate in researching and developing messages and materials that are valid and consistent with program objectives and are based on communication and marketing theory and principles as well as audience research (including concept, message, and Web-usability testing).
  • Attend trainings and webinars on policy and communication related topics (e.g., CDC budget and appropriations, congressional training, communication evaluation, plain language, digital first principles).
  • Collect data and contribute to the development of products such as fact sheets, program briefings, Questions and Answers, program summaries, and congressional policy tracking.
  • Collaborate with Center Division policy offices and others within the Office of the Director to provide support on policy issues and requests.

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

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: August 29, 2022.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The 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 Stipend: The 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 and will reach completion by the end of December 2022. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience in applying analytical and evaluative techniques to the identification, consideration, and resolution of public health issues or problems of a procedural or factual nature
  • Knowledge of public health practices and principles
  • Proficiency in understanding and writing clearly about complex, sophisticated health science topics
  • Ability to use qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques
  • Knowledge about diabetes or chronic diseases is a plus