CDC Policy Liaison Fellowship

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Reference Code
How to Apply

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A complete application consists of:
  • An application
  • A current resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list
  • One educational or professional recommendation. Your application will be considered incomplete, and will not be reviewed until one recommendation is submitted.

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

Application Deadline
6/5/2023 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

CDC Office and Location: A training opportunity is available within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases (DFWED), in the Office of the Director located in Atlanta, Georgia.

DFWED’s mission is to improve public health nationally and internationally through the prevention and control of disease, disability, and death caused by foodborne, waterborne, and environmentally transmitted infections (fungal diseases). In achieving its mission, DFWED relies on directed and productive relationships with key external partners who play important roles in advancing public health priorities. The selected candidate will train with DFWED’s Office of Strategic Communications, Policy, Partnerships, and Prevention, under the Policy Office.  

Research Project: Throughout the course of this fellowship, the participant will participate in various activities across the CDC domains of strategy, issues management, legislative affairs, policy development and high level collaboration. Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will learn to research best practices related to Congress, budget development and justification, partner engagement and translation of science into and how to best share and communicate Division information and science to internal/external partners.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will receive training in the following:

  • Coordination of, and participation in, division’s internal and external policy activities, including partner meetings, briefings, lab tours, site visits, and other priority activities related to DFWED’s work
  • Development of legislative and Congressional Affairs across myriad areas of public health
  • Learn to conduct issues management and complex policy analysis
  • Development of a strategic Congressional mapping accompanying and aligned to interests relative to DFWED’s public health goals
  • Translation of scientific data into consumer-focused materials, such as fact sheets, training materials, publications, web content, and program stories
  • Performance of environmental scanning
  • Identification of opportunities to expand collaborations and develop new partnerships both internal and external to the agency. 

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will learn about and contribute to CDC’s detection, response, and prevention efforts in foodborne, waterborne, enteric, and fungal diseases
  • Participants will learn to communicate and coordinate with various types of external partners, including from federal, state, and local government organizations, academia, industry, and professional, public health, and community organizations
  • Participants will develop analytical skills relating to partner engagement projects including the ability to discern and capture key decisions and priority action items from the engagements.
  • Participants will learn to participate within a dynamic team as well as take leadership roles in projects/initiatives
  • Participants will develop communications skills by creating various written products, including briefing documents for leadership and materials for external audiences
  • Participants will gain various professional skills related to public health, through training and mentorship

Mentor(s): The mentor(s) for this opportunity Jessica Gershick ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor(s). 

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: April 28, 2023.  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 Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Background Check Information: The fellow will be subject to standard federal background investigation, Department of Justice background investigation, and initial and ongoing personnel suitability review. 

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

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 have received a master's degree in one of the relevant fields. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred Skills:

  • Strong research skills
  • Project management skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Detail oriented with significant emphasis on the quality of work
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to work within tight deadlines
  • Strong interpersonal skills to develop, foster and maintain cooperative relations
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Prior experience in the fields of global health, health policy, health economics, strategy, Congressional affairs, or health communications
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Master's Degree received within the last 60 month(s).
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (4 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (2 )

I certify that I have not previously been employed by CDC or by a contractor working directly for CDC.  I understand that CDC does not permit individuals with a prior employment relationship with CDC or its contractors to participate as trainees in the ORISE program. (Exceptions may be granted for individuals who, since the previous CDC employment, have obtained a new STEM degree which necessitates training in a new field.)