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The National Center for Health Statistics Postdoctoral Research Program

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is a unique public resource for health information. As the nation’s principal health statistics agency, NCHS provides information to develop programs and policies that will improve the health of the American people. NCHS’ mission is to monitor the health of the American people, with activities mirroring the multifaceted aspects of the health and health care environment.

The objective of the NCHS Postdoctoral Research Program is to provide opportunities for postdoctoral candidates of unusual promise and ability to conduct research in areas of their choosing that are compatible with the interests of NCHS.

General areas of interest for research at NCHS include statistical theory, survey methodology, statistical computing, economics, demography, and social and behavioral science.


Conditions of postdoctoral research appointments

  • A Postdoctoral Researcher is a temporary resident employee of NCHS (Title 42, Subchapter E, Part 61 and Title 5, Part 213.3101R, Excepted Appointment). Postdoctoral Researchers are analogous to fellows or similar temporary researchers at the postdoctoral level in universities and other organizations. Postdoctoral Research positions are not intended to be or to compete with permanent professional career positions.
  • An offer or acceptance of an award as a Postdoctoral Researcher does not imply later employment.
  • Postdoctoral Researchers must devote their full-time effort to the research program and be in residence at NCHS during the program. No period of tenure may be spent in residence at another agency or institution. No additional monetary aid or other remuneration may be accepted from another appointment, fellowship, or similar grant during the period of the program.


Eligibility and consideration

  • This appointment is open to U.S. citizens or noncitizens with permanent residency and a valid work authorization. Applicants are responsible for obtaining the necessary authorization. Permanent residency status does not qualify as citizenship.
  • Appointments are awarded only to persons who have held doctorates for less than 3 years or are in the process of receiving doctorate degrees at the time of application.
  • Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, creed, color, age, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.



Awardees are offered 2-year appointments, but extensions may be granted with special consideration. An evaluation is conducted after the first year to insure that the Postdoctoral Researcher is making suitable progress.


Education and experience

  • Awardees must hold a Ph.D. or other earned research degree recognized in the United States as equivalent to the Ph.D., or they must present acceptable evidence of having completed all the formal academic requirements for the degree before appointment. Applicants must have demonstrated ability for creative research.
  • Training and research experience may be in any appropriate discipline or combination of disciplines required for the proposed research.


Statement of research interest

  • Applicants must submit a Statement of Research Interest describing the project to be completed during the postdoctoral appointment. The proposal should describe the purpose and context of the research project, the research approach and methods to be used, key activities to be undertaken during the fellowship period, and the expected contributions of the proposed research.
  • Proposals should not exceed five pages in length.
  • Applicants are encouraged to contact NCHS to obtain specific information on current research and available technical facilities and to speak with NCHS researchers working the specific areas of interest.


Panel review

  • The Office of Management and Operations at NCHS receives all application materials and supporting documents.
  • A special panel will evaluate postdoctoral research proposals. Panelists are chosen to review applications on the basis of their stature and research experience in relevant fields of statistics, mathematics, computer science, statistical computing, economics, sociology, demography, social science research, and psychology. Their evaluation is the basis for the selections.
  • Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:
    • The project’s relevance to the mission of NCHS and contribution to the field. Proposals should clearly articulate the overall purpose of the project, its relationship to the mission, and the overall scientific or policy contributions of the proposed work.
    • The strength of the approach, design, and methodology. Proposals should clearly describe the analytic approach to be used and how the approach will address research questions of interest.
    • The feasibility of the project. Proposals will be evaluated in terms of their substantive and methodological feasibility. Applicants should demonstrate sufficient knowledge of data systems proposed for use in the project to demonstrate feasibility. Proposals will also be assessed with respect to the feasibility of completion of key activities within the proposed timeframe.
    • The applicant’s personal and professional qualifications. Applicants will be assessed with respect to their academic achievements, scientific and programmatic accomplishments, and other professional accomplishments.


Salary and benefits

  • The annual starting salary is equivalent to the GS-12/13 scale and based on qualifications and experience.
  • Sick and annual leave, Thrift Savings 401(k)-equivalent, and health and life insurance are available.
  • FlexiTime or an Alternate Work Schedule (including telework) is available with a supervisor’s approval.
  • Free onsite parking or a public transportation subsidy is available. The local subway station is within walking distance, and complimentary shuttle service to and from NCHS is available.


Initiation of tenure

NCHS offers a limited number of awards annually. Starting dates are negotiated individually.


Relocation expenses

The cost of relocating to the Washington, D.C. metro area, within allowances prescribed by law, will be determined on an individual basis.


Application deadline

Application dates for 2016 TBD.


Notification of awards

Notification of awards for 2016 TBD.


Required application materials and supporting documents

Submit to address below

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate credits (in sealed envelopes)
  • Three reference letters (on original letterhead with original signature)
  • Statement of research interest

NOTE: Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


Suggested research areas

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Confidentiality, protection, and related topics
  • Data linkage
  • Quality control, quality improvement, and measurement
  • Nonresponse in sample surveys
  • Telephone survey methods
  • Data collection in a changing health care environment and system
  • Small-area estimation
  • Cognitive processes and question response
  • Data editing and imputation
  • Statistical computing
  • Sampling and estimation
  • Questionnaire design and measurement research
  • Human factors and usability research
  • Data mining


Mailing address and contact

Luigia Franks, Program Specialist
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road, Mail Stop P-08
Hyattsville, MD 20782


Inquiries: or 301–458–4217



Contact Us:
  • National Center for Health Statistics
    3311 Toledo Rd
    Room 5419
    Hyattsville, MD 20782-2064
  • 1 (800) 232-4636
    TTY: 1 (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC–INFO The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
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