Frequently Asked Questions

EIS officers serve CDC and its partners by providing rapid, creative, and effective solutions to public health problems. They are ready to go anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. EIS officers:

  • Conduct epidemiologic investigations of infectious disease outbreaks
  • Respond to natural disasters or other emerging public health threats
  • Conduct surveillance studies
  • Design, implement, and evaluate surveillance systems
  • Study infectious and chronic diseases, environmental and occupational health threats, injuries, birth defects, and developmental disabilities

We have made organizational changes in how we recruit, select, and train EIS officers. All of our changes have been informed by our EIS Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Council. The council was formed to ensure a broadly inclusive culture and to better serve CDC and the public. For more information about how we incorporate DEIA into EIS, visit the About the Program web page.

EIS officers are either assigned to CDC headquarters or regional facilities or to a state or local health department. EIS does occasionally offer positions with other federal agencies. Each year, approximately 30% of EIS officers are assigned to state, local, or territorial health departments or other partner organizations or agencies. These EIS officers are referred to as “field assignees.”

Like their counterparts assigned to CDC headquarters or regional facilities, EIS field assignees participate in and lead epidemiologic investigations, conduct surveillance studies, interact with the public and the media, and produce high-quality scientific presentations and publications.

Field assignees are jointly supervised and mentored by experienced epidemiologists—two or more at the partner agency and one at CDC. They have direct access to their CDC supervisor and CDC resources such as epidemiologic, statistical, and laboratory expertise.

Regardless of where they are assigned, all EIS officers participate in competency-based education and experiential on-the-job training.

During the 2-year fellowship, EIS officers:

  • Are employed by CDC
  • Receive competitive salary and benefits
  • Are mentored and supervised by experienced, dedicated, and enthusiastic expert epidemiologists
  • Have many opportunities for hands-on work throughout the United States and around the world
  • Have direct impact on domestic and global population health and well-being

EIS provides a pathway for a wide range of careers. Many EIS graduates choose public health careers at the local, state, or federal level.
EIS alumni who stay in public health ensure that CDC and other agencies have sustainable epidemiologic expertise. Alumni include:

  • Acting Surgeons General
  • CDC directors and other senior CDC leaders
  • Public health and medical school faculty and deans
  • Non-governmental health organization executives
  • State or medical epidemiologists
  • Pharmaceutical and insurance industry executives
  • State health officials
  • Health and medical editors, reporters, and writers