About CDC Evaluation Fellows

Fellow Salary and Benefits

Fellows are hired under Title 42 training Fellowship appointments as term employees for the two years of the Fellowship. Fellows’ education and experience must meet the requirements of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM’s) requirements for the health science  (0601)external icon or behavioral science ((0101)external icon occupational series to be hired. Examples of degree concentration include public health, epidemiology, sociology, anthropology, biostatistics, and community psychology.

Fellow’s salary is based on their education level (based on the qualifying degree) and experience. CDC Human Resources Office determines the Fellow’s salary and salary is non-negotiable because this is a training program. Salaries start at a base rate comparable to the OPM’s Federal Government General Schedule (GS) base pay rate.external icon All Fellows start at Step 1 of the GS level.  Fellows with a master’s degree and no work experience start at equivalent pay rate of GS-9, step 1. Fellows with a master’s degree and at least a year of relevant full-time work experience start at GS-11, step 1. Fellows with a doctoral degree start at the GS-12, step 1 level.  Fellows will be eligible for a performance-based step increase in the second year.

Fellows also receive significant financial support for professional development and CDC employee benefits (e.g., medical insurance, sick and vacation leave).

Additional Benefits

Evaluation Fellows with former American Evaluation Association Presidents Michael Patton and Tessie Catsambas at a celebration for the 20th anniversary of the CDC Evaluation Framework in September 2019. Left to Right: Ryan Mintz, Mayah Williams, Delaney Roach, Michael Q. Patton, Samantha Budzyn, Tina Mensa-Kwao, Tessie Catsambas, and Tiffanie Cobb.

Evaluation Fellows with former American Evaluation Association Presidents Michael Patton and Tessie Catsambas at a celebration for the 20th anniversary of the CDC Evaluation Framework in September 2019. Left to Right: Ryan Mintz, Mayah Williams, Delaney Roach, Michael Q. Patton, Samantha Budzyn, Tina Mensa-Kwao, Tessie Catsambas, and Tiffanie Cobb.

Participating in CDC’s Evaluation Fellowship includes these benefits:

  • Exposure to world-class evaluators and public health professionals who work at and visit CDC.
  • A view of the public health system from the federal level, working in various disease and prevention areas.
  • A strong cohort of Evaluation Fellows and an evaluation community of practice from whom Fellows can learn and obtain feedback.
  • Strong program oversight and management from the CDC Chief Evaluation Officer and CDC Program Performance and Evaluation Office (PPEO).
  • Recognition through the highly respected branding of the CDC Evaluation Fellowship Program.
  • Access to limited-duration evaluation projects outside the host program that increase the Fellow’s visibility and exposure across CDC and provide opportunities to learn and apply skills in topic areas that the Fellow might not otherwise have.

Who are the CDC Evaluation Fellows?

Fellow presenter at 2017 Evaluation Day

Lindsey Bridwell (2016 Fellow) presenting at 2017 CDC Evaluation Day

Over 200 Fellows have completed the CDC Evaluation Fellowship Program. It started with the first cohort of 5 Fellows in 2011 and has grown to 20 Fellows, on average, per cohort. Each cohort is comprised of Fellows with diverse backgrounds and the mix of skills needed by host programs varies each year. The Evaluation Fellowship continues to employ strategies to diversify recruitment and applicant pool.

All Fellows come into the program with master’s or doctoral degrees in areas such as program evaluation, health promotion, behavioral science, global health, policy, epidemiology, psychology, sociology, education, and life/health sciences. About two-thirds of Fellows have had master’s degrees, with most having a MPH.

Over three quarters are female and about half white, a quarter Black or African American, a fifth Asian, and five percent are Hispanic or Latino, multiracial, American Indian, or Alaska Native.

Fellow Host Program Placement

Eva Trinh and Elisha Hall

Eva Trinh and Elisha Hall (Evaluation Fellows 2017- 2019) presenting at the American Evaluation Association Conference, 2018.

Fellows are matched with CDC programs that have applied to host Fellows, so the topic areas (e.g., diabetes, preparedness, global health) vary depending on which CDC programs apply. The list of host programs will be available to applicants who advance to the “finalist” stage of the selection process.

Following the interview period, Fellows are matched with host programs based on mutual interest. Finalists will be able to rank their preferred programs but are not guaranteed a specific placement.

Types of projects that Fellows have completed:

  • Support national comprehensive evaluations of CDC-funded programs
  • Contribute mixed methods expertise to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of evaluation research projects
  • Evaluate qualitative community engagement tools adapted for a public health emergency context
  • Manage qualitative data for a large project on community perceptions of and experiences with a public health topic area
  • Support strategic planning and evaluation of team processes, and division priority prevention topic
  • Conduct needs assessment of state health and agricultural departments to prevent and respond to outbreaks
  • Create a plan and implement the evaluation of COVID-19 projects
  • Evaluate process and impact of CDC program tools, technical assistance, and resources
  • Design and implement performance monitoring system for CDC funded programs
  • Create training manual and resources for conducting economic evaluation

After the Fellowship

Nearly 200 Fellows have completed the CDC Evaluation Fellowship Program. After finishing the Fellowship, over half of graduated Fellows found jobs at CDC, about 15% have gone to work at for-profit organizations, 13% at non-profit organizations, and about 5% each work at university, return to school, work at another federal agency, or work at state, tribal, or territorial agency. Of those who work at CDC immediately after the Fellowship, 70% were hired by their host program and the remainder went to other programs at the agency.

Contact Evaluation Program
Page last reviewed: November 15, 2021