FAQs for Applicants

CDC Evaluation Fellowship Program


Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with green cards. The green card must be valid for at least two more years from the start of the Fellowship (mid-Aug).

Successful applicants’ education must meet the requirements of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM’s) requirements for the health science (0601) or behavioral science (0101) occupational series to be hired. However, a variety of degrees may be considered for this training program given the cross-cutting nature of public health and evaluation. Most common types of degrees are MPH, Master of Science, PhD, and DrPH. Some example degree areas include public health, psychology, epidemiology, sociology, anthropology, and biostatistics.

There is no limit on time when you last completed your qualifying degree.

Yes, applicants must have their degree conferred by the end of Spring semester 2022. Your transcript must provide information for the degree you are working towards, completed courses, grades received, and remaining courses. The selected Fellow must submit an official transcript with the degree conferred no later than June to be able to be selected and hired.

No. Successful evaluation experiences can be in a variety of different areas, such as a capstone project, working with non-profit organizations, etc.

Successful applicants ranged in the level of experience (e.g., from capstone project in school, working in non-profit, to experience leading evaluation at larger institutions). Successful applicants have demonstrated experience with at least three evaluation projects through their application and CVs.

We look at evaluation training (e.g., course work and professional development); breadth and depth of evaluation experience (e.g., types of evaluation approaches and methods, leading larger project, or subcomponent); good writing and communication skills; transferable skills and experience (e.g., working diverse representation in perspectives, background, and/or culture) and alignment between professional/career goals and what the Fellowship offers.

Transcripts issued to the student are acceptable with the application. However, they must state your degree of study, courses taken, earned grades, and graduation date. If selected as a Fellow, you must have your academic institution(s) send an official transcript(s) issued directly to the “CDC Evaluation Fellowship and CDC Human Resources Office” to evaluationfellows@cdc.gov. If your academic institution does not have electronic official transcripts available, then please discuss with the Fellowship at evaluationfellows@cdc.gov.

Transcripts must be submitted by the deadline for your application package to be considered.

Transcripts should be for your qualifying/highest degree at the doctoral or master’s level. The qualifying degree is the one most related to the CDC’s work in public health and evaluation. If selected as a Fellow, your qualifying degree is one of the factors that determines your salary. If you have multiple graduate degrees (master’s or doctorate) and you are unsure of which degree qualifies, then submit official transcripts for all doctoral and master’s degrees that you have.

No, there is no particular format or requirement. However, you must include your email and phone number so that you can be contacted.


Yes, pending review and determination by CDC Human Resources Office (HRO). Fellows become CDC term employees for the two years of the Fellowship and receive employee benefits, such as medical insurance and sick and annual leave. Salary is based on education level (based on your qualifying degree) and experience as determined by CDC HRO. Fellows’ salary is equivalent to U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM’s) federal Government General Schedule (GS) base pay rate. 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 with a master’s degree and at least a year of relevant full-time work experience (determined by CDC HRO) start at GS-11, step 1. Fellows with a doctoral degree start at GS-12, step 1.  Fellows will be eligible for a performance-based step increase in the second year. See the OPM federal salary information here.

No. CDC does not offer tuition reimbursement or student loan assistance.

Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education, offers the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Please see their website for eligibility and requirements for the program.

The Fellowship is considered a qualifying employment for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. One of the requirements is obtaining and submitting annual employment certification.  Fellows can request the employment certification to CDC Human Resources Office once they begin the Fellowship and will need to submit this request annually.

No. Fellows are responsible for their own housing and moving costs.

Being a Fellow

No. Fellows are not required to live in Atlanta, however, fellows must obtain approval from their host program to work remotely prior to starting the fellowship. Fellows must follow their host program’s determination for working remotely outside of Atlanta, which will vary by program.

Fellows must start the Fellowship in mid-August.

The Fellowship is intended to be a two-year program. Fellow performance will be evaluated at the end of the first year. The second year is contingent on satisfactory performance and funding availability.

Each year, we receive hundreds of applications and we welcome about 20 Fellows into the Fellowship.

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.

After completing the Evaluation Fellowship, many Fellows have found jobs in CDC programs, whether as federal employees, contractors, or other types of appointments or Fellowships (but not as part of the Evaluation Fellowship Program). Fellows who do not stay at CDC often go back to school, teach, and work in state health departments or the nonprofit or private sectors; most remain in the evaluation field.

Applicants who reach the “Finalist” phase will be provided with a list of current and/or former Fellows who are available to talk about the Fellowship.

The projects that Fellows take on vary based on their host program placements. Typical projects include conducting evaluations, building evaluation capacity in CDC funding recipients, and designing performance monitoring systems.

If your questions are not answered in the informational session, you may email your questions to evaluationfellows@cdc.gov.

Contact Evaluation Fellowship Program