Fellowship Training and Professional Development

NewThe Evaluation Fellowship offers a unique training opportunity with clear expectations and supportive resources, including professional development funds provided by the host program. In this experiential learning model, Fellows learn evaluation skills working in their host program while helping their host program build, expand, and/or improve their evaluation activities.

In order to help build evaluation design, implementation, and analysis skills, a set of minimum training and performance requirements were developed around key competency areas. These competencies are based on CDC’s six-step Framework for program evaluation in public health (aka, Evaluation Framework) and the American Evaluation Association’s Evaluator Competencyexternal icon domains which are:

  • Professional Practice
  • Methodology
  • Context
  • Planning & Management
  • Leadership & Facilitation

The training and performance expectations for the two years are flexible so that Fellows can identify and tailor their training and experience to match their professional development goals and host program assignments. Fellows develop a professional development plan with their mentor that reflects plans towards completing the Fellowship, records progress, and serves as a tool for ongoing professional development discussions with their mentors. Once the Fellow and their mentor have discussed and agreed upon the plan, Fellows are required to submit to PPEO at the start of each year.

The information below are the current set of training, performance, and other expectations for the CDC Evaluation Fellows, though these may change in the future with host programs and fellows notified of any revisions.

Training Expectations

Training activities are typically completed through a mix of opportunities within and external to CDC. For instance, PPEO provides trainings to Fellows that help them learn CDC’s approach to evaluation using the CDC evaluation framework, there are many free internal webinars, and CDC University offers many free training courses. CDC programs hosting a Fellow provide professional development funds for Fellows to take trainings or attend conferences that have a cost for attending.

The table below shows the type of training topics that Fellows have taken by competencies.

Competency Area

Training over the 2 Years of the Fellowship

Competency Area

Professional Practice

Training over the 2 Years of the Fellowship

Example topics: AEA Guiding Principles and Evaluator Competencies, evaluation standards, Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, CDC Research Ethics or IRB

Competency Area


Training over the 2 Years of the Fellowship

Example topics: CDC Evaluation Framework, logic model, software, qualitative analysis, mixed methods, data visualization

Competency Area


Training over the 2 Years of the Fellowship

Example topics: reflective practice, equity focused evaluation, culturally responsive evaluation, cultural competencies and humility

Competency Area

Planning and Management

Training over the 2 Years of the Fellowship

Example topics: report writing, project management, evaluation budgeting, and capacity building

Competency Area

Leadership and Facilitation (Interpersonal)

Training over the 2 Years of the Fellowship

Example topics: engaging and building trust among stakeholders, managing conflict, managing/leading change, facilitative leadership, meeting management

Performance Expectations

Most of the Fellow’s work and deliverables are with their primary host program placement. However, some may be completed during small evaluation projects outside their host program. PPEO solicits short-term evaluation projects from CDC programs and coordinates this process.

During the two years of the Fellowship, Fellows are expected to work on

  1. One Evaluation Plan or equivalent product
  2. One logic model or theory of change
  3. One small evaluation project outside of the host program’s Center/Institute/Office (CIO)
  4. Two evaluation presentations (with at least one to an external audience)
  5. One facilitated session
  6. One communication or translation product
  7. Participation in at least one CDC Evaluation Day as a volunteer and/or presenter
  8. Facilitation or Presentation at a minimum of one Fellows’ meeting or training

The performance requirements listed help Fellows apply the competencies in practice.

Additional Expectations

Fellows are also expected to

  • Participate at monthly Fellow meetings unless pre-approved to miss a meeting
  • Complete Fellowship evaluation activities (e.g., midyear, departure)
  • Participate in PPEO-organized individual check-ins.
  • Participate in PPEO Webinars and Roundtables (at least 5/year)
  • Engage other community building and service activities that contributes to CDC and external evaluation activities based on skills and interests

Fellows also can access additional supports for the Fellowship, including group office hours, Fellowship team members for 1-1 meeting as needed, and Fellows-led social committee.

Contact Evaluation Program
Page last reviewed: November 15, 2021