Frequency Asked Questions (FAQs) About IETA
Is the IETA program an annual program?
The IETA program is an annual program that began in 1997. The application period takes place every summer. The IETA 12-month program aligns with the federal fiscal year. Please monitor the IETA website for information on upcoming application cycles.
How many IETA participants are in each cohort?
Previous cohorts have ranged from 20-28 participants. The IETA program intends to maintain similar cohort sizes going forward.
How do you measure success of the IETA program?
The IETA program is designed to help HHS FTEs and USPHS officers determine if working internationally is right for them. The program defines any of the following three outcomes to be a “success”: 1) the employee decides to continue working internationally for HHS; 2) the employee decides to support global programs from headquarters; 3) the employee determines that working and living internationally is not right for them.
Can Term FTEs apply to the IETA program?
Yes, Term FTEs are eligible to apply to the IETA program. However, the term end date must not end before the end of the IETA program (September 30, 2025). They must be able to dedicate 100% of their work time during their field assignment on the scope-of-work of their field assignment.
Can Title 42s (T42s) apply to the IETA program?
As with past cohorts, Title 42s are eligible to apply to the program as long as their supervisors are supportive. To be eligible for the program, a T42 employee must be a U.S. citizen. Non-U.S. citizen Title 42 employees are not currently eligible for the IETA program.
Are contractors eligible to apply to the IETA program?
Contractors are not eligible to apply to the IETA program.
Can Presidential Management Fellows (PMFs) apply to the IETA program?
PMFs are not currently eligible for the IETA program.
Are U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers assigned to non-HHS agencies eligible to apply to the IETA program?
Currently only those USPHS officers assigned to HHS agencies are eligible to apply to the IETA program. We are exploring opening IETA up to non-HHS assigned USPHS officers in the future. If you are an officer assigned to a non-HHS agency and you are interested in the program, you can share your interest by contacting the IETA program. In your email, please summarize your interest and whether you have supervisory support to participate in the program.
I applied once before and didn’t make it. Do repeat applicants succeed?
We welcome applications from previous applicants. The program has updated and expanded its eligibility criteria beginning for the 2022-2023 cohort. In addition, the IETA program is implementing a new screening process which began with the 2022-2023 cohort, which is described in detail on this website
International Field Assignment
Can I apply to the IETA program with a specific country in mind for my IETA field assignment?
The ideal IETA candidate is applying to the IETA program with a willingness to work in any of the countries where CDC has a presence. The program is not able to accommodate specific country requests.
How much flexibility/control do IETA applicants have in scheduling their field assignment?
The ideal IETA candidate can participate in the minimum 12-week field assignment anytime between January 15 and September 1 of the IETA program year they are applying to be part of. The timing of the field assignment is driven by host program need(s).
Can I bring my dependents with me on the minimum 12-week international field assignment?
The minimum 12-week field assignment is a professional tour of duty (TDY) for the IETA participant; therefore, family members are not eligible to travel on U.S. Government travel orders. All candidates applying to IETA should have the understanding they will not be accompanied by dependents for the duration of their field assignment. On a case-by-case basis the IETA program will explore specific requests/specific situations once the applicant is accepted into the program. Please understand that some of the potential host programs are located in high threat countries where it is highly discouraged for family members or others to join during the assignment. Dependents can visit during the IETA field assignment, as long as clearance is received and approved in advance by the U.S. Embassy.
Can I bring my pet with me on the field assignment?
All candidates applying to IETA should have the understanding they will not be able to be accompanied by a pet for the duration of their field assignment.
Can I split the 12-week field assignment requirement into two six-week field assignment in two country offices?
The ideal IETA applicant will apply to the program with the understanding that they will take part in a minimum 12-week field assignment in a country where CDC has a presence. The IETA program is open to the rare opportunity of an IETA participant fulfilling the minimum 12-week requirement split between two countries (minimum 6 weeks in each country). This opportunity, if made available, will be proposed by the host programs when they submit to the IETA Program their proposal to host an IETA participant.
What are examples of projects undertaken by IETA participants during their field assignments?
The IETA program seeks a wide variety of skillsets and professional backgrounds in applicants because there is great diversity in the technical expertise needs and opportunities in host program offices. We encourage potential applicants to watch the short alumni videos on this website to learn more about the range of projects undertaken. The IETA program continues to develop new alumni videos and will be adding them to this website as they are completed.
What are the benefits to the home office?
IETA equips its participants with cross-cutting competencies and transferable skills that they can bring back and use in their home office. We encourage potential applicants and supervisors of potential applicants to review the IETA competencies. Skillsets enhanced through the participation in the IETA program such as cross-cultural humility, diplomacy tradecraft, and partner engagement are transferrable to a domestic (i.e., U.S.-focused) position.