Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be paid?

Yes, fellows are paid. Those holding a doctoral level degree who begin their fellowship program in the Classes of 2018 and beyond are paid the equivalent of a GS 12, Step 3 salary. Those holding a master’s level degree are paid the equivalent of a GS 11, Step 3 salary. Fellows may be eligible for a salary increase after one year of appointment, based on performance and written recommendation by appropriate management officials. See the Office of Personnel Management Salary Tableexternal icon for more information. Relocation expenses are not authorized for those who begin their fellowship program in the Classes of 2018 and beyond.

Will I be a CDC employee?

Yes. You will be a temporary employee of CDC during the fellowship. You will receive some employment benefits (e.g., vacation time) and must pay taxes on your income.

Are international candidates eligible for PHIFP?

Yes. International candidates are eligible for the program and are required to have the appropriate visa before starting the program.

Will I need to relocate?

Yes. Fellows are required to relocate to their assignment location. Most assignments are at CDC Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, however relocation may be required to one of the assignment locations listed below:

  • Washington, DC
  • Fort Collins or Denver, Colorado
  • Hyattsville, Maryland
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Assignments may also occur in other locations.

Will I be required to travel?

Travel is not required for all assignments. However, you may have the opportunity to travel for short-term assignments throughout the United States and internationally.

Where will I be assigned?

You will be assigned to work in various programs throughout CDC. Placement depends on a best fit between your interests and skills and your placement program’s needs. A sincere effort is made to best to match fellows with assignments that will provide them with the greatest opportunities for professional development

I am presently in my Masters in Public Health program and will complete the program by summer next year. Am eligible for the program?

The PHIFP program is currently open to students who have completed a post-secondary degree (e.g., MPH, PhD, MD, etc.). As such, the PHIFP program only accepts fellows who have, or will have, their post-secondary degrees completed prior to the official start date. For additional information about the PHIFP eligibility requirements, please visit the PHIFP program Check Eligibility webpage.

Can I apply via the PhD level route when my degree will be awarded in April?

As long as the degree is completed prior to the official start date. For more information about eligibility for the PHIFP program, please visit the PHIFP program Check Eligibility webpage.

How do I know if I have informatics work experience?

Please review the definition of Public Health Informatics, the Public Health Informatics competencies, and the PHIFP program eligibility as a guiding framework. For more information about eligibility for the PHIFP program, please visit the PHIFP program Check Eligibility webpage.

Are all fellowships done in the USA only?

Yes. Fellows are required to relocate to their assignment location. Most assignments are at CDC Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, but assignments may involve other locations in the US. The main assignment locations are the following: Washington, DC – Fort Collins or Denver, Colorado – Hyattsville, Maryland – Cincinnati, Ohio – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, though assignments may also occur in other locations.

Can I choose the departments/divisions I can work with during the fellowship?

The PHIFP program uses a matching process to assign perspective fellows to host sites. The objective of the matching process is to facilitate better match of host sites to candidates when feasible. We use a matching process where host sites rank all interviewed applicants in strict order of preference, and the interviewed applicants also rank host sites in strict order of preference.

Are academic presentations and publications required to apply to PHIFP?

While not a PHIFP requirement, we strongly encourage applicants to list all their academic presentations, publications and scientific accomplishments in their application.

May I list my internships and work study as part of my work history?

Yes, you may list your internships and work study as part of your work history, and please follow the instructions in the application (e.g., hours worked, timeframe, accomplishments, etc.).

What is the program looking for in the Personal Statement?

Personal statements should describe the informatics work you have completed and what you hope to gain from the PHIFP Program. Please see the PHIFP Application for more information about your personal statement.

Can I apply without recommendations?

No, PHIFP requires three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic achievements, aspirations, personal qualities, and professional attributes.

Can I select two references from the same organization?

Yes, you may select two references from the same organization. PHIFP requires one letter of recommendation come from a current or former supervisor or profession and at least two additional recommendations from persons who are not currently employed at CDC.

To whom should my letters of reference be addressed?

Please inform recommenders that you will be requesting a standardized letter of recommendation (SLOR) from them and to expect an email with a link to the online form that they should use to complete the SLOR. For more information about letters of reference, please visit the PHIFP application page.

I don’t understand what you mean by “foreign credential evaluation”. May I have more information?

If you have any foreign academic degree (a degree not conferred from USA), you will be required to have your degree evaluated from an academic credentialing company. Please refer to the National Association of Credential Evaluation Serviceexternal icon for a listing of evaluation agencies and more information about submitting your degrees for evaluation.

Will employee benefits like health insurance, dental, vision, short and long term disability, retirement, HSA account, etc. be offered? Will there be a monthly allowance for health purpose?

Fellows who are accepted into the fellowship program will receive benefits such as health insurance. Regarding dental and vision insurance, short- and long-term disability, retirement, etc., some of these options are available to fellows. The Human Resource Office will discuss the options with fellows who are accepted into the fellowship program upon their arrival at CDC. Additionally, options may also vary per fellow. However, there will not be a monthly allowance for health purposes.

What is the parental leave policy for this fellowship?

Please discuss CDC paternal leave policy with your host site.

Can I apply for PHIFP if I don’t have my degree before the August 2022 projected start-date?

No, your degree must be completed prior to starting the fellowship program. We will consider applicants that will have degrees conferred prior to the start-date.