Public health informatics is the systematic application of knowledge about systems that capture, manage, analyze and use information to improve population health. The Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program (PHIFP) provides applied public health informatics training to fellows to apply computer science and information technology to public health problems.

PHIFP is a 2-year, competency-based training program in public health informatics. Fellows are placed in assignments in centers and offices across CDC where they gain experiential training to enhance the agency’s informatics workforce.

The following list includes routine tasks for PHIFP fellows:

  • Working with teams involved in research and development of public health information systems.
  • Conducting informatics evaluations on complex public health information systems.
  • Contributing to CDC’s emergency response activities.
  • Providing technical assistance to state and local health departments and international public health agencies through short-term assignments, or Info-Aids.

PHIFP aims to provide robust informatics capacity primarily to CDC, but also to other public health organizations. This fellowship:

  • Provides extensive training and experience preparing professionals to solve cutting-edge informatics issues in public health.
  • Ensure that fellows receive experience a curriculum that comprises 10% course work and 90% on-the-job training in both informatics and public health.

Fellows have helped to improve the implementation of information systems and conducted informatics evaluation projects.

Learn how informaticians are like translators in this video by the Public Health Informatics Institute.

The fellowship begins with an intensive orientation followed by real-world assignments and activities. Fellows work in a team environment and are mentored by public health and informatics experts.


In preparation for their assignments and activities, fellows are required to attend an orientation session that provides background about CDC, public health, and the role of informatics within the public health system.

Required Activities

PHIFP fellows learn through a combination of course work and on-the-job training. PHIFP fellows:

  • Work on public health informatics projects within their assigned CDC Centers.
  • Provide informatics assistance to state, local, and territorial health departments, international agencies and non-profit entities through special requests, or Info-Aids.
  • Develop, manage, and evaluate complex information systems.