What Fellows Do

Key points

  • PHIFP trains professionals in public health informatics competencies.
  • Fellows are placed in assignments at centers, institutes, and offices (CIOs) across CDC, where they engage in experiential training to enhance the agency's informatics workforce.
  • Fellows participate in the Data Science Upskilling (DSU) program, a team- and project-based training opportunity.

Opportunities & Updates

Fellowship Application

The fellowship application period is closed. Check back in August 2024 for the next opportunity.

What Fellows Learn

PHIFP provides fellows with a two-year, competency-based training in public health informatics. Fellows receive experiential training to enhance the informatics workforce at CDC and serve other public health organizations through:

  • Solving cutting-edge public health issues using computer science, data science, and information technology.
  • A training curriculum that consists of 90% on-the job training and 10% coursework in informatics, data science, and public health.
  • Improving the implementation of information systems and conduct informatics evaluation.


In preparation for the real-world assignments and activities, fellows are required to attend a two-week orientation that provides background information about CDC, public health, and the role of informatics within the public health system.

Required activities

PHIFP fellows learn through a combination of on-the-job training and coursework. As part of their requirements, PHIFP fellows:

  • Work on public health informatics projects within the assigned host site (host site projects).
  • Provide short-term technical assistance to federal, international, state, local, and territorial health departments and non-profit agencies through special requests (Info-Aids).
  • Design, develop, implement, enhance, or evaluate an information system or artifact in the public health domain (capstone project).

Data science skills

First year PHIFP fellows are automatically enrolled in the Data Science Upskilling (DSU) program and will have access to:

  • Massive open online course (MOOC) licenses.
  • Three intensive week-long bootcamps:
    • Covers a variety of topics such as computational literacy, analytics and statistical literacy, machine learning, data visualization, and systems interoperability
  • DSU Fridays:
    • two-hour bi-weekly sessions for building skills in areas such as data visualization frameworks, Git and Github, building an interactive Python dashboard and app, Jupyter Notebooks, as well as R and Rshiny

The DSU program helps fellows develop skills in the following data science literacy domains:

  • Computational
  • Statistical
  • Machine Learning
  • Visualization
  • Ethical Use of Data

Fellows collaborate in a team environment and are mentored by public health, informatics, and data science subject matter experts (SMEs).

How Fellows Serve

During their assignments in CDC centers, institutes, and offices (CIOs), PHIFP fellows provide robust informatics capacity that also provides solutions for state and local health departments and international public health agencies.

PHIFP fellows routinely perform the following activities:

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