Frequently Asked Questions

What distinguishes the PMF program at CDC from PMF programs at other federal government agencies?

The PMF program at CDC offers a unique opportunity for fellows to gain public health leadership experience by working with senior-level public health program managers and directors. CDC PMF program also provide fellows with 40 hours of interactive leadership training per year that count towards the 80 hours of training per year requirement, and conducts evaluations of those trainings. Because of the robust PMF program at the CDC, it has been recognized by the Office of Personnel Management by being awarded the PMF Coordinator of the Year in 2018.

What is the structure of the PMF program at CDC?

The program provides competency-based training, and leadership-focused mentoring as fellows develop into public health professionals. Fellows are placed in one of CDC’s Centers, Institute, or Offices (CIOs), and are required to participate in at least one 4 to 6-month developmental assignment either within CDC, or at another federal agency. CDC fellows may participate in an additional assignment rotation to increase their leadership experience. Fellows at the CDC also have the opportunity to give back to the community by participating in the PMF Community Service Day where they volunteer as a group at a non-profit organization of their choice.

What training will I receive?

The training curriculum aligns with a spectrum of public health competencies and performance requirements. The curriculum covers topics such as health policy, interpersonal skills, and subjects related to communication and leadership. This dynamic combination of training ensures that all PMF program fellows at CDC gain experience in broad areas of leadership and management.

What will I gain as a PMF at CDC?

CDC offers PMFs skill-building activities, public health seminars, courses, conferences, and other trainings aligned with fellows’ interests and career goals. Fellows develop and support the implementation of policies, programs, or initiatives that help to prevent disease and promote the health of all people.

To be a PMF at CDC, do I need experience or courses in public health or science?

No. The program is open to fellows from diverse educational backgrounds. PMF provides developmental opportunities and training to prepare fellows for careers in public service.

What types of projects will I work on at CDC?

CDC PMF program fellows work on a variety of assignments. For example, a CDC fellow may:

  • Analyze public health legislation
  • Communicate with key collaborators on public health policy and program activities
  • Coordinate budget formulation activities
  • Create organization-wide reports for internal and external stakeholders
  • Develop new initiatives that contribute to the mission of the organization
  • Evaluate program activities

CDC offers a wide range of policy-based public health leadership and management positions. Position titles include health policy analyst, public health analyst, public health advisor, management and program analyst, and health communication specialist.

How will my salary be determined?

The incoming GS level is negotiable based on degree and experience but steps are non-negotiable. GS-9 step 1 pdf icon[PDF – 1 page]external icon is the standard initial grade level for incoming fellows at CDC. Some finalists with a doctoral degree or extensive public health work experience may qualify for GS-11 step 1 pdf icon[PDF – 1 page]external icon or GS-12 step 1, if they meet the Office of Personnel Management qualifications. For salary information, visit the OPMexternal icon website.

What will be my start date if I am chosen as a fellow?

Start dates vary based on degree attainment date and the fellow’s availability. Fellows typically start their assignments in May, June, or July, but can start as early as March. All incoming fellows are required to attend CDC’s PMF orientation during the last week in July.

Does my time in CDC’s PMF program count towards career tenure to qualify me for retirement and other benefits?

Yes, this two-year fellowship counts toward the service requirement for career tenure.