Background In 1994 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated with a broad range of partners in clinical medicine and public health to develop an emerging infections strategy in response to the recommendations issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its 1993 report, “Emerging
Microbial Threats to Health in the United States.” Leading this strategy was the CDC Office of Infectious Diseases (OID)/National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).
One goal was to strengthen local, state, and federal public health infrastructures to support surveillance and implement prevention and control programs.
The implementation strategy for this goal was to:
1) provide state-of-the-art training in diagnostic evaluation and testing for medical laboratory personnel to ensure the diagnosis and surveillance of emerging infections; and 2) establish a public health laboratory fellowship in infectious diseases that will train medical microbiologists in public health approaches to diagnosis and molecular epidemiology.
In 1994 the Resident Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Microbiology was initiated through a CDC cooperative agreement administered directly by the NCEZID Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections (DPEI).
Purpose This fellowship program supports CDC's mission to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U. S. by detecting, responding to, and stopping new and emerging health threats, and by discovering new ways to protect and improve the public’s health through science and advanced technology.
This program aligns with NCEZID's mission to reduce illness and death associated with emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases and to protect against the unintentional or intentional spread of infectious diseases.
It addresses the following strategies and objectives to:
1) advance and increase effectiveness of infectious disease laboratory science; 2) develop and apply the science to support and implement new and proven approaches to prevent and control infectious diseases; 3) improve public health laboratory capacity for bioterrorism preparedness and response by developing and validating new tools and tests to aid laboratory detection and identification of new, unknown, emerging, or bioterror disease threats; and 4) support the NCEZID workforce by attracting, maintaining, and developing a highly skilled, motivated and diverse workforce to fulfill the mission of NCEZID.
Program Description The goals of the fellowship program are:
1) to increase the number of scientists trained and experienced in novel and practical applications of microbiology; and 2) to produce a cadre of infectious disease scientists in public health laboratories, thus increasing workforce capacity and enhancing the nation’s public health laboratory system in the US and globally.
The program offers two-year fellowships in a CDC infectious disease laboratory.
Although the fellows conduct infectious disease research projects in CDC host laboratories, the funds awarded through this program are only for non-research activities only, which include stipends and related support costs for fellows, and for recipient costs to administer the program.
The program targets individuals who:
1) have received a doctorate degree in a scientific concentration, or will have earned this degree prior to their proposed fellowship start date, and 2) are no more than three years past either receiving their doctorate degree or completing their first post-doctoral residency.
Resident fellows are recommended by a prospective CDC preceptor and host laboratory, and chosen through a highly competitive evaluation and selection process.
CDC provides a unique and fertile scientific environment for young investigators to develop skills and expertise, and advance knowledge in infectious diseases.
Fellows acquire specific experience in the public health aspects of microbiology, new approaches, methodologies, and knowledge in infectious disease diagnosis, prevention and control.
Scientific areas of concentration may include viral and Rickettsial infections, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, vector-borne infectious diseases, respiratory, enteric and food-borne bacterial diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, parasitic diseases, and other diseases or conditions relevant to the disciplines of bacteriology, virology, parasitology, medical entomology, mycology, immunology, and pathology.
Program Administration The recipient develops and conducts a Resident Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Microbiology in collaboration with and guidance from CDC Scientific Advisory Committee and staff.
The recipient provides microbiology-focused scientific, administrative, and training expertise.
Recipient activities will include marketing the program to qualified individuals, developing and implementing a competitive fellow application and selection process; establishing policies and procedures for payment of fellows' stipends, enrollment in health insurance, travel and participation in professional development activities; developing public health laboratory competencies for each fellow and assessing each fellow's progress during his/her fellowship tenure; and evaluating overall program performance.
CDC activities will include collaborating with the recipient on program planning and implementation; selecting and providing guidance to prospective CDC preceptors and host laboratories; providing scientific and administrative support to fellows; arranging for the review/clearance of publications and presentations; and monitoring program progress.