FAQ, Infectious Diseases Laboratory Fellowship Program

What academic degrees are applicable to this program?

Appropriate academic degrees for the ID Laboratory Fellowship Program include master’s level degrees in biology, microbiology, virology, chemistry, public health, or a related discipline.  Applicants without a master’s-level degree in a physical science will be considered only if they have significant laboratory science and public health coursework or experience.

I will not have finished by master’s degree by the application deadline.  Can I still apply?

Yes, you do not have to have completed your degree by the application deadline.  However, the degree must be completed by the time the fellowship begins (July 2017).  Please note the expected award date of your degree in the program application.

I am not a US citizen.  Can I apply for the fellowship?

This program is open only to US citizens and permanent residents.  Proof of citizenship or permanent residency is a required part of the application process.

What types of training do the fellows receive?  What do they do in the host laboratories?

The fellowship program offers a wide variety of training and research experiences.  A specific objective-based curriculum is developed for each fellow focusing on areas such as: development and evaluation of diagnostic and subtyping techniques; antimicrobial sensitivity and assessment of mechanisms of resistance; principles of vector or animal control, or; research related to vaccine-preventable diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, foodborne diseases and/or imported infections.  For examples of past fellow projects, see here .

What are the public health laboratory core competencies?

The Competency Guidelines for Public Health Laboratory Professionals  outline the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for public health laboratory (PHL) professionals to deliver the core services of PHLs efficiently and effectively. 

Who are the program mentors?

Mentors are highly experienced public health laboratories who guide and direct the fellow for the duration of the program.  The mentors work at the host laboratory and are responsible for the academic, technical and ethical development of the fellow. 

Where are the host laboratories located, and can I choose my assignment?

Host laboratories are APHL member local and state public health laboratories that have demonstrated their ability to provide a fellow with the technical training, research opportunities, and practical experience required by the program.  Eligible laboratories are located throughout the US (all 50 states and the District of Columbia).  Laboratories must apply annually to host one or more fellows, and not all laboratories will apply.  Program finalists will have access to all 2017 host laboratory applications prior to their interviews.  Once fellowship positions have been offered and accepted, fellows will be encouraged to contract mentors and laboratories of interest, and will submit to APHL a list of preferred placements.  APHL cannot guarantee any particular geographic placement, and fellows must be willing to relocate.       

Who should write the letters of recommendation for my application?

Ideally your letters of recommendation should be written by individuals who can comment on y our laboratory skills and interests, such as science professors or laboratory supervisors.  Non-science professor and other employers are also acceptable references.

Will I receive notification that my application was receive by APHL?

Yes, APHL will confirm receipt of all applications by email.  However, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure his/her application is complete.  Please allow plenty of time for your references to submit their letters, and make sure your official transcripts and received by APHL by the February 17, 2017 deadline.

What is the criteria by which my application will be reviewed?

Each complete application will be reviewed by several members of the selection committee.  The selection committee includes representatives from APHL and its member laboratories, CDC staff and affiliates, and previous program mentors and fellows.  Applications are evaluated based on academic achievement, work experience, career goals, and letters of recommendation.

What happens after I complete the fellowship?

Some APHL fellows accept temporary or permanent positions in their host laboratories following completion of the fellowship program.  Others pursue advanced degrees, employment opportunities at academic or private laboratories, other research fellowships, and positions in health-related private industry or non-profit health-related organizations.  There is no guarantee of employment at the host laboratory, APHL or CDC following completion of the fellowship program.