​​​​​NBS Fellowship Program

APHL member local and state public health newborn screening laboratories are eligible to apply to host a Ronald H. Laessig Memorial NBS fellow. One (1) doctorate-level, two (2)-year fellowship was awarded in 2017. Below are eligibility criteria; the link to the application form will be posted here when the next application cycle begins in summer 2019. If you have any questions, please contact guisou.zarbalian@aphl.org.

Instructions and requirements

The host laboratory staff must demonstrate the ability to provide a high quality training experience and research opportunities for the fellow, in accordance with the program timeline. In addition to laboratory-specific work, fellows participate in distance-based training and learning activities to achieve proficiency in select public health laboratory core competencies. There is no guarantee that an eligible laboratory will receive a fellow. The host laboratory must meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate adequate laboratory research capabilities in NBS
  • Have a demonstrated ability to provide training and/or research opportunities
  • Provide opportunities for the fellow to participate in "research in progress" or other relevant seminar series or teleconferences
  • Provide an on-site mentor (or mentors) who will inform, instruct and provide an example for the fellow. The mentor will assist the fellow as a functional member of the laboratory and provide a stimulating atmosphere in which to learn and conduct research​
  • Allow the fellow sufficient time away from the proposed laboratory-specific work to participate in APHL-led distance-based training and learning activities to achieve proficiency in select public health laboratory core competencies.  This distance-based training is expected to take up to 30% of the fellow's time during the program
  • Designate an on-site "facilitator" to interact with the fellow, mentor(s), and host laboratory personnel.  This individual will assist the fellow in the logistics of working at the laboratory and situating to the area, including locating local housing
  • Supply the fellow with appropriate office and laboratory space, facilities, technical and clerical support.  This includes an email account, and access to necessary equipment and personnel
  • Be an APHL member laboratory​

​Mentor requirements and responsibilities

​The mentor(s) will be highly experienced public health laboratorians who will guide and direct the fellow for the duration of the program. Previous fellowship mentors have been NBS program directors; for local public health laboratories interested in applying, the mentor(s) may be another appropriate highly experienced laboratorian. Mentors should work on-site at the host laboratory and will be responsible for the academic, technical and ethical development of the fellow. Mentors must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a supervisory level laboratory position
  • Have research and training experience/goals complimentary to the fellow's project
  • Be available and accessible for the duration of the program
  • Provide a realistic appraisal of the fellow's goals and performance based on objectives agreed upon at the beginning of the assignment
  • Provide constructive criticism and enthusiastic support to the fellow
  • Provide periodic written reports to APHL on the fellow's progress


The application period for host laboratories has closed. The next application cycle will begin in summer 2019. Please email guisou.zarbalian@aphl.org with any questions about this process.​​