Applications for the APHL-CDC Food Safety Laboratory Fellowship summer 2023 cohort will open in fall 2022.
About the APHL-CDC Food Safety Fellowship Program
The APHL-CDC Food Safety Laboratory Fellowship trains and prepares scientists for careers in public health and/or state agriculture laboratories and supports initiatives related to the surveillance of foodborne pathogens and safety of the human food supply. The fellowship’s mission is to provide a high-quality, cross-disciplinary training experience for the fellow while providing workforce capacity to APHL member public health and agriculture laboratories. Fellows apply their skills to a range of important and emerging public health problems while gaining experience in areas such as regulatory food testing, genomic characterization of enteric pathogens, foodborne pathogen cluster and outbreak detection, food safety aspects of chemical, microbiological and radiologic science, or food laboratory accreditation.
Examples of possible projects and research include:
Validating/implementing metagenomics pipelines for enteric pathogens
Developing methods to study outbreaks of undetermined etiology
Analyzing enteric sequencing data for
Improving processes under the umbrella of laboratory quality improvement
Developing sampling plans with food regulators to achieve local and national risk reduction goals.
The program is a full-time working fellowship for bachelor's-, master's- and doctoral-level scientists. The program term is one year, with a possible extension. Fellows are placed in state, local and territorial public health or agriculture laboratories, where they will receive training in bench-level laboratory skills and methods and assist with high-priority food safety initiatives. Fellows will gain an understanding of the principles of public health surveillance, the US food system as it relates to public health risks, the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration with foodborne disease epidemiologists and environmental health specialists, cross-sectional one health concepts, and health promotion and health equity.
Once in their host laboratories, fellows are supervised by an experienced mentor and work on bench-level projects proposed by the host laboratory. Fellows may have opportunities to collaborate with other state agencies (health or agriculture) or federal (CDC/FDA) laboratories. In addition to project-specific work, fellows participate in program orientation and distance-based training and learning activities to achieve proficiency in select public health laboratory core competencies.
Food safety in a public health setting is driven by a highly adaptable workforce that must be comfortable in a multidisciplinary environment, including traditional microbiology, molecular biology, virology, biochemistry, chemistry and radiochemistry. Scientists working in food safety must have a sound understanding of the public health risks associated with foodborne pathogens and the need for close communication and collaboration with epidemiologists. Food safety scientists must have a strong understanding of quality systems and evidence handling and how these systems hold equal importance to sound analytical data within a regulatory environment. This APHL-CDC fellowship will prepare you for such a career.
Fellows receive a stipend, allowances for health insurance and professional development, and complimentary student membership to APHL. The 2022 stipend range is $41,000–68,000 depending on degree, experience and host laboratory location.
Fellow Eligibility and Requirements
The application includes a curriculum vitae or resume, narrative statement, unofficial transcripts (official transcripts will be required prior to start date), proof of US citizenship or permanent resident status, and three letters of recommendation. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all materials are received by the application deadline.
APHL member state, local and territorial public health laboratories, environmental, chemical, agricultural and food safety laboratories, and occasionally federal laboratories, are eligible to host fellows. Laboratory staff interested in applying to host a fellow should review the
Host Laboratory Information webpage before submitting their application.
View a list of
Frequently Asked Questions about the fellowship program and the application process. Still have questions? Contact APHL program staff at