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CDC Office on Smoking and Health Policy Fellowship Opportunity

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

CDC Office and Location: A research opportunity is available with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), within the Policy, Planning and Coordination Unit (PPCU) of the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) located in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the major operation components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CDC works to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

The Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) is the lead federal agency responsible for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control. The agency and its partners promote tobacco control interventions, including actions to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco products, smoke-free environments, programs to help tobacco product users quit, and efforts to advance health equity.

The OSH Policy, Planning and Coordination Unit is an exciting, fast-paced working environment. The team values and promotes cohesive teamwork, resourcefulness, proactive collaboration, and programmatic and professional excellence. This fellow will have an opportunity to further develop and apply technical skills, as well as learn about public health policy and communications through hands-on, practical experience.

Research Project: OSH’s Policy, Planning and Coordination Unit (PPCU) seeks a fellow who is passionate about public health policy and strategic communications, and advancing commercial tobacco prevention and control. The mission of PPCU is to provide leadership on policy, partnerships, planning, media relations, strategic messaging and other major initiatives in support of tobacco prevention and control priorities. PPCU collaborates with CDC and HHS leadership, policymakers, state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations to develop and support tobacco control priorities and to fulfill OSH’s mission and goals.

During this appointment, the ORISE fellow will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in the analyses of tobacco prevention and control science and policy-related documents and provide technical assistance to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Contribute to a comprehensive and integrated issues management program including environmental scanning/issue identification, monitoring, tracking and analysis; message formation; and incorporation of information into strategic and operational plans.
  • Develop internal and external communication materials, including briefing materials for senior leaders, web content, campaign and publication releases and other materials reflecting program activities.
  • Support partnership and communication strategies for the release of publications and reports including scientific articles, Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs and Surgeon General’s reports.

Learning Objectives: The fellow will have the opportunity to learn about public health policy and communications through hands on engagement, shadowing, and mentorship by a cadre of highly experienced response professionals. The fellow will gain exposure to a variety of content areas such as policy analysis, partner engagement, and internal and external communications.

Mentor(s)The mentor for this opportunity is Jennifer Tucker ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: October 23, 2023.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for six months, but may be renewed upon recommendation of CDC and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR).

ORISE InformationThis program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and CDC. Participants do not become employees of CDC, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

The successful applicant(s) will be required to comply with Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) requirements of the hosting facility, including but not limited to, COVID-19 requirements (e.g. facial covering, physical distancing, testing, vaccination). Additionally, the fellow will follow the telework schedule based on guidance and recommendations applicable to all Division staff.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.



The qualified candidate should have received a master's degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g. Public Health, Public Policy, Political Science and Government), or be currently pursuing the degree with completion before December 31, 2023. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred Skills/Experience:

  • Experience or knowledge in public policy, public health or health communications
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Detail oriented with significant emphasis on the quality of work
  • Strong interpersonal skills to develop, foster and maintain cooperative relations
  • Ability to multi-task both short and long-term projects