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CDC Disease Surveillance Internship

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

CDC Office and LocationThree research opportunities are currently available in the Surveillance and Data Branch, Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance (DHIS), Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Sciences (CSELS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The mission of DHIS is to provide leadership and cross-cutting support in developing public health information systems, managing public health surveillance programs, and provisioning health related data required to monitor, control, and prevent the occurrence and spread of diseases and other adverse health conditions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the major operation components of the Department of Health and Human Services. 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.

Research Project: The selected participant will have the opportunity to learn duties and functions focused on how data for CDC’s National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) are submitted by jurisdictions, processed, stored, monitored for data quality, and how CDC works collaboratively with jurisdictions and CDC programs to improve the data. The participant will also learn how new data submission standards for nationally notifiable conditions are collaboratively developed and implemented. The participant will have the opportunity to assist staff in supporting NNDSS data collection, management, and dissemination and will learn about health information systems used for surveillance and tools used to support data processing, design, query, data quality, analytics, and data standardization.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will be involved in the following activities:
  • Document technical and/or programmatic issues experienced by CDC programs and jurisdictions and work with DHIS staff to triage issues and/or address these issues
  • Elicit requirements to automate, streamline, enhance the NNDSS data quality, monitor data quality, and escalate issues as appropriate aimed at improving data quality
  • Design, integrate, test, implement and evaluate the system and/or process designed to automate, streamline and/or enhance the NNDSS data onboarding process
  • Assist in the development of process workflows and integrated work plans as needed to document the system and/or process
  • Assist in the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Conduct data quality checks
  • Convert data into multiple file formats, e.g. SAS, EXCEL, etc.
  • Use relational databases, e.g. SQL
  • Develop databases queries and reports with SQL
  • Program and analyze data using SAS 

Learning Objectives
  • Analyze surveillance data and/or messages
  • Manage and evaluate jurisdiction and CDC program inquiries about surveillance data and/or CDC systems supporting case notifications
  • Describe the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS), data workflow, and the data formats used

Mentor(s)The mentors for this opportunity are Antheny Wilson (, Ruth Jajosky ( and Danielle Tack ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: August 1, 2021. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for one year, 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 Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

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.

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 (CDC-CSELS-2021-0217).