CDC Office and Location: A fellowship opportunity is available with the Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch of the Division of HIV Prevention (DHP) within the National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) 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. 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: This fellowship offers the opportunity to gain experience in public health surveillance and its related data system. State and local health departments are funded to collect data for the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) system in 22 metropolitan project areas throughout the United States. NHBS collects and reports data on populations at increased risk for HIV infection including men who have sex with men, persons who inject drugs, heterosexually active persons at increased risk for HIV, and transgender persons in the United States. NHBS data are used to monitor issues affecting these populations, which include describing racial disparities, reporting HIV prevalence and awareness, exploring the prevalence of HIV-related risk behaviors, such as drug use and sex, and examining access to HIV testing, care and prevention. NHBS collects data through personal interviews and HIV testing and is the only national source of data on HIV-negative members of populations overburdened by HIV. Experience through this fellowship will focus on improving the efficiency of the NHBS data system, a complex bio-behavioral public health surveillance system.
Learning Objectives: Specific opportunities during the fellowship may include:
• Collaborating with State health departments to identify challenges to securing the recommended hardware (hotspots, tablets, etc.) and to obtain and summarize their feedback on the revised data system,
• Learning about respondent driven sampling (RDS), venue-based sampling (VBS), and other methods used to recruit hard-to-reach populations into a large, multi-site public health surveillance system,
• Coordinating revisions to the NHBS data system, including resources and tasks
• Communicating system changes to the MMP/NHBS Data Coordinating Center (DCC) (which will implement the changes to the system),
• Creating visual aids to communicate how data flows through the NHBS data system and how the system can be revised to be more efficient and improve overall management of NHBS data,
• Reviewing requirements for the revised data system to ensure they capture what is needed,
• Developing data documentation and other technical reports for the bio-behavioral public health surveillance system,
• Researching computer hardware required to carry out the required data system changes (e.g., hotspots that can maintain a link to the internet while NHBS interviews are conducted),
• Collaborating on user acceptance testing (UAT) of the revised data system to ensure the revised data system does what is intended,
• Reviewing data collected by health departments to identify and resolve data quality issues,
• Participating in the preparation of reports and articles for peer-reviewed journals,
• Creating SAS programs to conduct data analyses and manage data, and
• Helping to provide training to health department staff.
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 19, 2022. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.
Appointment Length: The 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 Participation: The appointment is full-time.
Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.
ORISE Information: This 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).
The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g. Data Science, Health Informatics, Computer Science), or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion before the appointment start date. Most recent degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.
Preferred skills include:
- Experience using Microsoft Visio to draw flow charts or other visuals aids that can be used to document a data system (e.g., charts reflecting how data flow through a system).
- Knowledge of how to manage a software development project.
- Experience using statistical software (SAS preferred, but not required), spreadsheet software (e.g., Excel) and database software (e.g., SQL, SQL Server, Access).
- Strong data management skills.
- Strong writing and communication skills.
- General knowledge of HIV prevention and infectious diseases.