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Research Project Description

Public Affairs/Communications Fellowship
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office of the Secretary, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, D.C.


Project Description:

A fellowship is available in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) within the Office of the Secretary (OS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

OASH provides leadership to the nation on public health and science matters, and communicates on these subjects. ODPHP has been leading the alignment of disease prevention and health promotion activities across DHHS for more than 30 years.

Selected participants will research best practices in the dynamic, fast-paced field of public health, synthesize data and respond to critical public health issues with targeted messages aimed at raising awareness of important health priorities, enabling individuals and communities to make informed health decisions, helping organizations and communities replicate best practices in their own settings, and increasing coverage in the media. Opportunities may include:

  • Developing media strategies and creating communication plans to promote ODPHP’s various initiatives, campaigns and activities
  • Writing and editing press releases, media advisories, talking points, speeches and other communications materials to promote various ODPHP-related projects, campaigns and activities, as well as communications material related to healthcare-associated infections and public health quality initiatives
  • Writing articles for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, blogs, and other print and online publications
  • Increasing social media activities to reach and engage ODPHP’s target audiences
  • Contributing to branding ODPHP products, including Health People, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, and, and identifying opportunities for collaboration and coordination with other internal and external partners
  • Participating in outreach activities to build and expand stakeholder partnerships and identifying opportunities in which ODPHP tools and resources can be integrated into existing or new campaigns, initiatives and programs to help promote health and wellness

The Research Participation Program for DHHS is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of OASH contingent on the availability of funds and project needs. The participant will receive a monthly stipend based on educational level and experience. The participant must show proof of health insurance. The appointment is full-time at OASH in the Washington, D.C./Rockville, Maryland, area. Participants do not become employees of OASH, DHHS, or the program administrator, and there are no fringe benefits paid.


  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in marketing, communications, journalism, public relations, public affairs or a related field received within the last five years.
  • Experience working in a health or public health communications field is preferred.

How to Apply:

To be considered, please send a current CV/resume and writing sample to the attention of Please reference DHHS-OASH-2014-0110 in all communications.