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Applications are accepted from current students, recent graduates, and U.S. college/university faculty.

  • Eligibility

    The ORISE Research Participation Programs at CDC are educational and training programs designed to provide college students, recent graduates, and university faculty opportunities to participate in project-specific CDC research and developmental activities.

    Because of the educational nature of these programs, participants must fall into one of the following categories:

      1. Students must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university pursuing a degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM), and must maintain satisfactory progress in academic coursework.
      2. Postgraduate must have received their degree in an appropriate STEM discipline within 5 years of the appointment start date, or must complete all requirements for such a degree prior to the desired start date.
      3. Faculty must be full-time faculty from an accredited U.S. College or University.

    Applications will be considered without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or covered veteran’s status.

    The program is typically open to qualified U.S. Citizens, foreign nationals who are eligible to participate as J-1 Exchange Visitors, and foreign nationals eligible for other visa categories approved by CDC and ORISE.  For more information on eligibility requirements for non-U.S. citizens, please see Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens.

  • Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens

    In this section you will find information which is intended to be used as a guide. ORISE Immigration Services is required to verify the immigration status eligibility of selected participants.

    There are various types of immigration statuses that allow foreign nationals to participate in some Research Participation Programs where U.S. citizenship is not required. Generally, participants are not required to hold U.S. citizenship. However, a few CDC offices may have restricted areas that may only allow U.S. citizens access due to the sensitive nature of the research performed. 

    CDC’s Security Regulation

    The Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12) mandates a background check be completed for both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. If the background check cannot be completed by the time the appointment is to start, the candidate may be denied the appointment as they would not have access to the facility that is required for participation.


    For more information please visit the ORISE Immigration website.

  • Prior to Starting the Appointment

    Although the mentor may have selected the candidate for a project, there are additional steps that must be followed before the candidate can be cleared to begin the appointment.

    Required Application Materials

    • ORISE application through Zintellect
    • Current résumé
    • Official transcript showing most recent degree
    • One recommendation from an individual familiar with the candidate’s educational qualifications (for example, a current or past faculty member if possible)

    CDC requires ORISE participants to read and sign their CDC Education and Training Agreement within 30 days of his/her start date, setting forth the conditions and expectations for his/her educational appointment at the agency.

  • CDC Facilities Hosting ORISE Participants

    ORISE gives students, recent graduates and U.S. faculty an opportunity to be paired with a staff scientist who will provide a hands-on research experience at one of CDC’s many offices or centers listed below. More information can be found about each office/center by clicking on each below:

  • Current Research Opportunities

    A list of all current opportunities with ORISE Research Participation Programs at the CDC.

    Find out more

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Answers to the questions most commonly asked by applicants.

    Can current students participate in research at CDC through ORISE?
    Current undergraduate and graduate students may hold appointments during the summer or during the semester. Please visit current opportunities to find projects that are currently accepting applications from students.

    Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to participate in ORISE programs?
    Non-citizens with appropriate immigration statuses are eligible for most CDC appointments; a few CDC research projects require U.S. citizenship for security reasons. For more information on eligible immigration statuses, please see Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens.

    The project I want to apply for requires a completed degree. Do I need to have my degree completed before I apply, or can I apply if I am earning it within a few months?
    If you anticipate receiving your degree shortly, then you may apply. If you are selected, you will be required to show proof of degree completion before beginning the appointment.

    How long will my appointment last?
    Initial appointments are usually made for a maximum of one year. They may be extended up to a maximum total of five years, based upon program needs, funding availability, and participant eligibility. Shorter appointments are also available, based upon program needs and candidate availability. Many project descriptions state the expected duration of the appointment. 

    How many recommendations do I need? Will it help me to send more?
    One recommendation is required. Use your discretion as to whether additional recommendations will strengthen your application by highlighting aspects of your background that were not addressed elsewhere.

    Who should fill out a recommendation for me?
    You should obtain recommendations from people familiar with your educational and professional qualifications. At least one recommender should be a professor or other individual who can comment on your educational experience.

    How are participants selected?
    Participants are selected by the CDC mentor at CDC. ORISE staff will prescreen applications to ensure that all required materials have been received and that the participant has attained the required educational level, but are not otherwise involved in the selection process.

    How long does the application process take?
    If you have applied for a specific project, the CDC mentor for that project will determine how long applications will be accepted and how long the review process will take. Once the mentor has selected a candidate, there are several steps that must be completed before the candidate can receive an appointment letter.

    Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of getting an appointment?
    Please ensure that all of the necessary application materials have been received and that you have obtained the necessary educational qualifications. Successful applicants generally apply for a specific project. Please review the current opportunities that are available.

    Are there opportunities at CDC through ORISE that are not posted on the ORISE website?
    All opportunities for ORISE Research Participation Programs at CDC are listed in Zintellect. Check back often for additional postings.

    My mentor has told me that I have been selected for an appointment. When will I receive notification from ORISE?
    All ORISE appointments must be approved by CDC HR. ORISE will send an appointment letter once this approval is received and the funding for the appointment is in place.

    Can I relocate before I receive my appointment letter?
    We strongly discourage this. Only ORISE is authorized to offer you an appointment and you should not relocate or resign from your current position until you have received an appointment offer from ORISE.