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FDA Health Communications Fellowship

ORISESilver Spring, MD
Paid Internship

3 years ago


*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

A research opportunity is currently available within the Division of Research and Evaluation (R&E), Office of Health Communication and Education (OHCE) in the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, Maryland.

CTP aims to protect Americans from tobacco-related death and disease by regulating the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products and by educating the public, especially young people, about tobacco products and the dangers their use poses to themselves and others. CTP oversees the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

The selected participant will have the opportunity to learn about the Tobacco Control Act and the development and implementation of health communication program activities and strategies, including national public education campaigns. More specifically, the selected participant will learn about scientific health communication support to OHCE. Activities may include:

  • Learning about formative research and evaluation of health communication and marketing strategies, projects or initiatives geared toward various audiences to increase the reach and public health impact of CTP’s messages through various networks and partnership vehicles
  • Learning how to apply best practices in behavior change communication to the creation of evidence-based strategies and tactics
  • Learning the interpretation and communication of complex scientific information at a level CTP’s audiences can fully understand
  • Learning the scientific review of content for FDA’s tobacco public health education campaigns and regulatory communications
  • Maintaining resources for scientific review
  • Keeping up-to-date on tobacco survey data and reviewing studies concerning tobacco products to ensure OHCE’s communications are supported by the best available science and reflect the most up-to-date information and statistics

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and FDA. The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of FDA contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time at FDA in the Silver Spring, Maryland, area. Participants do not become employees of FDA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at FDA. OPM can complete a background investigation only for individuals, including non-US Citizens, who have resided in the US for a total of three of the past five years.

FDA requires ORISE participants to read and sign their FDA 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. This agreement covers such topics as the following:

  • Non-employee nature of the ORISE appointment;
  • Prohibition on ORISE Fellows performing inherently governmental functions;
  • Obligation of ORISE Fellows to convey all necessary rights to the FDA regarding intellectual property conceived or first reduced to practice during their fellowship;
  • The fact that research materials and laboratory notebooks are the property of the FDA;
  • ORISE fellow’s obligation to protect and not to further disclose or use non-public information.

Required graduation year

2016 - 2026


The qualified candidate should be currently pursuing or have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge of social marketing, health communication science, social science or advertising
  • Knowledge of public health environments at local, state, and national levels
  • Knowledge of and experience contributing to the development of youth-focused prevention strategies
  • Outstanding organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Intermediate to advanced experience with the Microsoft Office Suite


The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.
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Skills you'll need for this internship

    health communication
    public health education
    public health
    health education


provided by employer

What happens after you send in your application?

ORISE has not provided an expected interview date. Due to the volume of applications, ORISE has indicated that they will not follow up unless you are selected for an interview.

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Career Paths

People who completed this type of internship end up in the following types of jobs

Top majors

That get hired for this type of internship

  • Political Science And Government11%

  • Communication6%

  • Economics5%

  • Psychology4%

  • Business Administration Management And Operations4%

  • 342 other majors68%

People who did this kind of internship end up at the following companies

  • US Congress
  • United States Senate
  • US Department Of State
  • Teach For America
  • Deloitte
Typical benefits offered for paid internships

(National average offered by employers)



Relocation Assistance




Housing Assistance

(avg. $2,892)




Travel Stipend

(avg. $978)




Tuition Reimbursement




Medical Insurance




401(k) Company Match




Paid Holidays


Estimated Monthly Living Expenses

For Silver Spring, MD | $5,379/mo

  • Housing/Rent$3,303

  • Miscellaneous$983

  • Food$499

  • Utilities$302

  • Transportation$292


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