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As a current Fellow, I’m happy to share 5 tips with you that will assist you in submitting a strong application to the PHI/CDC Global Health Fellowship Program. Although some of these tips may be obvious, it doesn’t hurt to review this list and double check your application to ensure a successful application process.
1. Do your Research:

The PHI/CDC Global Health Fellowship Program provides a lot of resources on their website and social media channels to ensure that applicants are equipped with all the information needed to submit a relevant application. This includes the Fellow Experience Webinar, Frequently Asked Questions, and a blog. Although informational interviews are no longer available for the current 2019-2020 application cycle, those looking to apply for the next application cycles should sign up for an informational interview as soon as they’re available since spots fill up immediately. Additionally, there are currently 46 fellows placed in 14 different countries, and you can access articles about some of their experiences here.

2. Tailor your Resume and Essays:

Having a tailored resume and essays are important so that you clearly demonstrate that your experience and skillset aligns with the work you will be doing in the fellowship program. To best tailor your documents, review the technical track descriptions on the website, and use the information you found from researching the program (as advised above). Also follow the official PHI/CDC resume guidance to craft your resume.

3. Manage your time well and have someone review your application:

The application is open for only 5 weeks (December 16, 2019 to January 22, 2020), so it’s important that you manage your time well to complete a quality application on time. You can save the application and return to it at a later time, however I do suggest you start early, since there is a minimum of 3 essays required for submission (and up to 5 if you apply to 3 technical track areas). I suggest planning to submit your application ahead of the deadline but do make sure you take your time when writing the essays and have someone review your resume and essays for content and grammar. It’s important that you submit your application on time or else it won’t be considered. The deadline to submit applications is Wednesday January 22, 2020 at 12pm PST (3PM EST).

4. Pay attention to detail:

One of the biggest errors you can make when applying is not following instructions. Make sure that you read the instructions thoroughly both before and after submission. Common mistakes can include naming your files incorrectly, not answering all components of the essay prompts, and having spelling and grammatical errors throughout your application. Also make sure all your contact details and manually entered information is accurate.

5. Reflect on your short-term and long-term goals before applying to the program:

This may be a more helpful tip for the interview stage, however it’s important to know your reasons for wanting to pursue this specific fellowship program. The commitment is for one year at a time with an option to renew up to three years, so I recommend applying with an idea of the skills you’d like to further develop and gain in this position. In both the written application and interview stage it is essential that you know how to communicate your motivation and passion for public health, express your professional development career goals, and demonstrate why you are a competitive candidate for the position.

Best of luck with your application!

By: Vanessa Da Costa, MPH, PHI/CDC Global Health Epidemiology Fellow, CDC South Africa