Public Health Fellowship Opportunities

Michelle Ball


Over recent years, healthcare has become the largest employer in the United States, with many jobs in a wide array of industries such as administration/management, technology/analytics, and public health, policy, and health promotion. However, if you are interested in a gap year(s), higher education, travel, study, or volunteer work you may be interested in applying to fellowships. The U.S. News & World Report defines a fellowship as “a monetary award given to a scholar to pay for their academic pursuits.” This blog will overview some of these merit-based scholarship opportunities to pursue advanced study of public health subjects.  

IMHE Post-Bachelor Fellowship

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) is an independent global health research center at the University of Washington which works to identify the best strategies to build a healthier world. This organization has a Post-Bachelor Fellowship (PBF) which allows graduates to help advance the health metrics field and accelerate global health progress. 

This fellowship involves research, training workshops, coursework, and advising/mentorship to build a generation of scholars and leaders to build a healthier world. It is a 2-year commitment, and fellows receive a salary and insurance benefits with the appointment. Applications are typically due in early January; learn more about the application process here:

Project Horseshoe Farm

Project Horseshoe Farm is a non-profit organization with a mission to “work with and build on the strengths of local communities, improve the health and quality of life of our vulnerable neighbors, and prepare citizen service leaders for tomorrow’s communities.” This organization has a Community Health Fellowship program which involves focused service to vulnerable populations in local communities. This “gap year” opportunity also supports healthcare providers and allows you to gain first-hand exposure with learning about health systems and policy.

The Community Health Fellowship has locations in Alabama and California, and accepted fellows receive free housing and an educational grant. Applications are due February 13th. Learn more at:

MedServe Fellowship

MedServe Fellowships are ideal for recent college graduates who completed a pre-medical curriculum and are looking to take a break before medical school. This fellowship spans many different roles, including clinical roles and community roles. The clinical roles include a medical scribe, medical assistant, and medical interpreter. The community roles include community health worker, health coach, and a population health specialist. All of these roles are located in North Carolina.

Fellows receive a stipend as a part of AmeriCorps and mentorship in order to prepare themselves for a career in healthcare. Early bird applications are due October 1st, and the main deadline is on December 2nd. Learn more about the program here:

CDC’s Public Health Associate Program (PHAP)

The CDC’s PHAP program is a great opportunity for recent college graduates interested in public health. It is a two-year paid training program which gives participants the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the day-to-day operations of public health programs. It also offers the opportunity to work with worldwide health experts and be mentored by employees of the nation’s leading health agency. PHAP participants are assigned to a host site based on their skills.

Applications for PHAP will open in early 2021. Learn more about the program’s history here:

Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America

For students interested in ways to engage in service for the community, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America are ideal gap-year opportunities. The Peace Corps program sends American citizens to live and work abroad for a minimum of 27 months in order to advance the economic development, education, or health of an area. AmeriCorps VISTA allows graduates to engage in community development initiatives in communities in need across America. Lastly, Teach for America aims to address educational inequities across America by employing participants for 2-years to teach children growing up in poverty, ensuring they get an excellent education. Learn more about the aforementioned programs at the following UVA pages:

Peace Corps:

AmeriCorps VISTA:

Teach for America:

If you are interested in any of the fellowships discussed in this article, be sure to schedule an in-person or virtual appointment using Handshake, or you can stop by our drop-in hours on the second floor of Clemons or in 1515 (1-4:30pm) each weekday! If you're looking for more opportunities, check out this list of other policy, public health and research opportunities from our colleagues at W&L.