CSTE Foundation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the CSTE Foundation


What is mission of the CSTE Foundation?

The CSTE Foundation (CSTEF) was created in 2018 to help promote and support the work of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and public health agencies through education and funding for new, developmental, and under-resourced efforts to improve disease surveillance and epidemiologic practice through training and capacity development. These efforts promote the effective use of data to guide public health practice, save lives, and improve the public’s health.


What is the CSTE Foundation’s relationship with CSTE?

The CSTE Foundation is an independent non-profit organization that has been created to support the vision and mission of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists – “Using the power of epidemiology to improve the public’s health.” The Foundation was established for the purpose of developing, expanding and diversifying the epidemiology workforce.


How big is the Foundation?

The CSTE Foundation is currently comprised of six Board Members and has been provided start-up support by the CSTE National office.


What are CSTEF’s sources of funding?

As a private 501(c)(3) public charity, the CSTE Foundation receives charitable contributions and philanthropic grants from individuals, foundations, corporations, universities, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and other organizations to advance the work of CSTE. The CSTE Foundation does not have an endowment to support its activities. The CSTE Foundation builds an administrative fee, currently 15%, into each grant or agreement to support administrative costs. CSTE also contributes some funds to the Foundation annually to help cover operational costs. The CSTE Foundation has not completed a full year and will report under $ 40,000 for year one of its operation.


How does the CSTE Foundation add value for CSTE?

The CSTE Foundation helps CSTE pursue innovative ideas that might not be possible without the support of external partners. The CSTE Foundation is currently focusing on generating revenue to support three primary efforts: the Applied Epidemiology Fellowship (AEF) Program; Jeffrey P. Davis Student Scholarship Fund, and core funding to support part-time CSTEF staff; development, and legal consultation. More information about these efforts is available on this site under INITIATIVES.

How do you ensure that a project addresses conflicts of interest for CSTE and the CSTE Foundation?

The CSTE Foundation serves as one vehicle for CSTE to partner with the private sector, but we rely on CSTE’s governance and policies and its high standards of scientific integrity to guide every partnership we build. Projects facilitated by the CSTE Foundation go through a review and approval process through both the CSTE Foundation and CSTE leadership at multiple levels to ensure that the project:

  1. Aligns with CSTE’s mission and priorities
  2. Has appropriate research methodologies
  3. Maintains CSTE’s research independence
  4. Addresses conflicts of interest.

Both the CSTE Foundation and CSTE have a gift acceptance policy to which each donor program, project or activity must adhere. This policy applies to gifts provided from outside the agency, including funds provided by the CSTE Foundation to CSTE. The CSTE Foundation also has guidelines for partner collaborations that are considered when evaluating project concepts.


How do you ensure that CSTE’s work is not influenced by a single funder or group of funders?

Funding for CSTE’s work provided through the CSTE Foundation is not contingent on the outcomes of research or other scientific activity being favorable to one or more partners. When the CSTE Foundation accepts funding, we execute a legal agreement with partners stating that CSTE is responsible for the control of the content of programs, projects, and activities.


How can I donate to the CSTE Foundation?

To donate to CSTEF, visit our Donate page. From there, you’ll be directed to a form that you’ll complete and submit your donation. The CSTE Foundation is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Applied Epidemiology in the News

Very Harmful’ Lack of Data Blunts U.S. Response to Outbreaks

Major data gaps, the result of decades of underinvestment in public health, have undercut the government response to the coronavirus and now to monkeypox. Learn more in this New York Times article featuring CSTE's Megan Tompkins.




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