What makes a great epidemiologist?


CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship Program

An ongoing shortage of experienced professionals is impeding progress in surveillance, emergency response capabilities, and applied research that impact public health. That’s why CSTE created the CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship Program. CSTE partners with CDC and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) to provide a competency-driven mentorship experience to recently graduated epidemiologists.

Recent Master of Public Health (MPH) and doctoral-level epidemiologists are placed in paid state and local Fellowship positions for two years. Each year, this program receives applications from up to 400 academically qualified graduates and over 80 qualified host sites, but there aren’t enough funds for everyone who is highly qualified.

A 10-year evaluation showed highly successful program outcomes with outstanding skills development and public health orientation for fellows, high levels of service to the host agencies, notably high graduation rates, and significantly high rates of employment in public health agencies.

97% of alumni reported the fellowship had an impact on their long-term career.

85% of your donation supports critical programming needs.




Erica E. Smith MPH, PhD

Erica is a former AEF alum of the year award recipient and co-chair of the early career professionals workgroup at CSTE. Within the last year she accepted a position as Deputy State Epidemiologist of Delaware. She was an infectious disease fellow in Class VIII and during the fellowship, she primarily focused on vaccine-preventable and other infectious disease investigations at the Pennsylvania Department of Health. After the fellowship, Erica stayed on with the PA DOH and served as a cross-cutting district epidemiologist for 2.5 years and then as the statewide foodborne epidemiologist for 1.5 years. In 2016, she left PA DOH to pursue a PhD in Epidemiology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where her dissertation used surveillance data from the PA DOH and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to evaluate social determinants of health as upstream risk factors for enteric disease cases in Pennsylvania. After earning her PhD in 2019, Erica returned to applied public health and currently serves as the Deputy State Epidemiologist in Delaware, where she is currently helping coordinate the COVID-19 response for the Delaware Division of Public Health.



CSTE has reopened the Class XIX Applied Epidemiology Fellowship (AEF) program to accept new applications for fellows beginning this summer.


AEF’s goal is to provide a high-quality, on-the-job training experience in applied epidemiology for recent graduates to prepare fellows for long-term career placement at the state and local level. Based on their interests and available positions, fellows are matched to a state or local health agency for two years under the guidance of two experienced mentors. During their assignment, fellows develop a set of core competency skills related to epidemiologic methods, communication skills, public health practice and policy.  Host sites are available across a variety of subject areas and locations.



When you think of influenza outbreaks, vaccination programs, and public health guidance, cautions and alerts, know that your state and local epidemiologists are your first line of defense and local expertise. Support them through your donations to CSTEF.