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The Epi Scholars Program is a national program offering a 10 week summer internships in applied epidemiology research to highly qualified public health masters and doctoral level students. The Epi Scholars Program provides internships at Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The NYC DOHMH serves as the lead agency. The program draws students from fifteen universities with schools of public health or epidemiology:

  • Columbia University
  • Emory University
  • George Washington University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • San Diego State University
  • Stanford University
  • Tulane University
  • University North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • University of California - Berkeley
  • University of California - Los Angeles
  • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Washington
  • Yale University

Eligibility

In order to be eligible, students must be enrolled in an MPH or PhD program currently and in the Fall of 2016.

Applicants should have:

  • Graduate level epidemiology and biostatistics coursework and experience analyzing data
  • Excellent record of academic achievement
  • Commitment and/or demonstrated interest in applied public health research
  • Potential for future leadership in the public health sector

Application materials may be found at the national Epi Scholars website.

Important dates for the 2016 program

  • 1/15/2016: Student application website opens
  • 2/15/2016: Student application is due

Learn more about PHSKC and the King County.

Students in the Epi Scholars Program take on substantive applied epidemiology projects and are mentored by experienced public health epidemiologists. Students complete a quantitative data analysis and write a report of the findings. Students also complete a series of supplementary workshops on applied epidemiology topics. At the end of the internship students present their findings at a PHSKC meeting attended by all of the PHSKC Epi Scholars and their mentors.

Scholars will be paid a competitive hourly wage to defray living expenses.

Workshops

  • Overview of surveillance activities at Public Health – Seattle & King County
  • Introduction to GIS
  • Database management for outbreak investigations
  • Program evaluation
  • Social epidemiology
  • Needle exchange presentation & tour
  • Jail tour & overview of the Jail Health Program
  • Health Care Reform and the practicing Public Health Epidemiologist
  • Public health emergency risk communication
  • Grant writing
  • Use of Incident Command System in a disease outbreak
  • Strategies for engaging community stakeholders in public health issues

Past projects

  • Provision of Naloxone to Jail Inmates: Impacts for Individuals and Communities
    For this project the student will identify and compare sources of naloxone for prevention of opiate overdose in King County to improve awareness and collaboration between the different providers of naloxone and to inform the newly established jail naloxone provision program for inmates being released.

  • Approaches for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Post-Release Community Interventions among High Utilizers of king County Jails
    For this project the student will use several analytical approaches to analyze archival data to examine the association between participation in community interventions after release from jail and subsequent jail-free time to improve the approaches for evaluating the effectiveness of community interventions.

  • Assessing Low Birth Weight by Detailed Racial/Ethnic Groups in King County, 2008-2012
    For this project the student will analyze data from birth certificates to examine differences in birth weight by racial/ethnic groups. Findings will be presented to community groups and summarized in a Public Health Data Watch Report.

  • Assessing Behavioral Health in King County
    For this project the student will examine data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) to describe the prevalence of mental health disorders and substance use and their potential risk factors. Findings will be summarized in a Public Health Data Watch Report.

  • Monitoring Syndromic Surveillance Data Quality
    For this project the student will compare data from the existing Public Health Communicable Disease Syndromic Surveillance System and "Meaningful Use" data reported under the new federally mandated expanded reporting requirements to examine the quality and completeness of the "Meaningful Use" data.

  • Evaluation of the Completeness of HIV-Related Laboratory Results Reporting
    For this project the student will estimate the completeness of HIV viral load and CD4 laboratory surveillance system, investigate the reasons for missing data and correct errors using data from two supplemental HIV surveillance systems for comparison. The findings will be used to improve the quality of the laboratory surveillance system.
  • Trends in Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, PID, and Ectopic Pregnancy Washington State, 1988-2010
    For this project the student will examine the contribution of gonorrhea and chlamydia incidence on declining rates of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and ectopic pregnancy in Washington state, and attempt to determine whether and to what degree declines in these two sexually transmitted infections have contributed to decreased incidence of PID and ectopic pregnancy for the period 1998-2010.

  • Using GIS-Based Analysis for Surveillance of Notifiable Conditions in King County
    For this project the student will assist in developing a system to conduct more in-depth geospatial analyses, including identifying areas of King County with the highest density of reportable diseases; examining the association between disease rates and factors such as poverty, race/ethnicity, and population density; exploring whether increased incidence of disease is associated with reduced access to preventive care, like immunizations; and explore the associations between emergency department care-seeking behaviors and school absenteeism with notifiable conditions.

  • Survey of Seattle-King County Syringe Exchange Clients
    For this project the student will coordinate survey data collection at several needle exchange sites, conduct some interviews, develop an Access database, analyze data, and produce a report of results that includes tables, graphs and maps.

  • HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Summary Report Creation
    For this project the student will review existing local HIV and STD data reports and gather input from key stakeholders to create a draft version of an Epidemiologic Profile of HIV that features epidemiologic profiles of selected groups of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), for example, men of color who have sex with men, newly infected PLWHA, and people receiving sub-optimal medical care.

  • School District Health Profile
    For this project the student will design and produce three pilot School District Heath Profiles, including identifying, prioritizing, and selecting health indicators for the report, developing a report format and template, generating data and producing the reports with input from Public Health and School District officials and other stakeholders.

  • The Relationship between Incarceration History, Mental Illness, and Substance Abuse
    For this project the student will analyze linked data from Jail Health Services records and the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention to evaluate the relationship between history of mental illness and substance abuse and the frequency and type(s) of offending behaviors to develop a better understanding of the interaction between mental illness, substance abuse and incarceration.
  • King County Health Disparities Report
    For this project the student will summarize health disparities in King County, particularly trends in disparities and current status of disparities, critically examine existing health disparity measures, and make a recommendation for which one to use in summarizing health disparities in King County.

  • King County City Health Profile Report
    For this project the student will identify, prioritize, and select health indicators using a variety of data sources and develop and produce a King County Community/City Health Profile Report for six cities in King County.

  • Enhancing HIV Surveillance Data through Linkage with Multiple Resources
    For this project the student will link multiple public health HIV data sets to enhance our ability to assure that all newly diagnosed people receive partner services, enter into medical care, and remain engaged in care, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.

  • Socioeconomic and Clinical Risk Factors for Tuberculosis Transmission among Household Contacts in King County
    For this project the student will conduct a case-control analysis to identify under-recognized risk factors, including socioeconomic status, that are associated with higher rates of TB infection among household contacts, which presumably indicates recent TB transmission.

  • Predicting Time of Initiation of HIV Antiretroviral Therapy
    For this project the student will conduct an analysis of data from the Medical Monitoring Project and other HIV surveillance data sources using serial reported HIV viral load results to predict the start date of antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection.

  • Developing a Quarterly Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report
    For this project the student will develop an automated quarterly STD surveillance report that will provide current information on STD morbidity to public health staff, medical providers and other partners in the community and will facilitate timely identification of changes in STD incidence that may require a response from public health.