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INFORMATION FOR

Frequently Asked Questions about the CT DPH Public Health Fellowship Program

Who can be a fellow?

To be eligible, a student, either full or part-time, must:

  1. be a 3rd, or 4th-year undergraduate or graduate-level student enrolled in an accredited institution of higher learning and in a degree program relevant to public health practice; and
  2. be a US citizen, non-citizen US national, or a foreign national having a visa permitting permanent resident of the United States; and
  3. may not receive any other federal funding support for their field placement
Who can be a preceptor?

To supervise a fellow, a preceptor should be capable of providing regular supervision and support to the fellow, ensuring a well-structured experiential learning opportunity. To qualify, a preceptor must:

  • work with the host agency; and
  • public health related advanced degree and at least 2 years of experience in public health,
  • or at least 5 years of public health practice experience (in Connecticut preferred).

An alternate preceptor should be identified if the preceptor is unavailable for personal or work-related reasons throughout the fellowship period.

Where can fellowships take place?

Fellowships must take place in the State of Connecticut. Fellows can work at the Department of Public Health or other state agencies with a public health role, as well as local health departments and community-based public health agencies that work closely with the state's local health agencies.

What is the financial support for fellows?

PHFP awards stipends of $3,500 to each fellow. The stipend is intended to support a fellow’s living expenses during their field placement experience. Fellows are expected to work 200 hours or more for their agencies under the direction and guidance of a preceptor. The use of the fellowship to meet an academic requirement is optional. However, students receiving academic credit for their fellowship are responsible for following their university’s policies and requirements, as well as the requirements of this program.

Stipend payments are made under the following schedule:

  • Field placements of 12 weeks or less: A single payment of $3,500 is made after receipt of the fellow deliverable and exit survey.
  • Field placements of more than 12 weeks: will receive the $3,500 stipend in two payments of $1,750. The first payment follows the receipt of a mid-point check-in survey, and the final payment after receipt of the fellow deliverable and exit survey.
When can fellowships take place?

Placements may take place at any point during the academic year prior to the fellows’ graduation. Fellowship placement applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all placements are filled. A total of 70 PHFP fellowships are available.

What are the requirements for agency field placements?

PHFP requires host agencies and programs to provide fellows with a well-structured practice experience that supports opportunities to develop or improve public health competencies and learn about public health careers. “Well-structured” can be different depending on the placement, but the expectations of the fellow must be clear, and a preceptor or alternative preceptor needs to be regularly available.

What type of work is involved with a fellowship placement?
Placements may focus on learning about public health roles – such as public health laboratorian, nurse, or environmental health specialist. It may also focus on a project, such as assisting an agency with the assessment of a program, developing a survey, or creating content for a program.
How is a fellowship placement approved?
All fellowship field placements must be approved by PHFP following a Field Placement Proposal Application completed by the agency or preceptor. Agencies have the option of obtaining approval for a field placement proposal prior to identifying a student (“pre-approval”) or submitting their proposal along with their student’s fellowship stipend application. Of note, pre-approval of a proposal has the advantage of allowing an agency to offer students a paid fellowship.

All agency field placement proposals must have the following components:
  • Fellow and agency goals for the placement.
  • Confirmation that the placement will require 200 hours or more of work by a fellow for the agency.
  • Specified projects/activities that are achievable during the timeframe and the hours allocated to the placement.
  • Work activities the fellow can reasonably accomplish.
  • A qualified and motivated preceptor to provide student supervision and mentoring.
  • Exposure to practice examples that increase student understanding of health equity, social determinants of health and public health careers.
What is the selection process?

Fellows meeting all requirements, including an approved agency field placement proposal, are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. A total of 70 PHFP fellowships are available.

How can I get other questions answered?

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please get in touch with the PHFP Associate Director, Nikole Allen, or schedule a consultation here.