Collegiate Leaders in Environmental Health (CLEH) Summer Program

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Reference Code
How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

All documents must be in English.

If you have questions, send an email to Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.

Application Deadline
1/27/2017 11:59:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

A summer environmental internship for undergraduate students is available at the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

A healthy environment should sustain a healthy population; however, with over 7 billion people on the earth, there is a need for more sustainable interactions between humans and the environment. Environmental issues such as overpopulation, air pollution, food shortage, natural disasters, water contamination, and exposure to toxic substances provide challenges to human health. Human influence on the environment is the main focus of environmental studies; however there is a growing need to evaluate the effect that the environment has on human populations.

Harmful environments can increase the risk of many health conditions: asthma, heart disease, cancer, neurological disease, infections, endocrine dysfunction, injuries, and more. Healthy environments, on the other hand, can promote good health in many ways—protecting people from toxic exposures, providing safe water and clean air, and encouraging healthy behaviors such as outdoor recreation.

The link between the environment and health is aptly referred to as “environmental health.” Environmental health as a discipline focuses on the interrelationships between people and their environment, promotes human health and well-being, and fosters safe and healthy living. This branch of public health is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environment that may affect human health.

Environmental health professionals engage in a broad and exciting range of activities—basic and applied research, surveillance and tracking, direct health protection efforts such as disaster preparedness and response, health education, patient care, policy support, and more. For students interested in the environment, health, or both, few fields are more fascinating.

Interns will be placed in environmental health programs at NCEH/ATSDR at CDC's Chamblee Campus.  Over the course of the summer, interns will be exposed to a broad overview of environmental public health issues at the federal level.

Interns will participate in a comprehensive program including environmental health project assignments, interaction with federal officials and scientists, and visits to important environmental health sites in and around Atlanta. Other activities include "brown-bag" lunches with CDC staff, as well as attending lectures from prominent environmental health leaders in the Atlanta area. In addition, interns will be able to attend the many seminars offered by CDC during the summer. For examples of past CLEH internship projects, please review at

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and CDC.  The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is for one summer (starting June 5, 2017) and is full-time for two months at CDC in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. Participants do not become employees of CDC, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

  1. Must be a currently enrolled full-time undergraduate who will be a junior or senior in Fall 2017.  Students graduating in Spring 2017 are not eligible.
  2. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  3. Academic major or demonstrated coursework concentration in environmental studies; physical, biological, chemical and/or environmental health to also include emergency preparedness, environmental justice, sustainability, and/or global health environmental studies; environmental, physical, biological chemical and/or social sciences; applicants not majoring in one of these areas may be considered.

Ideal candidates would have extra curricular activities or volunteer work that is related to the field of environmental health or the environment, including holding positions in these organizations or activities. Undergraduate students must show a dedication to environmental and/or health issues via their coursework or extracurricular activities.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree.
  • Overall GPA: 3.00
  • Academic Level(s): Undergraduate Students.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (9 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (3 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (5 )
    • Engineering (11 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (12 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (45 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (5 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (3 )
    • Physics (4 )
    • Science & Engineering-related (1 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (22 )

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