Social Media and Digital Fellow

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Reference Code
How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

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

Application Deadline
2/28/2019 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

One research fellowship opportunity is currently available in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), in Washington, DC.

The ORISE Fellow will support a range of activities related to the mission to: 1.) expand access to and visibility of timely and relevant information on Federal HIV policies, programs, and resources to the American public through research on these topics; 2.) increase use of social media and digital tools by government, minority, and other community partners to extend the reach of HIV programs to communities at greatest risk; and 3.) support efforts to increase knowledge about HIV and access to HIV services for people most at risk for, or living with, HIV.

The Fellow will be involved in a team environment in the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP), with day-to-day principal mentoring provided by the Director of

The ORISE Fellow will support ongoing research and efforts to:

  • Help address challenges related to the often limited adoption of comprehensive social media and today’s digital tools to manage public health programs, messaging, and outreach.
  • Identify, report on, and assess “best practices” for using current social media and digital communications methodologies and technologies to broaden the reach of public health communications, especially for efforts to target and reach communities of color and those who are living with, or at risk for, HIV and viral hepatitis.
  • Identify the ways in which communities of color, and others living with, or at risk for HIV and viral hepatitis, are using emerging digital communications technologies (consumer consumption behaviors and patterns) and the platforms/channels they are using.
  • Ascertain how Google, Facebook, and other large digital entities are affecting access to online information about HIV and other public health issues and determine whether there are existing successful federal partnerships with these entities that can serve as models.
  • Assess the use of live streaming, webinars, and other digital tools to extend the reach of public health communications to specific target audiences.
  • Report on emerging digital privacy and security issues, as they relate to public health.
  • Support the development and drafting of blogs on best practices for using social media and digital tools for public health and policies that support those practices.
  • Draft fact sheets and other educational material for internal and external audiences.
  • Evaluate and produce reports on 1)’s social media labs and Virtual Office Hours (VOH) sessions and 2) OHAIDP’s use of webinars to recommend process and technical improvements for using this technology to extend the reach of OHAIDP communications.

The ORISE Fellow will also research and assess:

  • The best standards and practices for using mobile technologies;
  • The evolving function and relevance of web logs (blogs);
  • The optimal format and methods for presenting/delivering information to encourage engagement with public health messaging, and;
  • The evolving role, function, and impact of internet search engines (e.g., Google, Bing) and their potential to serve as “gatekeepers” for information and negatively affect the ability of the government and public health community to provide comprehensive and scientifically accurate information on HIV and other key public health issues.

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 HHS. The initial appointment can be up to one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of HHS contingent on the availability of funds. 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 full-time at HHS in the Washington DC, area. Participants do not become employees of HHS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.


The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor's or master's degree, or be currently pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in the relevant fields. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date. 

Preferred skills:

  • Experience with planning and implementing both social and traditional media campaigns.
  • Interest in the use of social media and digital tools in public health messaging, HIV/AIDS policy, and issues particular to HIV/AIDS and infectious disease policy—particularly in communities of color.
  • Familiarity with established social media channels and an interest in novel new media channels and emerging technologies.
  • Experience working with and/or an understanding of communities impacted by HIV or other health disparities (e.g., people of color, men who have sex with men).
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (16 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (45 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (10 )
    • Other Non-S&E (2 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
    • Other S&E-Related (1 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (27 )

I have received a bachelor's or master's degree within the last five years, or are currently pursuing a master's or doctoral degree.