HHS Lyme Disease Innovation Fellowship

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

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A complete application consists of:
  • An application
  • A current resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list
  • One educational or professional recommendation. Your application will be considered incomplete, and will not be reviewed until one recommendation is submitted.

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

Application Deadline
8/19/2021 3:10:52 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

HHS Office and Location: A fellowship opportunity is currently available in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) located in Washington, DC. 

The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.

Research Project:  Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne in the United States, with approximately 476,000 Americans diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease each year. Lyme disease is caused by infection with the spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is carried and transmitted by ticks. Lyme disease can result in chronic pain, fatigue, depression and neurologic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and other systemic illness. However, when diagnosed and treated early, most individuals recover fully. Current two-tier serology diagnostic tests can only detect antibodies which can take several weeks to develop. A major challenge in addressing Lyme disease is the lack of FDA-approved diagnostics that can detect an active infection.

HHS established the LymeX Innovation Accelerator (LymeX) public-private partnership with the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to bring new innovative methods and approaches to address challenges in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of Lyme disease. HHS is also working to develop a national strategy for vector-borne disease, as required by the Kay Hagan Tick Act, part of the 21st Century Cures Act. To address these challenges, HHS is leading a series of prize challenges, workshops, and research projects aimed at advancing new diagnostic technologies for Lyme disease and building capabilities for applying these approaches to other tick- and vector-borne disease.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the selected participant will provide scientific and technical support in Lyme disease and other vector-borne disease research while being exposed to:

  • Scientific public-private partnership development and strategy
  • Federal interagency health strategy development
  • Cutting-edge research in collaboration with federal, private, and academic partners
  • Application of novel Open Innovation approaches to addressing health challenges in government, among others

Learning Objectives

  • New skills and techniques from federal, private, and academic partners on applying novel open innovation approaches to addressing American health challenges
  • Techniques for successful public-private collaboration
  • How to apply scientific/technical communication skills to brief non-technical audiences, including executive-level briefings
  • How to interpret and apply policy decisions to day to day program execution
  • How to apply strategic thinking and leadership skills to diverse, interdisciplinary working groups

Mentor(s)The mentor for this opportunity is Alexander Wilson (alexander.wilson@hhs.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: July 2021. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of HHS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. A health insurance allowance will be provided. A training allowance will also be provided with sufficient justification. No relocation allowance will be provided.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

ORISE InformationThis program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and HHS. Participants do not become employees of HHS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email HHSrpp@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields. Degree must have been received in the past five years. 

Preferred skills: 

  • Experience working with or researching Lyme Disease or other vector-borne diseases
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience leading diverse, interdisciplinary groups
  • Excellent strategic planning with critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Demonstrated project management skills with ability to develop and execute multi-pronged strategies with concurrent, interdependent activities
  • Excellent writing and scientific/technical communication skills to brief non-technical audiences, including executive-level briefings
  • Demonstrated ability to transform policy, science, and data into real-world impact
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 month(s).
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (1 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (4 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (1 )
    • Engineering (7 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (4 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (32 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (1 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (5 )