Arguably, vaccines represent one of the most significant advances ever made in medicine -- certainly in preventive medicine. If you're an avid immunizer, a public health aficionado, an emerging health policy expert, or any combination of these, the AAFP has an opportunity that just may be tailor-made for you.
The Academy is seeking applicants for its 2014 AAFP Vaccine Science Fellowship program. The purpose of the fellowship program is threefold:
- to develop a cadre of family physician vaccine experts to assist the Academy in providing effective input into the deliberations and decision-making processes of federal and state agencies that set vaccine policies,
- to cultivate a group of FPs with the knowledge and motivation to help educate their family physician colleagues about vaccine-related issues and advances, and
- to improve immunization rates among all U.S. patient populations by working to ensure the highest possible levels of vaccine safety and efficacy and boosting public acceptance of vaccines.
Vaccine fellows will work with mentors to hone their knowledge of vaccine science and policy issues. Fellows also participate in meetings of public health and immunization experts, federal and state vaccine policy groups, and vaccine manufacturers.
Two fellowship positions are available. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and active members of the AAFP, either in practice or teaching and out of residency or fellowship. Applicants must commit to devoting 10 percent of full-time employment (FTE) -- about 22 days -- to the program for one year, and each applicant's institution, practice and/or academic department chair is required to submit a letter agreeing to honor that 10 percent FTE commitment.
Fellows will be required to dedicate travel time to participate in about seven vaccine-related meetings and related events during the fellowship year. Examples of proposed meetings include meetings of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee and the Wisconsin Council on Immunization Practices; the CDC's National Immunization Conference; and meetings with federal governmental staff and vaccine manufacturers. Travel costs are covered by the fellowship.
Funding support for the AAFP Vaccine Science Fellowship program is provided by Merck & Co. Inc., which is required to disclose support information pertaining to the applicants selected in accordance with the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Merck has no input into or control over selection of fellows or the content of the fellowship program.
Applicants should submit a letter of interest and their curriculum vitae, along with the institutional or departmental letter noted above, via email to Janet Leiker, R.N., M.P.H., at firstname.lastname@example.org by the application deadline of March 17. Applicants also should complete the AAFP's online conflict-of-interest form. Applications will be reviewed and awardees selected by a review committee independent of any supporter involvement, and awardees will be notified via email by March 24.