Canadian Field Epidemiology Program
Building a skilled, mobile and connected workforce
PHAC's Canadian Field Epidemiology Program (CFEP) builds Canada's public health capacity. The program trains public health professionals in applied epidemiology-the specialized techniques and competencies required to respond to diverse public health issues in real-life settings.
It also mobilizes field epidemiologists anywhere they are needed within Canada or around the world, supporting public health organizations as they respond to urgent public health events.
Finally, the program creates and nourishes a vibrant network of public health professionals to promote the sharing of ideas, insights and information.
CFEP accepts two streams of applicants for training: EC-05 and MD-MOF-01. EC-05 applicants must have a master's degree in epidemiology or public health or a related discipline. MD-MOF-01 applicants must have a degree from a recognized school of medicine and hold a valid license to practice medicine in a Canadian province or territory.
Note: Doctors of veterinary medicine and foreign medical graduates without a license to practice medicine in Canada must apply to the EC-05 stream.
All applicants must be fluent in English (French is an asset) and have:
- completed a full-year graduate-level course in biostatistics or epidemiological methods or a combination of both subjects equivalent to a full-year course;
- 12 months' experience in applied public health (through such activities as graduate program practica, residency rotations in public health organizations, work with a public health organization whose mandate includes the implementation, evaluation or promotion of public health programs, the collection or analysis of health surveillance data for public health, or clinical practice in a setting where public health services are delivered);
- experience in the analysis of health data using statistical software;
- excellent teamwork, communication and conflict resolution skills.
Field epidemiologists in the program spend two years as full-time employees of PHAC, although they work and learn at placement sites within a provincial, territorial, regional or local government department or public health agency. Placement sites provide the infrastructure, opportunities and mentoring needed to meet program requirements.
Participants collaborate on field investigations away from their placement site; these investigations typically last for several weeks and often involve evening and weekend work.
In addition to this on-the-job experience, field epidemiologists in the program attend conferences, workshops and training sessions. During the program, they must complete the following nine professional experience guidelines (PEGs):
- Participate in a field investigation
- Analyze and interpret a dataset
- Design, implement, revise or evaluate a public health surveillance system
- Write and prepare a scientific article for publication
- Write a public health update for a scientific audience
- Write and submit an abstract for a peer-reviewed scientific conference
- Give an oral presentation for a scientific audience at a seminar, workshop or conference
- Communicate complex scientific concepts to a lay audience
- Provide service to placement site and/or the field of public health
CFEP is also a partner in the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET) and occasionally responds to requests from the WHO's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN). As a result of these connections, Field Epidemiologists may have the opportunity to present their work at international conferences and support investigations outside Canada.
Applications are accepted only through the Public Service Commission (PSC) website. To find job posters, search for jobs using the keywords "Field Epidemiologist".
New positions are posted on the PSC site every fall. Each job poster will include details on the application process and deadlines.
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