Introduction to EPIET/EUPHEM
The European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) was created in 1995. Its purpose was to create a network of highly trained field epidemiologists in the European Union, thereby strengthening the public health epidemiology workforce at EU Member States and EEA level. Current EPIET alumni are providing expertise in response activities and strengthening capacity for communicable disease surveillance and control inside and beyond the EU. In 2006 EPIET was integrated into the core activities of ECDC. The European Public Health Microbiology Training Programme (EUPHEM) was initiated by ECDC in 2008.
In 2016, EPIET and EUPHEM became the ECDC Fellowship Programme, consolidating in this way the alignment of administrative processes and core curricular aspects.
The ECDC Fellowship Programme has the following programme objectives:
- To strengthen the surveillance and control of infectious diseases and other cross-border health threats or issues of public health concern in the EU/EEA Member States and at the EU level, supporting the implementation of Decision 1082/2013/EU;
- To enhance response capacities for effective field investigation and communicable disease control at national and community level to meet public health threats;
- To strengthen the European network of public health professionals through use of shared standards and methods, good practices and common public health objectives;
- To support cascading of training and capacity building within the Member States;
- To facilitate multi-disciplinary cooperation in the above fields
The ECDC fellowship programme is a two-year programme consisting of two distinct pathways:
- Field Epidemiology (EPIET) – training public health professionals to become specialists in intervention epidemiology.
- Public Health Microbiology (EUPHEM) – training microbiologists and other health professionals in public health microbiology.
The programme provides practical experience for participants and takes place at recognised training sites across the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) Member States. On completion of the programme, graduates are considered experts in applying epidemiological or microbiological methods in order to provide evidence to guide public health interventions for communicable disease prevention and control.
Tracks and funding
Each path in the ECDC Fellowship Programme comprises two tracks:
- European Union (EU) – where citizens of an EU or EEA Member State apply individually. Fellows are selected by ECDC and assigned to a Member State, other than that of their own nationality, for their training. For graduates of the EU-track, there is the opportunity for mobility, thereby strengthening field epidemiology and microbiology professionals throughout the EU.
- Member State (MS) – where the Member States apply to ECDC for a Fellowship post to train professionals currently in their workforce. Applicants are selected by their own Member State and remain in their country of residence or citizenship for the duration of their training. The aim is to retain qualified graduates in their country.
Both tracks follow the same curriculum but have different selection procedures.
During the two-year training programme, EPIET and EUPHEM fellows conduct field assignments in surveillance, outbreak investigation and operational research.
The fellowship programme is funded by ECDC and the participating training sites in the Member States. EU-track fellows are employed by training sites that have signed an agreement with ECDC to fund their salaries. MS-track fellows receive the local salary from their training institutes. The participating institutes fund the salaries of supervisors and facilitators, as well as the costs for office space and fieldwork of the fellows.
ECDC funds travel costs (travel, accommodation and daily expenses) to modules for all EU- and MS-track fellows, salaries of scientific coordinators and training opportunities for supervisors.
Costs related to international assignments are the responsibility of the requesting body.