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Information for Preceptors

Preceptor FAQs

General FAQ for Preceptors

What are the competencies that students select from to focus on for their practicums?

The competencies listed below represent traditional public health core knowledge areas (biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, health services administration and environmental health sciences), as well as cross-cutting and emerging public health areas. These competencies were developed by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health

  • Apply epidemiological methods to settings and situations in public health practice
  • Select quantitative and qualitative data collection methods appropriate for a given public health context
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data using biostatistics, informatics, computer-based programming, and software, as appropriate
  • Interpret results of data analysis for public health research, policy or practice

Public Health & Health Care Systems

  • Compare the organization, structure, and function of health care, public health, and regulatory systems across national and international settings
  • Discuss the means by which structural bias, social inequities, and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity at organizational, community and systemic levels

Planning & Management to Promote Health

  • Assess population needs, assets, and capacities that affect communities’ health
  • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design, implementation, or critique of public health policies or programs
  • Design a population-based policy, program, project, or intervention
  • Explain basic principles and tools of budget and resource management
  • Select methods to evaluate public health programs

Policy in Public Health

  • Discuss the policy-making process, including the roles of ethics and evidence
  • Propose strategies to identify stakeholders and build coalitions and partnerships for influencing public health outcomes
  • Advocate for political, social, or economic policies and programs that will improve health in diverse populations
  • Evaluate policies for their impact on public health and health equity


  • Apply leadership and/or management principles to address a relevant issue
  • Apply negotiation and mediation skills to address organizational or community challenges


  • Select communication strategies for different audiences and sectors
  • Communicate audience-appropriate (i.e., non-academic, non-peer audience) public health content, both in writing and through oral presentation
  • Describe the importance of cultural competence in communicating public health content

Interprofessional and/or Intersectoral Practice

  • Integrate perspectives from other sectors and/or professions to promote and advance population health

Systems Thinking

  • Apply a systems thinking tool to visually represent a public health issue in a format other than standard narrative
What are the preceptor requirements?

A qualified preceptor must be willing to commit time to supervising a student and providing feedback on student’s work. The preceptor should have knowledge of the student project in order to guide the student throughout the process. A preceptor who is not a faculty member of the Bloomberg School must submit a resume or CV to the Office of Public Health Practice and Training at

What organizations are qualified to host a student?

Practicum placements can be in a variety of organizations, including local, state, and federal public health agencies, community-based organizations, as well as international non-governmental agencies and organizations.

In general, organizations should meet the following criteria:

  • An existing organization with official status (e.g. 501c3, governmental agency, etc.) or a sustainable funding structure
  • A history of ongoing public health practice-related work (e.g., programs, services, policy work, etc.)
  • A public office location for the organization (liability issues prevent us from sending JHU students to someone’s home, even if that person is a well-intentioned individual)
  • Willingness and ability to collaborate with the Bloomberg School
  • A qualified preceptor that will guide the student in the project and serve as the liaison with the Bloomberg School
Can research or lab activity fulfill a practicum requirement?

Yes, as long as the student is working at an organization or agency engaged in public health work, such as a state health department or a data coordinating center for a clinical trial or cohort study. In research or lab-orientated practicums, the student will need to have some involvement in the interpretation of results and/or the larger public health implications of the work.

Can a practicum be done at a student’s former or current place of employment?

Yes. A practicum can be completed at a current or former place of employment, as long as the practicum is distinct from any on-going work the student is being paid for and is determined to meet the required criteria.

Can the practicum be a paid experience?

Yes, but payment is not required. If there is payment involved, the preceptor and student must negotiate the terms; the Bloomberg School is not involved in arranging any form of payment.

Can the practicum be a service project?

The primary focus needs to fulfill a need that is not solely “direct service.” Students may be involved in “direct service”, but these activities cannot comprise the majority of the practicum experience. Examples of “direct service” include filing, serving food, and data entry. The work should add something to the organization’s knowledge, process, etc. In a service-oriented context, students should have some involvement at the program or policy level (program design, evaluation, etc.).

Does the preceptor-student relationship need to be one-on-one?

In many cases the preceptor-student relationship will be one-on-one. However, the practicum can be team-based if the project meets required practicum criteria for each student.

Does the preceptor-student interaction need to be in-person?

While in-person interaction is preferred, it is not always possible. As long as the preceptor is providing directions, feedback, and guidance throughout the practicum experience, preceptor-student interaction can be conducted via technologies such as Zoom, email, phone calls, etc.

Are deliverables required for the practicum?

Yes. Students are required to share at least 2 distinct, tangible final deliverables (i.e., applied work products) upon completing their practicum. Deliverables are mutually agreed upon by the student and the preceptor in the practicum learning plan. The format and content of the final deliverables need to be in-line with the defined learning objectives and contribute to the student’s career growth and development. The aim of the deliverables is for these products to be useful to the organization's work going forward.

Can a student be the supervisor or principle investigator for their practicum project?


Can the Practicum also fulfill the Capstone requirement?

A student may build on their practicum experience to complete their capstone as long as the capstone and practicum projects are distinct and both meet the required criteria. Below is an example of a practicum that was extended into a capstone project:

Assessment of Sexual Healthcare in Safety Net Provider Sites

Practicum: The student worked with a state department of health population health improvement office to assist in the development of a more holistic approach to HIV and STIs treatment. The student conducted background research on sexual health standard protocols and best practices from other states, as well as identified stakeholders from around the state. Additionally, the student created an asset-mapping tool for providers to identify the current screening and treatment procedures for STIs and HIV, including social services offered.

Capstone paper: The student expanded on their practicum work to document the development and evaluation of the asset-mapping tool. The capstone report included a summary of how the assessment tool was developed as well as preliminary results that will inform the development of standard protocols for HIV and STIs treatment.

In the Practicum Opportunity Site, can one person submit multiple projects for my organization?

Yes, one person can submit multiple projects for your organization, but you must identify a unique preceptor for each project.

What is the role of the alternate preceptor?

The role of the alternate preceptor is to be the back-up person for the primary preceptor. The alternate preceptor could be more involved if they like, but it is not required. What is required is to take over for the primary preceptor if the primary preceptor is not available.

FAQ for PHASE Preceptors

What kind of projects qualify as PHASE internships?

PHASE internships should be developed based on a public health practice need. The main objective is to expose Bloomberg School graduate students to various aspects of public health practice in a public health practice setting. Projects should focus less on academic research and data ‘crunching’ and more about the impact(s) of the project on public health policy or practice.

How long should a PHASE internship last?

PHASE internships cover three academic terms. Bloomberg School students have a winter intersession and break which runs from December to January. If you require your intern to work through the intersession, please indicate that on the internship application.

How much time should I expect my PHASE intern to devote to the internship?

PHASE interns are expected to spend a minimum of 6-8 hours per week participating in their internships. The exact number may vary from week-to-week and across academic terms. For on-site internships, time spent on-site should be negotiated with the student. Most interns are full-time students and therefore will have relatively demanding academic schedules.

How many interns can I precept?

It is recommended that each preceptor only be responsible for one intern. If you feel your project requires more than one intern, please reach out to our office at and we will work with you to determine how best to proceed.

Which agencies can participate in PHASE?

Due to the rigor of Bloomberg School graduate programs, and therefore, the limited amount of time students can spend traveling, on-site PHASE internships are limited to organizations within a 30-minute travel distance (by car) from Baltimore City to the public health agency. Public health agencies outside this distance can submit for a remote/virtual intern.

Please contact our office if you are interested in having a Bloomberg School graduate student as an intern.

Who selects my PHASE intern?

The PHASE course faculty serve as the PHASE admission committee and review the applications submitted by students. From this list, they select no more than three interested and qualified students per project and ask the preceptor to interview student(s). The preceptor is given about two weeks to complete the interviews. Interviews will be from September to October. These interviews can be in person or via phone/video and may be brief. The preceptor then informs the PHASE program manager of the student(s) they wish to host. Within a few weeks, preceptors and students are informed of final placements.

How do I submit a PHASE project description?

Preceptors can submit PHASE project descriptions through the Practicum Opportunity Site. Please contact the Practice Office at to request additional details or clarification as necessary.

Please note that it is of the utmost importance that prospective preceptors provide as much detail as possible in their internship description. If there are specific skills and qualifications you would like your intern to possess, please provide this information when you submit an internship description.

FAQ for Johns Hopkins Health Policy Institute (HPI) Policymakers

What kind of help can I expect from a Johns Hopkins Health Policy Institute (HPI) fellow?

HPI is open to all graduate students enrolled at the Bloomberg School. Graduate students will assist policymakers/legislators and their staff with public health policy work for a minimum of 8-10 hours in the policymaker’s office each week from December-May and follow one of the following formats:

  1. Health Policy Generalist Intern: The fellow will provide general legislative assistance to the policymaker in topic areas as needed throughout the legislative session.
  2. Health Policy Specialist Intern: The fellow will provide assistance in a specific legislative topic area of interest to the policymaker (e.g. pharmaceutical pricing, access to mental health services, etc.)

Both generalist or specialist fellows are prepared to provide assistance with any of the following tasks:

  • Conduct literature reviews, background research, and examining policies of other cities/states
  • Develop policy briefs or position papers
  • Engage with stakeholders
  • Compose or contribute to written and oral testimony
  • Draft or contribute to the development of legislation and subsequent bill amendments
  • Complete additional responsibilities as needed
Over what time period will an HPI fellow be available?

The duration for the program is typically December through May. The fellow is expected to spend a minimum of 8-10 hours a week on-site in the policymaker’s office, though virtual internships may also be considered**.

*There is a series of in-service trainings for HPI students providing an overview of the legislative process and basic legal research skills in December. Additionally, Bloomberg School students have a January intersession and break which runs from December – January. If you require your fellow to work in December and/or through the winter intersession, please indicate that on the internship application.

**This is an expected average, and specific days/time spent on-site should be scheduled with the student. Most policy fellows are full-time students and therefore will have relatively demanding academic schedules.

How many HPI fellows can I have work in my office?

Each policymaker can host one HPI fellow. If your office would like more than one fellow, please indicate this on your application.

Which agencies can participate in the HPI?

Policymakers across the federal, state, and local levels in the Maryland/DC/Virginia area are eligible to participate in the HPI. If you are a policymaker outside of the MD/DC/VA region and wish to recruit a student fellow, please contact the Practice Office at

Who selects my Johns Hopkins HPI fellow?

The HPI course faculty will review all submitted applications. The faculty will select no more than three qualified applicants and ask the policymaker (or their staff) to interview the selected applicants. The policymaker’s office will have several weeks to complete the interviews. The interviews can be in person or via phone/video and may be brief. The policymaker’s office then informs the HPI of the student(s) they wish to host. Final placements will be made in November/December.

How do I submit an application to request an HPI fellow?

Policymakers can submit HPI project descriptions via email to