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Volunteer Intern Professional (VIP) Program

The Immunization Branch of the California Department of Public Health provides leadership and support to public and private sector efforts to protect the population against vaccine-preventable diseases. The Volunteer Intern Professional (VIP) Program, based in the Immunization Branch* of the California Department of Public Health in Richmond, welcomes and accommodates volunteers, interns and professionals to work side by side with state staff on research projects, administrative tasks, and other duties. All VIPs must undergo privacy training and certification at CDPH to participate. Currently, all VIP positions are unpaid.


Volunteers typically help with administrative duties, and may also have individualized projects based on personal interests and staff availability to guide the volunteer in their pursuits. New volunteers in the Immunization Branch are asked to commit to a minimum of 8-10 hours per week for at least 3 months. Volunteers should have an academic and/or professional background in the health field. Pre-medical students and individuals with a strong interest in public health are also welcome to apply. Although many of our volunteers are students, volunteers are not required to be currently enrolled in an academic program. The VIP Program has hosted volunteers who have attended universities such as UC Berkeley, California State University East Bay, and San Francisco State University, and others.  Applications are received and reviewed on an ongoing basis, and volunteer placements are filled as needed.


Internships are designed for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels who are able to make a semester or quarter commitment. The VIP Program offers a comprehensive and individualized internship program designed to serve the needs of the VIP Program as well as the learning goals of the intern and their university. Opportunities for professional enrichment are available throughout the semester. Interns differ from volunteers because they usually receive academic credit from their university. The number of hours the student needs to fulfill is determined by university requirements. Interns are typically enrolled in public health, health sciences, medical or related programs. The VIP Program has hosted successful interns from UC Berkeley, Touro University, University of San Francisco, and others.  Applications are received and reviewed on an ongoing basis, and intern placements are filled as needed.


Professionals have a medical and/or public health background, and work in conjunction with state staff on immunization related projects. The VIP Program has hosted professionals from Stanford, UC Berkeley, and California Emerging Infections Program. Professionals are invited to participate on a case-by-case basis. Minimum hours and length of commitment to be determined. Please send a detailed project proposal along with your resume and cover letter.

More Information

For questions about the VIP Program please submit an inquiry to the volunteer coordinator by email: Be sure to include your name, telephone number, email address, a summary of relevant professional experience, university and major.

To Apply

To apply to the VIP Program please send a resume or CV and cover letter to the VIP Coordinator by email or fax. Be sure to include in your cover letter information about which areas of public health you are interested in, what specific skillsets you seek to gain from the program, and hours of availability.


Fax: 510-620-3774

*Applicants may be considered for placement in another branch of the CDPH at Richmond Campus. Other branches may have different skillset or minimum hours requirements than the Immunization Branch. At this time, only branches located on the Richmond Campus are considering VIP applicants. Persons interested in internships in other locations should consider contacting their local health departments for possible opportunities.

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