Japan Field Epidemiology Training Program

Program overview

Program objectives: To develop field epidemiologists who can take rapid and correct actions to assess the situation and investigate the cause of infectious diseases at the time of an epidemic or an outbreak and who can contribute to the maintenance and improvement of high quality surveillance systems for infectious diseases.

Eligibility for enrollment: Candidates for FETP should have a strong interest in risk management of infectious diseases and have undergone at least two years of clinical training or have at least three years’ experience in public health service. Types of occupation include those with a specialized qualification, such as physicians, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, public health nurses, nurses, laboratory technicians, and food sanitation inspectors.

Program outline: Two years of on-the-job training at the Infectious Disease Surveillance Center of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) to learn how to respond to infectious disease outbreaks and perform infectious disease surveillance, among other aspects.

Employment: Intended mainly for officials who are seconded by local governments (salary is paid by the home institution) and specialists, such as physicians working in medical institutions and who want to work in the public health field in the future. From 2017, the latter trainees became eligible for receiving a salary from NIID as contractual staff.

Trainers: One center director, one division chief (Japan FETP graduate), four senior research scientists (includes one Japan FETP graduate and one EIS graduate), and one research scientist (Japan FETP graduate)


  • A synergistic effect is achieved during the program through interactions between trainees sent from local governments and specialists with a background in hospital employment (mostly physicians)
  • A wide range of activities leveraging the network of graduates working at local governments and specialists such as those working at Designated Medical Institutions for Class I Infectious Diseases
  • High quality field epidemiology investigations based on the maturing cooperative relationship with local governments, as well as the cooperation with relevant laboratory units at NIID, and the results of these investigations being reflected in government policies.