The Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement-Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP) provides opportunities for public health education and experience to address health disparities and promote health equity. MCHC/RISE-UP grant funding was awarded to Kennedy Krieger Institute by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a national consortium of institutions and universities built on the Maternal and Child Health Leadership Education in Neuro-developmental and
Other Related Disabilities (LEND) training. Through this program, university partners from across the nation offer learning opportunities for students.

The goal of MCHC/RISE-UP is to promote a more diversified and equal health outcome system for citizens by introducing highly qualified undergraduate students (juniors and seniors with a GPA of 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale, and students who received their baccalaureate degree within 12 months of beginning the MCHC/RISE-UP program) to the field of public health. All students interested in addressing health disparities are eligible to apply. Students who are members of underrepresented populations, as defined by the federal government (CDC.gov/MinorityHealth/ExecutiveOrders.html), are strongly encouraged to apply.

Our Partners

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities
    • Morgan State University
    • Coppin State University
    • Howard University
  • The Johns Hopkins University
    • Bloomberg School of Public Health
    • School of Medicine
    • School of Nursing
  • University of California, Davis Health - Prep Médico and MIND Institute
  • University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Center for Disabilities
  • Tribal colleges and universities
  • Hispanic-serving institutions

Program Activities

The summer program is provided at one of three sites:
  1. Kennedy Krieger Institute/The Johns Hopkins University
  2. University of California, Davis Health
  3. University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

Leadership Tracks

Students may choose up to two public health leadership tracks.
  1. Clinical/Community: Students rotate through clinical experiences provided by maternal and child health disciplines (pediatrics, psychiatry, neurology, physiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, social work, psychology, speech-language pathology, special education and nursing). In addition, students gain experience in providing community-based healthcare and community support systems for underserved groups.
  2. Community Engagement and Advocacy: Students work with professionals, who specialize in assisting individuals with developmental disabilities and/or who work in public health and related systems, on forming, implementing and evaluating healthcare and disability legislation, regulations and practice guidelines. The critical importance of engaging underrepresented communities is particularly emphasized.
  3. Research: Students work with research mentors on a wide range of public health, prevention, treatment and epidemiological studies. Students receive training in community-based participatory research, which engages communities currently underserved by mainstream systems.


  1. A comprehensive orientation held at Kennedy Krieger Institute introduces students to information on health disparities, men’s health, HIV/AIDS, obesity, cancer, community violence, infectious diseases, LGBTQI health challenges, and prevention of and treatment for drug abuse.
  2. The experience allows students to select one or more of the three leadership tracks that best meet their individual needs.
  3. Students meet and work with experts in their respective clinical, community and research fields.
  4. Students meet other students with similar career interests.
  5. Students attend a public health orientation seminar at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.
  6. A $3,500 stipend, transportation and housing are provided.
  7. Students gain experience presenting health and research information to colleagues and mentors.
  8. Weekly distance learning seminars are offered throughout the summer.

Visit KennedyKrieger.org/RISE-UP for application information.

Application are due and must be uploaded by January 31, 2018, 11:59 PM (EST).

Questions: MCHC-RISE-UP@KennedyKrieger.org