RISE-UP (Research Initiatives for Students) provides public health training opportunities for undergraduate students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, to encourage and support the pursuit of graduate degrees.

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Participating Sites

Training takes place at one of three locations:

  • Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University 

  • University of Southern California, California State University Los Angeles 

  • University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine

Program Tracks

  • 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, special education and nursing). In addition, students gain experience in providing community-based healthcare and community support systems for underserved groups.

  • Leadership and Policy: Students work with professionals in developmental disabilities, public health, and related systems on forming, implementing, and evaluating health care and disability legislation, regulations, and practice guidelines. The critical importance of engaging underrepresented communities is particularly emphasized.

  • 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 that are currently underserved by mainstream systems.

Program Benefits

  1. The experience allows students to select one or more of the three training tracks that best meet their individual needs.
  2. Students meet and work with experts in their respective clinical, policy and research fields.
  3. Students meet other students with similar career interests.
  4. Students attend a week-long public health orientation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  5. A comprehensive orientation held at Kennedy Krieger introduces students to information on health disparities, biostatistics, manuscript and abstract development, and health topics such as HIV/AIDS, obesity, cancer, community violence, infectious diseases, effects of drug abuse, etc.
  6. A paid stipend, transportation and housing are provided.
  7. Students receive an American Public Health Association membership.
  8. Students present health and research information to colleagues and mentors.
  9. Weekly distance learning seminars are offered throughout the summer and every month during the school year.

RISE-UP Success

  • 100 percent of students completed the program.
  • 100 percent of the students who applied for graduate, post-baccalaureate or medical school were accepted.
  • 95 percent of RISE students who graduated from college or graduate school are working, seeking employment or continuing their education in public health.
  • 89 percent of abstracts submitted to national meetings were accepted.

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