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The Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement-Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP) provides opportunities for enhanced public health leadership training to focus on elimination of health disparities and promotion of health equity.

Grant funding for this program was awarded to Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a national consortium of institutions and universities built on the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) training framework and the previous CDC-funded RISE Program grant. Consortium partners include:

  1. Kennedy Krieger Institute partnering with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  2. University of South Dakota partnering with Tribal Serving Institutions
  3. University of California, Davis (UC Davis) MIND Institute partnering with the UC Davis Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

MCHC/RISE-UP’s ultimate goal is to promote a more equitable health system by introducing highly qualified undergraduate scholars (juniors and seniors with a GPA of 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale; and scholars who received their baccalaureate degree within 12 months of MCHC/RISE-UP program orientation) to the field of public health.

All scholars interested in addressing health disparities and promoting social justice, especially scholars from underrepresented populations in the field of public health, are strongly encouraged to apply. Students who are particularly interested in learning more about neurodevelopmental disorders in children are invited to apply to the UC Davis site.

Program Activities

Scholars are mentored by a UC Davis faculty member throughout their 6-week summer experience. Learning opportunities for scholars include:

  1. Weekly, in-person seminars related to social determinants of health, disability, mental health as well as distance learning with other KKI site partners using the CDC Winnable Battles
  2. Clinical participation to learn about disability and health disparities
  3. Community engagement and advocacy
  4. Research


Scholars will travel to Baltimore, Maryland on May 30, 2021 for an in-person orientation at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University. The orientation will occur from May 31, 2021 through June 3, 2021. Scholars will return home on June 3, 2021.

The UC Davis Scholars will participate in online distance learning on June 4, 2021 and June 11, 2021 until the formal start of the program onsite as indicated below.

Program Dates

Please note that the UC Davis onsite program is offered for a 6-week period, starting June 14, 2021 to July 23, 2021. Scholars will arrive to Sacramento for move-in on June 13, 2021. Scholars will move out of their housing on July 23, 2021 and will travel to Atlanta, Georgia for a closing ceremony at the CDC on that date.

Closing Ceremony

The closing ceremony dates, CDC Showcase and Expo are from July 26-28, 2021. Scholars will travel home afterwards.


A $3,000 stipend is provided to all UC Davis program participants. Air flight and housing for the CDC visit are paid by the program. Consortium site housing and round-trip travel for out-of-state scholars are also available. All program activities are contingent on CDC funding.


Scholars will be residing in a local college dormitory on the California State University at Sacramento in Sacramento, California. Housing during the program will be paid for by the program.


Air flight between sites will be paid for by the program. Any ground transportation, such as driving between housing to community sites or the seminars, as well as parking will be covered by the Scholars.

In order to be considered for acceptance into this program, the applicant must:

  • Be currently enrolled as a rising junior or senior, or received their baccalaureate degree within 12 calendar months of the MCHC/RISE-UP orientation
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. National, permanent resident
  • Be able to commit to the length of the program

Visit KennedyKrieger.org/RiseUp for application and additional program information. Please visit the UC Davis Health MIND Institute website for the application link. 

Final submission date is Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM (EST).

For additional program information, please contact: MCHC-RISE-UP@KennedyKrieger.org or UC Davis Coordinators Victoria Rondan at verondan@ucdavis.edu or Maria Rivas Reyes at mcrivasreyes@ucdavis.edu.