Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement (MCHC/RISE-UP)

Kennedy Krieger Institute
Baltimore, MD.
Type Clinical Observation, Clinical Research, Global Health, Health Disparities


Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiative for Student Enhancement Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP) is a 10-week summer public health leadership program designed for undergraduates who are interested in learning more about preventing health disparities.

The MCHC/RISE-UP Program provides opportunities for enhanced public health leadership training to focus on elimination of health disparities and promotion of health equity.

Scholars participate in weekly seminars through distance learning.

Three public health leadership experiences are offered at each MCHC/RISE-UP site. Scholars may choose up to two (2) leadership experiences at one (1) of three locations: Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University, University of Southern California/California State University Los Angeles and University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.

Public health experiences offered to scholars are:

  1. Clinical/Community: Scholars rotate through clinical experiences provided by Maternal and Child Health disciplines (pediatrics, psychiatry, neurology, physiatrist, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, social work, psychology, speech/language, special education and nursing) (KKI only). In addition, scholars will have planned experiences in providing community-based multi-level health care and support systems for underserved groups.
  2. Community Engagement and Advocacy: Scholars work with professionals in the University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Public Health and related systems on the formation, implementation and evaluation of health care and disability legislation, regulations and practice guidelines. The critical role of engaging underrepresented communities in shaping responsive systems of care receives a special emphasis.
  3. Research: Scholars work with research mentors on a wide range of public health prevention, treatment and epidemiological studies. Scholars receive training in conducting community-based participatory research, which engages communities that are currently underserved by mainstream systems.


MCHC/RISE-UP’s ultimate goal is to promote a more diversified and equal health system by introducing highly qualified undergraduate scholars (juniors and seniors with a GPA 2.5 or better on a 4.0 scale; and students who received their baccalaureate degree within 12 months of MCHC/RISE-UP program orientation), especially those from underrepresented populations, to the field of public health. All students interested in addressing health disparities are encouraged to apply.