The Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training at Kennedy Krieger Institute offers four programs designed to provide educational opportunities for undergraduate- and graduate-level students in the fields of public health, maternal and child health, infectious diseases, and developmental disabilities. These leadership opportunities focus on the social determinants of health and addressing health disparities through clinical, research, and community engagement and advocacy activities.

The mission of the Center is to develop diverse scholars and leaders who use culturally relevant, evidence-based, and health equity approaches to inform research, practice, advocacy, and policies that promote optimal child brain development. Our programs are funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and the Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Click the image below to learn more about the Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training and our programs:

Please Note:

The 2024 Center for Diversity application process for all programs (MCH-LEARN, MCHC/RISE-UP, Ferguson RISE & EMURG) will be launched on October 9, 2023. Center for Diversity programs are anticipated to be in-person. The status of the programs and fellowships is subject to change based on the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Please visit the Center for Diversity website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for up-to-date information on program modifications.

Our innovative and “real world” experiential training programs include:

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

The Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement-Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP) is a 10.5-week summer program designed for undergraduate juniors and seniors, and recent baccalaureate degree students, with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.7 on a 4-point scale who are interested in learning more about public health and preventing health disparities. Through this program, with university partners from across the nation (University of South Dakota and University of California - Davis), MCHC/RISE-UP offers public health leadership learning experiences in clinical, research, and community engagement and advocacy areas.

Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Initiatives For Student Enhancement (RISE) Fellowship

The Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement (RISE) Fellowship includes a 6-month (part-time or full-time), 12-month full-time, or 10.5-week summer public health research experience (full-time) for students currently enrolled full-time in a medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, or public health, allied health and social sciences graduate programs who are interested in conducting research in the areas of infectious diseases and/or health disparities. Fellows improve professional leadership skills and are supported to present their research at national meetings.

Contact and Application Information

Please visit: or email for more information or to apply. Complete applications for the Ferguson RISE Six-Month Fellowship must be submitted by November 28, 11:59 PM EASTERN. Applications for the Ferguson RISE Summer Fellowship and Ferguson RISE 12-Month Fellowship must be submitted by January 31, 11:59 PM EASTERN. For general Kennedy Krieger Institute information, visit or call 888-554-2080.

Maternal and Child Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy, And Research Network(MCH-LEARN)

The Maternal and Child Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy, and Research Network (MCH-LEARN) is a 10.5-week summer program that continues through the following academic year with monthly meetings. This program provides undergraduate freshman and sophomore students, with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale from underrepresented populations who are interested in the maternal and child healthcare (MCH) field, a comprehensive, integrated learning experience. The overarching goal of MCH-LEARN is to increase the number of students from historically disadvantaged and/or underrepresented populations who enter graduate school in MCH fields.

View our 2023 Center for Diversity Scholars and Fellows

Program Infographics:

Learn more about the makeup of our training program classes through these informative infographics. Click the image to expand it in a new window.


Diversity, Leadership, Health Equity