The Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement (RISE) Fellowship Program is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded, ten-week summer program providing educational and professional development opportunities for fellows interested in infectious diseases, public health, mental health, maternal and child health and/or health disparities research. The overarching goal of the Ferguson RISE Fellowship is to promote diversity among future public health research leaders.

2020 Planned Program Activities

Orientation Week: The program begins with Orientation for ALL scholars. Registration, health screening, and seminars will begin at Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore MD on Monday, May 25 through Thursday, May 28, 2020. Ferguson RISE Fellows participating at the CDC in Atlanta will complete the onboarding process at the CDC on Friday, May 29, 2020. Following Orientation, the Ferguson RISE Fellows begin their research experience on June 1, 2020 and end on July 29, 2020. ALL Ferguson RISE Fellows will participate in Wednesday Research Accountability Groups and Public Health seminars beginning June 3, 2020. PLEASE NOTE THESE DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

During the remaining 9 weeks of the program, Ferguson RISE Fellows receive mentored research and professional development experiences at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia or Baltimore at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore City Health Department, or the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).

The CDC Site in Atlanta offers a research externship focused on infectious diseases and addressing public health disparities. Ferguson RISE Fellows work with research mentors on a range of infectious disease projects and public health prevention, treatment and epidemiological studies. Research experiences include laboratory science, epidemiology, public health policy, public health education, developmental disabilities, injury prevention and emergency preparedness. Conferences and networking related to public health infectious diseases research and response preparedness are offered.

Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Nursing, Maryland Department of Health, and Bureau of Prisons (Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC) offer clinical, state and community-based research experiences. Ferguson RISE Fellows work with research mentors on projects related to infectious diseases treatment, prevention, health disparities, mental health, developmental disabilities and epidemiology. Ferguson RISE Fellows located at the Baltimore, Maryland site may participate in clinical, laboratory, and community experiences. Ferguson RISE Fellows may also receive training in the conduct of community-based participatory research. Ferguson RISE Fellows in Baltimore may rotate through clinical experiences related to infectious diseases and public health or attend clinical rounds.

All Fellows participate in weekly research and public health seminars. During the last week of the fellowship, students present their research to peers, mentors and researchers. The final day of the Ferguson RISE Fellowship program is July 29, 2020.

All program activities are contingent upon CDC funding.

Program Benefits

  • A $4,700 stipend is provided for master level graduate fellows and a $6,223 stipend is provided for pre-doctoral graduate fellows
  • Housing and round-trip transportation costs are also available for out-of-state fellows
  • Sponsorship to attend a national scientific meeting
  • Sponsored membership in the American Public Health Association (APHA)

Expectations and Objectives

Ferguson RISE Fellows are expected to:

  • Attend weekly Research Accountability Groups and public health summer seminars
  • Develop and present their research at the Ferguson Fellowship Program Symposia at the end of the summer session. View 2018 Ferguson RISE Summer Symposium Videos

Eligibility Requirements

Fellows who are members of underrepresented populations (as defined by the federal government) are strongly encouraged to apply!

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

  • Be enrolled as a full-time student in a medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, or graduate programs in public health, allied health, or social sciences program during the entire 10-week program.
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Have the ability to commit to participate actively during the length of the fellowship

All activities are subject to the availability of federal funds.

Application Information:

Applications for the 2020 cohort are closed. Please check back for information about the 2021 cohort application.

Due to the extensive earthquakes affecting Puerto Rico, we are issuing an extension of the 2020 application to applicants living in Puerto Rico. If you are an applicant from Puerto Rico, please reach out to Center for Diversity Staff via email ( to receive details on the application. Thank you.

For More Information

For additional program information, please contact


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