Program Overview:

As of December 2020, the Dr. James A. Fergson RISE Fellowship (Ferguson RISE) Program is planned to be a virtual format. There may be exceptions to this decision for students assigned to the CDC - please continue to monitor the CDC website for up-to-date information.

The virtual program begins with Orientation for ALL scholars. Registration and seminars will begin on Monday, May 31 through Thursday, June 3, 2021. Ferguson RISE fellows assigned to CDC mentors will be introduced on Friday, June 4, 2021. Following Orientation, the Ferguson RISE fellows begin their virtual research experience on June 7, 2021 and end on July 28, 2021. Closing activity for the Ferguson RISE Fellowship is planned for Thursday, August 5, 2021. ALL Ferguson RISE fellows will participate in Wednesday Research Accountability Groups and Public Health seminars beginning June 9, 2021.

During the remaining 8 weeks of the program, Ferguson RISE Fellows receive mentored virtual research and professional development experiences with the CDC, 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 and state 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 may participate in telehealth visits.

All Fellows participate in weekly research and public health seminars. On Monday, July 26 through Wednesday, July 28, 2021, Ferguson RISE fellows will participate in the CDC Showcase and Expo. On Thursday, August 5, 2021, Ferguson fellows will present their research to peers, mentors and researchers. 

All program activities are contingent upon CDC funding.

Program Benefits:

  • A $4,700 stipend is provided for master level graduate fellows and a $6,409 stipend is provided for pre-doctoral graduate fellows.
  • Sponsorship to attend a national scientific meeting

Expectations and Objectives:

Ferguson RISE Fellows are expected to:

  • Attend weekly virtual 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:

Students who are members of underrepresented populations 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:

Application for the 2021 cohort opens November 1, 2020 and closes January 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Applicants for the 2021 cohort will receive a decision letter via email by the end of March.

Due to ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s role in leading the pandemic response, all Center for Diversity summer programs, including the MCHC/RISE-UP and Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases RISE Fellowship, will be virtual.  Please visit this website and the CDC website for up-to-date information on program modifications.

For More Information:

For additional program information, please contact

Ferguson RISE Frequently Asked Questions

2018 Ferguson RISE Summer Symposium Videos