Project RISE


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The University of Maryland, College Park and Bowie State University’s Research Institute for Scholars in Education program provides under represented or disadvantaged undergraduates with one year of paid research and career development training in language or literacy.

To be eligible for this program, you must be an undergraduate at the University of Maryland College Park, or Bowie State University. The overall aim is to increase diversity in the pool of individuals who pursue doctoral studies in fields such as Education, Cognitive Psychology, Educational Psychology, Human Development, Speech Language Pathology, Special Education, Linguistics, or Audiology to broaden the focus of existing research related to language and literacy.


Project RISE is funded by the US Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences (IES) for 5 years. The program admits 12 new Fellows each year and provides research-skills training and career development mentoring for students.

The elements of the yearlong fellowship experience include: (1) paid full-time, 8-week summer research seminar at UMCP; (2) paid full-time, 2 week winter seminar at BSU; (3) immersion in high-quality quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods language or literacy research conducted by Education and Hearing and Speech faculty at UMCP; (4) Sustained academic and career development support by Education and Counseling faculty at BSU (5) assistance in applying for graduate programs; and, (6) Peer mentoring from graduate students at both campuses.



Applications for 2020-21 RISE Fellowships - priority deadline December 2019, open until filled.

The Specific Aims of the RISE Program are to:

  • Increase knowledge of innovative research on language and literacy
  • Enhance research skills and experience necessary to be competitive graduate school applicants in education-related disciplines

  • Enhance awareness of the process, practice, and ethics underlying scientific research

  • Prepare trainees for graduate school and a research career in education-related disciplines

  • Provide high-quality mentoring



RISE in the News

  • The University of Maryland College of Education and Bowie State University received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to train undergraduate students from underrepresented populations for doctoral study. Designed to increase diversity in education research, students in the Research Institute for Scholars in Education (RISE) training program will receive research mentoring on language and literacy topics from UMD faculty, while receiving academic mentoring from BSU faculty.
  • The program is led by Shenika Hankerson, a University of Maryland education professor, and William Drakeford, a Bowie State University education professor. It will allow 48 undergraduate student fellows over the next five years to work on research related to language and literacy alongside faculty mentors. Undergraduate juniors from underrepresented backgrounds, including racial minorities, students with financial needs and students with disabilities, will be selected for RISE.

  • Photo of RISE students 2019 at the completion of RISE Summer Academy

         RISE Summer Academy students 2019



RISE Directors

Dr. Shenika Hankerson

Dr. Shenika Hankerson
(301) 405-3324
2227B Benjamin Building

Will Drakeford

Dr. William Drakeford

RISE Coordinators

Carolyn Fink Dr. Carolyn Fink
1238 Benjamin Building


Dr. Sean Coleman

  Debbie O'Banion


Contact RISE:

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