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Project RISE (Research Institute for Scholars in Education) is designed to prepare underrepresented undergraduates from the University of Maryland, College Park and Bowie State University with one year of paid research and career development training in education research. The overall aim of Project RISE is to increase diversity in the pool of students who pursue doctoral studies in a broad range of fields related to language and literacy.


Project RISE is funded through a $1.1 million grant from the US Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences (IES). The program admits 12 new Fellows each year and provides research-skills training and career development mentoring. 

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 and literacy research; (4) sustained academic and career development support; (5) assistance with applying for graduate school; and, (6) peer mentoring from graduate students at both campuses.



Applications for 2021-22 RISE Fellowships - priority deadline April 2, 2021, 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 qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research
  • 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

Principal Investigator and Director of RISE



Will Drakeford

Dr. Will Drakeford

Co-Principal Investigator and Director of RISE


RISE Coordinators

professional picture

Dr. Megan Stump

Program Coordinator


Dr. Sean Coleman, BSU

Dr. Sean Coleman

Program Coordinator



Ms. Debbie O'Banion

Program Coordinator



Project RISE 

Research Institute for Scholars in Education

University of Maryland College Park (2311 Benjamin, ph (301) 405-3324) & Bowie State University (256 Proctor)

Email: bsu.umd.rise@gmail.com

Website: https://education.umd.edu/rise

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/projectrise_umd.bsu/


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