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Research Intensive Scholarly Emphasis (RISE)

The Research Intensive Scholarly Emphasis (RISE) program provides an opportunity for Feinberg students to apply for a fully funded full time extra year to perform research in a closely mentored environment overseen by experienced, productive faculty investigator-mentors. Once accepted into RISE, students are provided with intensive assistance in preparing for their extra research year, whether or not they plan to apply for extramural awards (e.g., NIH, American Heart Association/AHA, or other agency).  

Currently, RISE only accepts students enrolled at FSM. 

We anticipate that most RISE scholars will take their extra year for full time research after M2 or M3 years; only M1, M2, and M3 students are eligible to apply. Applications are submitted through a brief online form, which also requests that applicants upload their CVs as well as a brief (~1 page each) personal statement and plan of research for the year. 

Sample application components:

1. Personal Statement
In no more than 500 words, please describe your interest in pursuing an extra year of full time research and seminar sessions through the Research Intensive Scholarly Emphasis (RISE) program.

Specifically, please discuss:
(1) Your over-arching career goals, including interest in a career as a physician-scientist
(2) How taking a year for RISE would help you progress toward these goals from a personal and career/scientific standpoint

2. Proposed Activities Over RISE Year
In no more than 750 words, please provide an outline of planned activities over the course of the year. This includes an outline and general timeline of:
(1) Planned background reading and project-scoping activities
(2) Planned analyses, interventions, and/or experiments, including (if applicable) major hypotheses
(3) Goal outputs, e.g., focus areas/potential titles of presentation(s) and paper(s) that could result from the work

Please upload your CV. Any format is allowed and documents must be uploaded as PDF or word.
Note that prior research experience is NOT required for candidacy in the RISE program. Rather, the primary focus of reviewers is on the quality of work planned over the RISE year and the extent to which the proposed RISE participation would contribute to a candidate’s potential career as a physician-scientist.

4. RISE Mentor’s Letter of Support
Students should upload a letter written from their proposed mentor or mentoring team here. Instructions to share with the mentor(s) when drafting the letter are below:
For mentors: Please provide a brief (~500 words) description of the following:
(1) Your scientific role and mentoring experience
(2) An overview of your program’s opportunities for scientific and career development for the applicant
(3) Whether applications for extramural funding for the student will be pursued in advance of the extra year of research
(4) A statement of whether the mentor is willing to support half or more or less than half of the standard student stipend for the RISE year. Note that half of the student stipend is approximately $17,500 for the year. The remaining uncovered portion will be supported by FSM funds.

View Current and past RISE Projects 

 Funding for RISE

Funding is provided at the standard predoctoral student stipend (~$35,000/year) to the student. Typically, funding is split to some degree between the student’s mentor and FSM; the most common is a 50%/50% split. RISE scholars are hired through the Office of Medical Education (AWOME).  

 Status during RISE year

Students taking a RISE year are enrolled into an independent study status. Historically, this enrollment status does not trigger a student to go into loan repayment status. Tuition is not charged during the RISE year. For more information about your status during the RISE year, please contact Cynthia Gonzalez as needed.


Students in RISE may qualify for NUSHIP. For more information and to determine if you qualify for NUSHIP, please contact the Student Insurance Office by email at or by phone (847-491-3621).

 RISE Professional Development Reimbursement Fund

During the RISE year, in additional to the RISE stipend of $35,000 a year, each student will receive an additional RISE professional development reimbursement fund of $1,250. This fund can be used for workshops, conference travel, and malpractice insurance, among other professional development-related activities. Intended purchases must first be approved by Liza Rivnay through this form.

 ECMH During RISE Year

ECMH will not be a requirement during RISE. Students wishing to keep up their clinical skills may volunteer at a volunteer clinic (no supplemental insurance required) or purchase malpractice insurance using the RISE Professional Development Fund to visit their ECMH.

Rise Mentors

Below is a list of faculty who have confirmed an interest in being mentors for the RISE program. Please note that this is not exhaustive and we are always happy to add more RISE mentors! In general, RISE faculty will be funded investigators with an active research program and infrastructure to take on student mentees.