Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)

Undergraduate announcement: Deadline to submit applications is March 24, 2022

Program Description

The MARC Program seeks to develop a diverse pool of undergraduates who complete their baccalaureate degree, and transition into and complete biomedical Ph.D. degree programs. MARC provides stipends, tuition and fees to participating juniors and seniors to conduct research. The MARC research training elements are integrated with the undergraduate curriculum and include participation in mentored research with world-class faculty, individual career and academic advising, a research faculty seminar series, a journal club to introduce scholars to critical reading of current biomedical literature, training in genomics, computational biology, statistics and methods to enhance reproducibility, training in responsible conduct of research, preparation to present oral presentations and posters at local and national conferences, training in scientific communication, workshops on application to graduate school, and individual mentoring during the graduate school application process.

A Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) Program, sponsored by NIH-NIGMS T34GM136498

Eligibility

MARC scholars must be United States citizens or permanent residents from underrepresented groups (Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, or individuals with disabilities, or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds as defined by NOT-OD-20-031), enrolled in an area within biomedical sciences, chemistry, mathematics, physics, computer sciences and biomedical engineering.

MARC scholars must be UCI undergraduate junior and senior students majoring in the sciences, with a GPA of at least 3.0, with an expressed interest in a career in biomedical research and intentions to pursue graduate education leading to a Ph.D. or other Ph.D./combined professional. MARC scholars must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents at the time of the appointment.  Students with labor permits are not eligible for participation in the MARC Program.

Research Training Areas

Biomedical research includes: such areas as cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, genetics, etc., and behavioral research as well as the more quantitative areas, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry
and computer sciences, necessary to analyze biological phenomena. MARC scholars may choose their research advisor among faculty in the School of Biological Sciences, College of Medicine, School of Physical Sciences, School of Engineering and School of Information and Computer Science that are conducting biomedical research.

Benefits, Responsibilities and Timetable

The period of appointment to the MARC program is two years at the junior/senior level. Appointments of less than nine months are not allowable. Failure to comply with the program requirements in full (see table below) or graduation will result in termination prior to the two-year maximum term.

MARC is a merit-based fellowship program, and thus students are encouraged to apply to MARC regardless of their financial aid status. In most cases, individuals receiving other forms of financial aid are still eligible for MARC. However, since MARC is a National Research Service Award (NRSA) funded by a training grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH), individuals receiving certain other federally-funded grants or fellowships (e.g. Truman, other NIH fellowships) may not be eligible for funding by this program. The program administration will determine whether or not there are financial aid conflicts that render an individual ineligible for financial support by the program.

Concurrent Awards:   A MARC traineeship may not be held concurrently with another Federally sponsored traineeship (e.g. CAMP, MBRS, REU) or a similar training award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.  However, an individual may accept concurrent educational benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (e.g., G.I. Bill) and Federal loans.

students in labStipend Supplementation: An institution is permitted to provide funds to a MARC trainee in addition to the stipend paid by the NIH.  Such additional amounts may be in the form of augmented stipends (supplementation) or compensation for services.  Supplementation, when provided, does not obligate the fellow in any way.  However, no Federal funds may be used for supplementation. Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation for services interfere with, detract from, or prolong the fellow’s approved NRSA training program.

MARC scholars are expected to engage in research, under the mentorship of a UCI faculty, for 15 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during the summer.

MARC trainees are required to spend at least one summer at an extramural site for a research training experience (funded by the MARC program). Foreign sites are not allowed.

MARC activities and requirements:

Program Directors

Dr. Luis M. Mota-Bravo, Director of Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs, School of Biological Sciences

Dr. Marlene de la Cruz, Director of Student Academic Development of Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs, School of Biological Sciences

Dr. Anthony A. James, Donald Bren Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences

Application

Please download, complete and sign the MARC_Application. With your application, please include your UCI transcript (if you have completed less than three quarters at UCI, please include an official copy of transcripts from previous colleges attended).

Questions?

For additional information about MARC please contact:

Dr. Marlene de la Cruz
Director Academic Student Development
Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs, School of Biological Sciences
University of California, Irvine
1134 Biological Sciences III
Irvine, CA 92697-2527
Ph: (949) 824-2589
Fax: (949) 824-6599
e-mail: marlene@uci.edu