FAQ’s for MARC Scholars Program Internship Applications
1.) Are these programs open to international students?
Unfortunately, we do not have opportunities for international students at this time.
2.) Can seniors apply to these internships?
If a student (regardless of class standing) has 2 years until graduation that they can commit to the program, they may apply for the MARC Scholars program. Seniors should make an appointment to speak with the Program Coordinator (Samantha Davis) to discuss other options for gaining research experience.
3.) Am I eligible for the MARC Scholarship?
If you are a US citizen or permanent resident, junior (at least 2 years left at UCSB), in an eligible STEM major, and have interest in attending graduate school to pursue research in a biomedical-related field, then you are eligible to apply!
4.) Is prior research necessary to apply?
No prior experience with research is necessary to apply for any of these research programs. We are looking to support students who have demonstrated a strong interest in research, whether or not they have had extensive research experience.
5.) Who should write my letter(s) of recommendation?
Your letter(s) of recommendation should come from an authority figure who can comment on any skills or personal attributes that may be relevant to research. This may be a faculty with whom you have developed a professional relationship, but more often can be a TA for a STEM class who has worked closely with you over a period of time and is familiar with your attributes (work ethic, curiosity, perseverance, specific skills, etc.). You may also ask a boss or manager from a non-science field, if they are able to comment on skills relevant to your desire to become a researcher.
6.) Do I need to identify and contact my research mentor before I apply?
No. If you are selected for an internship and do not already have a mentor, we will work with you to find an appropriate match. For the application, we ask that you identify 4 faculty whose research interests you. A great place to start is your department’s faculty directory – you can read about the research being conducted by faculty in your department and make your list. Remember, this list is to help you think more concretely about the research that interests you, and to help us better understand your research interests. There is no obligation to work with anyone on your list even if you are selected for the internship. Of course, if you are already in the process of finding a research mentor while completing the application, you may continue to do so if you wish.
7.) How do I find research mentors?
Start by visiting your department's website and reading the faculty research profiles listed. Make notes about what types of research interests you along with the names of the specific research faculty. You may also decide to find potential mentors through conversations with your professors, TAs or peers.
8.) Can I take summer school during the program?
We do not permit any of our interns to take summer school while the program is in session because of the intensive time commitment required for our summer internship. Students are expected to commit full time to the research internship during the summer (35-40hrs per week). If necessary (schedule permitting), students may take summer school after the conclusion of the program and before the fall quarter begins.
9.) What is the summer internship like?
During the summer internship, interns spend approximately 30-35hrs per week engaged in research activities under the supervision of their primary mentor (usually a graduate student or post-doc in the research group of your faculty mentor). These activities may be in the lab, in the field, at the computer, or wherever else your specific research takes place! Students will often attend lab meetings, journal clubs, learn protocols, and present to their research group (though each individual research group will vary). Interns will design and conduct an independent research project over the course of the summer program, under the guidance and supervision of their mentors. For 5-10hrs per week, interns will also receive valuable professional development training with CSEP coordinators and fellow interns. These professional development activities include weekly seminars, group meetings with practice presentations, networking events, poster sessions, and more. The professional development activities are designed to complement the research training portion of the internship. The summer program culminates with each intern presenting a full-length research talk (15 minutes) at a symposium, as well as presenting a poster at a campus-wide poster colloquium. For more perspectives on the summer internship program, check out blogs written by former interns at the UCSB Undergrad Research Blog (search keywords MARC, Gorman, EUREKA to see posts by our interns)! https://undergrad.research.ucsb.edu/blog/