MARC U-STAR provides support for undergraduate students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds or are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences to improve their preparation for Ph.D. graduate training at outstanding universities nationwide.
Nationally, groups found to be underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research include, but are not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands; those from disadvantaged backgrounds; and those who have disabilities.
Students appointed to the MARC U-STAR program embark on 24 months of research scholarship in their final two years of undergraduate training, typically junior and senior years.
Once chosen as MARC Scholars, the students embark upon a two-year program designed to enrich their development as students and scientists through innovative research, mentoring, collaboration and practice in effective communication. The program offers students a unique opportunity to become immersed in the scientific community and develop as future leaders in the community. Scholars explore their discipline, experience a research environment, and improve their opportunities for future study in their chosen field. Each Scholar is mentored by a faculty member, from across UCSB science and engineering departments, who assists the student in designing a plan of research and enrichment activities fitted to the individual interests and academic goals of the Scholar which includes:
- Two years of paid summer and academic-year research training ($13,104 annually)
- Partial tuition/fees and partial health insurance coverage
- Support for an extramural research experience in the second summer of the program
- Travel to professional or scientific society meetings
- Weekly professional development workshops and research seminars during the summer
- Academic year leadership course "Science for the Common Good"
- Oral and written science communication skills development
- Outreach and peer leadership opportunities
- Networking events throughout the year
- Participation in graduate level professional development seminars/workshops
- GRE preparation
- Undergraduate students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds and or are underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences as defined by the NIH
- Participants should apply prior to their junior year and/or should be on track to receive a baccalaureate degree at the conclusion of the second year of the MARC program (24 month commitment).
- Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
- Must be in a Mathematics, Science (Psychology/Neuroscience ok), or Engineering major.
- Scholars may not enroll in summer courses during the 10 week summer sessions.
The MARC Faculty Selection Committee will use the following selection criteria to identify students who are deemed as suitable award recipients:
Ability to perform successfully in the rigorous coursework required to complete a science, engineering or mathematics degree at UCSB.
Evidence of non-technical skills needed for a successful transition into graduate school such as maturity, responsibility, personal initiative and the ability to work and communicate well with others.
Genuine interest in the biomedical sciences and for new and independent learning opportunities. Evidence of persistence and dedication to study and an interest in attending a PhD program and completing a graduate degree.
The potential for the student to benefit substantially from the additional support and opportunities this program will offer.
Awardee Eligibility Requirements
Student awardees must stay within an Engineering, Science, or Mathematics major at UCSB throughout the entire duration of the award. Each quarter they must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and complete a minimum of 12 units. Awardees shall be required to attend periodic on- and off-campus events and activities as scheduled by CSEP specifically for MARC Scholars.
Important Note About MARC Funding
Student awardees should note that all funding for the MARC Scholarship will be disbursed through Financial Aid during the Academic Year. All awardees will be required to meet with advisors in Financial Aid to determine how MARC funding will affect their individual financial aid package.