Dr. Francisco J. Ayala, University Professor and Bren Professor, School of Biological Sciences
Dr. Luis M. Mota-Bravo, Director of Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs, School of Biological Sciences
Dr. Marlene de la Cruz, Associate Director of Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs, School of Biological Sciences
The Minority Science Programs (MSP) in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) announces the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). MARC seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minority (URM) researchers in biomedical research careers, by supporting junior and senior URM students in their preparation for graduate training in the biomedical/behavioral sciences.
MARC scholars engage in year-round biomedical research under the mentorship of a UCI faculty member and receive financial support in the form of,
The MARC research training elements are integrated with the undergraduate curriculum and include 1) research conducted under the direction of UCI faculty mentors receiving 4 units per quarter during the academic year, 2) individual career and academic advising, 3) a research faculty seminar series, 4) a journal club to introduce scholars to critical reading of current biomedical literature, 5) a workshop on principles, instrumentation and techniques used in biomedical research, 6) preparation to present scientific papers at national conferences, 7) a course designed to write a paper to be published in the faculty-refereed undergraduate research journal and/or a peer-reviewed journal, 8) GRE preparation and 9) individual advice during the graduate education application process.
MARC scholars must be underrepresented minority 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. Underrepresented minority groups are Black African-Americans, Chicano/Latino or Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands.
The individuals to be trained under the MARC program must be citizens or permanent residents at the time of the appointment. Students with labor permits are not eligible for participation in the MARC Program.
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.
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.
Stipend 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.
The following timetable shows the MARC activities and requirements:
|REQUIREMENT||HOW MEET REQUIREMENT||WHEN TO MEET REQUIREMENT|
|Science Major||Remain in a science major in good standing||Ongoing|
|Research in biomedical sciences under the direction of a UCI faculty||4.0 units of Bio Sci 199 (F, W, Sp) per quarter plus full-time research in summers, beginning summer of first year (not summer after graduation). Bio Sci 194S (safety and ethics in research) must be taken before enrolling in 199 or concurrently.||Throughout year|
|GPA minimum||Maintain GPA of 3.0 or higher||Each quarter|
|Summer research training at an extramural site||Apply to summer programs before February during the first year in the program||First summer in the program|
|Report of activities||Prepare a summary of activities and accomplishments||Each quarter|
|Meetings, Seminars, Workshops and Courses|
|Academic and career advising||Group and individual meetings with program directors and coordinators to discuss research training, academic progress and application to graduate education||Each quarter|
|Safety and Ethics for Research Course||Course: 194S (1.0 units, P/NP)||Quarter prior to engaging in research|
|MSP Theory and Research Seminar||Course: Bio Sci 197 (F, W, Sp – 1.0 unit, P/NP) plus summer seminars and workshops||Throughout year|
|MSP Training in Laboratory Methods||Workshop: Principles, instrumentation and techniques used in biomedical sciences. Offered during the first two weeks of the summer.||Summer quarter of the first year as MARC fellow|
|MSP Journal Club||Journal Club: Students discuss journal articles about their research projects||Summer quarter of the first year as MARC fellow|
|Summer paper and MSP Summer Symposium||MARC scholars prepare a research paperand present a 10 minute oral presentation about their research to faculty and peers||At the end of every Summer in the program|
|Scientific Papers, Talks and Posters|
|For Bio majors, Excellence in Research||Sponsored by School of Biological Sciences: Enroll in Fall quarter and participate in three workshops; present results in three formats: research paper, oral presentation, research poster||First year in fellowship or senior year. Bio Sci workshops are in Fall and Winter quarters, deadlines are in Winter quarter and presentations in Spring quarter; may participate both years|
|Present at one scientific conference each year (up to one conference per quarter)||Present data at local or national scientific conference. NIH-supported Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), Sigma Xi or American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)||ABRCMS or Sigma Xi in Fall, AAAS in Winter Quarter and UROP in May|
|Preparation to Apply to PhD Programs|
|GRE Preparation||Take the GRE preparation course||Spring or Summer prior to the year of graduation|
|GRE General Test||Take the GRE General Test||Summer prior to graduation|
|Application to PhD Programs||Attend MARC workshops and apply to PhD Programs||Fall prior to graduation|
Please download, complete and sign the MARC application package (Word document). 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).
For additional information about MARC please contact,
Dr. Marlene de la Cruz
Minority Science Programs (MSP)
University of California, Irvine
1134 Biological Sciences III
Irvine, CA 92697-2527
Ph: (949) 824-2589
Fax: (949) 824-6599