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CNAS Program Profile: MARC U STAR

By CNAS Communications |
Ernest-Martinez

PROGRAM: MARC U STAR (Maximizing Access to Research Careers - Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research)
PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Dr. Ernest Martinez, Professor of Biochemistry
WEBSITE: www.marcu.ucr.ed

Tell us about the MARC U STAR program. How does the program help students interested in a career in biomedical research or those interested in pursuing a graduate education?
The MARC U-STAR program is funded by the NIH and is designed to train underrepresented minority students in the biomedical sciences (racial/ethnic minorities, socio/economically disadvantaged and disability students) to help them continue towards a career in biomedical research. The program helps the students devote significant time in hands-on lab research under the mentorship of a Faculty of the MARC program by providing a monthly stipend and covering a significant portion of their tuition and fees during the last two years at UCR.

In addition, the students receive funding to support one summer research experience off-campus at another Institution of their choice and for their participation in national research conferences. Beyond extensive research in their Mentor’s lab (15h/week during academic year and 40h/week in the summer), students receive training via special classes and workshops on research methods, critical analysis of research articles, research presentations, bioethics, and in the preparation of resumes/CVs and applications to fellowships and graduate programs. In addition, the students network with former MARC alumni and meet the Faculty Directors and staff of graduate programs across the nation who are invited to present at weekly MARC meetings during the Fall each year.

By participating in the MARC U STAR program, what do you hope students will gain from this experience? 
The program should help the students develop their critical thinking, oral presentation and hands-on laboratory research skills. In addition, the students should develop leadership skills and become more confident to serve as role models for other underrepresented minority students in the sciences. Overall the students should be well trained in academic research and better prepared to enter and succeed in Ph.D. or combined MD/Ph.D. graduate programs.

How can students get involved with the MARC U STAR program? 
Students can get involved in the MARC U STAR program by joining the MARC U STAR Student Organization and attending MARC meetings (open to all students). If interested in applying to either paid programs (2-Year Trainee or 10-week Summer Program), applicants can visit www.marcu.ucr.edu for more information about the application process.

Are there any important workshop dates, special events, or application deadlines that students should be aware of?
During the Fall 2020 quarter, the MARC U STAR program holds weekly meetings every Tuesday from 4 – 5 p.m. (each quarter varies). If you would like to receive the Zoom meeting information, request to be added to the MARC U STAR email list HERE. Application deadline for the 2020-2021 recruitment period for BOTH MARC U STAR paid programs is midnight March 7, 2021. Visit our website for more information.

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