SJSU MARC (U*STAR) - Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U*STAR)

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What is the MARC U*STAR Program?

Who is eligible for SJSU MARC?

What benefits would the MARC program have for me?

If I am selected to be a SJSU MARC Trainee, what are my obligations?

Interested in applying to the MARC Program?

What if I don’t have a 3.0 GPA or otherwise don’t qualify for MARC?

 

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What is the MARC U*STAR Program?

The SJSU Department of Biological Sciences is the host to the SJSU MARC U*STAR Program. The Director of the Program is Dr. Cleber Ouverney.

MARC U*STAR Programs  are sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH)  to provide support for undergraduate students who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Psychology and Biomedical Engineering) to improve their preparation for high-caliber graduate training at the Ph.D. level. Institutions with significant enrollments of college students from underrepresented groups may be eligible to apply.

Who is eligible for SJSU MARC?

All applicants must be US Citizens or legal residents.  Applicants must also be registered, full-time undergraduate students at SJSU majoring in Sciences, Psychology or Engineering with an interest in the biomedical fields.  Community college transfers to SJSU can apply prior to starting at SJSU.

Students who apply to be selected as MARC Trainees must be honors students (3.0 GPA or better) who have expressed interest in pursuing postgraduate education leading to the Ph.D., or M.D.-Ph.D. (but NOT only an M.D.).

Under NIGMS guidelines, priority is given to applicants of the following ethnicities who are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences:

  • African America
  • Latina/Latino
  • Native American 
  • Native Pacific Islander

The period of appointment to the MARC U-STAR program is a consecutive 24-month period at the final 2 years of undergraduate training, the junior and senior years.

What benefits would the MARC program have for me?

MARC students and their faculty research mentors receive:

  • $850 in research funds per year  for 2 years
  • Funding for student conference and research travel each of 2 years

MARC students receive:

  • ~ $1000.00 a month for 24 months.
  • 60% of their tuition costs for 2 academic years
  • Priority registration for 2 years
  • presentation, graduation school application and graduate survival skills training.

If I am selected to be a SJSU MARC Trainee, what are my obligations?

If you are invited to join MARC or RISE, you will need to:

  • Choose a SJSU faculty research mentor and have that person agree to mentor your research. 
  •  Keep your grade point at or above a 3.0 or higher. 
  •  Perform and hopefully publish meaningful research. Students will spend two full academic years and one full summer in their faculty mentor's research lab. 
  •  Present your research at a research conference. We require the students to present a poster or oral presentation at one or more professional conferences during the second year of their program.
  •  The whole MARC cohort will travel together to one, national conference for minority students per year (such as ABRCMS or SACNAS).
  •  MARC Fellows *must* go away to a PhD institution for the second summer of their program- they cannot stay in their mentor's lab for both summers.
  •  MARC students must attend the weekly MARC seminar.   Students must register for Biol 180 to receive credit for this course. In this course, the students practice the skills needed to be a successful researcher, PhD candidate, PhD student, and PhD. 
  •  Take a course in science ethics (such as Philosophy 133).

Interested in applying to the MARC Program?

Please fill out the application form and ethnicity form and give them to either Dr. Ouverney or to Mr. Eric McGhee (contact information below)

Cleber Ouverney, Ph.D.

Program Director SJSU MARC U*STAR 
Department of Biological Sciences
San Jose' State University
One Washington Square
San Jose', CA 95192-0100
Office: DH439 (Duncan Hall)

Phone: 408-924-4806

Email: cleber.ouverney@sjsu.edu

 

For questions related to student stipends, reimbursement to conference, and research lab funding for consumables and reagents, contact:

 

Mr. Eric McGhee, Program Coordinator

Office: DH555 (Duncan Hall)

Office Hours: M-Th 10am - 1pm

Phone: 408-924-5247

Email: eric.mcghee@sjsu.edu

What if I don’t have a 3.0 GPA or otherwise don’t qualify for MARC?

You could consider the SJSU RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Program). The RISE Program aims to help reduce the existing gap in completion of Ph.D. degrees between underrepresented and non-underrepresented students. The RISE Program Director is Dr. Karen Singmaster in the Chemistry Department (ksingmaster@jupiter.sjsu.edu).

All applicants must be US Citizens or legal residents.  Applicants must also be registered, full-time undergraduate students at SJSU majoring in Sciences or Engineering with an interest in the biomedical fields.  Community college transfers to SJSU can apply prior to starting at SJSU RISE applicants must have at least a 2.7 GPA and have completed Calculus I (Math 30P/30 at SJSU or equivalent).  Like MARC, Undergraduate research is the principal component of the RISE program and as such a willingness and commitment to participate in research is required.  RISE students are also expected to attend a weekly program meeting every semester and participate in Academic Excellence Workshops and Summer Workshops/Preparation Courses if these are still relevant to their current course work.

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