Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program

Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U-STAR) Program

The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). MARC seeks to develop a diverse pool of undergraduates who complete their baccalaureate degree and transition into and complete biomedical, research-focused higher degree programs (e.g. PhD, MD).

MARC scholars engage in year-round biomedical research under the mentorship of a MARC@CSU faculty member and receive financial support in the form of:

  • Stipend in the amount of $13,644 per year (or $1,137 per month) to engage in biomedical research.
  • Support for tuition and fees for Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Travel funds for one summer at an extramural site for a research training experience (foreign sites are not allowed).
  • Computer support and supplies to print posters and prepare presentations.
  • Funds to travel and present papers at national scientific meetings (Sigma Xi, ABRCMS or AAAS).

Research Training Areas

MARC scholars are expected to engage in biomedical research for 15 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during the summer. MARC scholars may choose from a wide variety of opportunities represented by the research programs of MARC training faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.


MARC scholars must be CSU undergraduate sophomore students majoring in biomedical sciences with a GPA of at least 3.0 and 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.

MARC scholars must be United States citizens or permanent residents (at the time of appointment) from underrepresented groups as define by NIH described in NOT-OD-20-031 and summarized below:

  • Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that include Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
  • Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.
  • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:

Students with labor permits are not eligible for participation in the MARC Program.

Additional Requirements

The period of appointment to the MARC program is up to three years beginning in the sophomore year. Failure to comply with the program requirements in full or graduation will result in termination prior to the three-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.

2023 MARC Scholar Application

Applications are now open and are due March 22, 2023.

Please be prepared to:

  1. Describe your most rewarding academic experience, work experience, and/or research experience (not required for program eligibility).
  2. List extracurricular/volunteer/community and along honors/awards/scholarships or recognitions you might have received.
  3. Identify 3 MARC faculty whose research aligns with your interest, then explain why you want to go to graduate school and what you hope to gain from your participation in the CSU-MARC program.

Interviews will take place the week of April 3-7, with final decisions made by May 30, 2023.

2023 MARC Scholar Application



Please submit a question below, and a program director or coordinator will be in touch.

MARC Program Contact Form