MARC Program Description


The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program is two-year, National Institutes of Health funded undergraduate research program that aims to increase the number of biomedical scientists from underrepresented backgrounds. The program offers research, scientific and professional training to participating undergraduate students beginning in the summer after their sophomore year with the goal of preparing them to apply and succeed in graduate Ph.D. programs.

Two young males talking together in a research lab


  • 3.0 GPA at the time of application with an expressed interest in pursuing a Ph.D. degree

  • Major in Bioengineering, Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Integrative Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Plant and Microbial Biology

  • Rising Junior or Senior at start of the program, AND have two years remaining at the start of the program

  • United States citizen of permanent resident

  • Priority for the program is given to applicants who meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • Students from historically underrepresented racial or ethnic groups such as Blacks or African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders

    • Students from low-income backgrounds who can demonstrate that they qualify for federal disadvantage assistance

    • Students with a registered disability


  • Engage in research during the two-year appointment for 10-15 hours/week during the academic year and 40 hours/week for 10 weeks during the summer

  • Conduct off-campus research during one summer

  • Participate in a monthly journal club during the academic semesters

  • Participate in monthly professional and scientific workshops

  • Participate in a peer mentoring and community outreach

  • Submit a summary of your work and a photo for an online profile

  • Apply to at least four Ph.D. programs in year 2 of the program



  • Research in outstanding UCB labs of participating faculty

  • One week Lab Fundamentals Boot Camp at the beginning of the program

  • Workshops and journal clubs designed to prepare you for success in graduate school

  • Training in written and oral presentation skills

  • Mentoring and guidance

  • One summer of research at an extramural site

  • Attendance at a national scientific meeting


  • Stipend of approximately $13,644/year to be disbursed monthly throughout the year

  • Funding for travel to a national conference each year and funds for extramural summer research

  • Continuation in the program depends on satisfactory performance in the program and availability of funds from the NIH.

Photo credit Noah Berger