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Maximizing Access to Research Careers Undergraduate - Student Training in Academic Research (MARC U-STAR) (T34)

Modified: December 16, 2016
The overarching goal of the MARC program is to enhance the pool of students from underrepresented groups who successfully complete baccalaureate and Ph.D. biomedical degrees. To accomplish this goal, institutional MARC programs should make available structured training activities such as authentic research experience, academic enhancement, skills development, and mentoring to all MARC trainees.
At the institutional level, the MARC program should develop undergraduate students who are proficient in biomedical science for the purpose of training the next generation of the modern research workforce. Furthermore, the institution is expected to identify and address the barriers that might impede the participation and retention of all students, with attention to the types of issues that students from underrepresented backgrounds face.  
NIGMS expects that the following objectives will be achieved:
  1. At least 90% of MARC U-STAR trainees will graduate with a bachelor's degree in a STEM field; and
  2. At least 60% of MARC U-STAR trainees, within three years of graduation, will matriculate into a biomedical Ph.D. or combined M.D./Ph.D. program at a research-intensive institution and at least 80% of those matriculants will obtain the degree(s).
The MARC U-STAR program is intended to support full-time honors students from underrepresented groups majoring in a STEM field. The underrepresented groups targeted by this FOA include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is the responsibility of the applicant institution to establish the qualifications of students prior to their selection for the MARC U-STAR Program.
Only one application per institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) is allowed.
Internal Letter of Intent Due: February 6, 2017 (by midnight)                         
Sponsor Full Proposal Due: May 24, 2017
Faculty members interested in applying are required to submit a letter of intent (LOI) by the deadline specified above. If interest exceeds the number of submissions the university is allowed, an internal competition will be held. Typically, all investigators that submit an LOI will be invited to submit an internal proposal. Occasionally, as appropriate, based on the LOI, only selected applicants will be invited to submit an internal proposal.
  1. Click here to access the LOI form.
  2. Name the LOI as follows: “LastName-FirstInitial-NIH-MARC-2017”, replacing “LastName” with your last name and “First Initial” with your first initial.
  3. Submit your LOI by completing this web form.  Note: Supplemental documents are not accepted.
  4. To receive a confirmation email and copy of your submission, check the box (“Send me a copy of my responses”) and enter your email address.
  5. Click “Submit”. 
The Training Grant Support Office assists faculty in the preparation of institutional training grant applications, including: Data table production involving institution-wide and Training Grant Support Office-tracked data; Proposal development aids; Advice, sharing of best practices, tips and traps; Coordination of special funding/ commitment requests made to The Graduate School in support of the training grant;  and Special training grant-related projects.  Please contact Jennifer E. Hobbs, PhD, Assistant Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Training and Development.
The Office of Research Development offers assistance in identifying and facilitating collaborations, putting together interdisciplinary teams, programmatic and administrative development of large, cross-school proposals, and leveraging institutional resources for outreach and education. Contact Nicole Moore, Director, for more information.
Nicole Moore, Director, 847-467-0566, nicole.moore@northwestern.edu
Limited Submissions web site: ord.northwestern.edu/limited-submissions
Training Grant Director