The MARC program at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) has been funded by the NIH for the past 30 years. The primary goal of this program is to ensure that underrepresented minority (URM) students are provided with every opportunity for success in entering and mastering graduate level work. In 2007, nearly half of California's high school graduates were from URM groups (36.9% Hispanic, 7.4% African American, 3.4% Filipino and 0.8% Native American). Yet, when we look at the population of students working towards Ph.D.s and the population of doctoral-level researchers and faculty on our campuses, these groups fall far below proportional representation. The initial aim of the UCSC MARC program is to increase the rate at which underrepresented-minority undergraduates on our campus become involved in cutting-edge research. Once these students taste the excitement of participating in an interactive research community, we carefully guide them towards the pursuit of Ph.D. degrees and, ultimately, becoming active, professional researchers. We have been highly successful in our goals. Over the past 5 years, 50% of the students who were supported by our training program have gone on to enter Ph.D. programs. While we are proud of such achievements, we also continue to seek ways and means to improve the program. In this competitive renewal, we are requesting funding for 18 training positions for students, an increase from our current 14 slots. Our specific goals for the next 5-year funding period are: 1) to direct 75% of our MARC students into Ph.D. programs in biomedical fields of study. 2) To improve the rate at which students go directly into Ph.D. programs. 3) To create a larger community of research-inspired URM students, including both trainees receiving MARC stipends and additional students, called Research Affiliates for Diversity (RADS), with the purpose of guiding these additional students towards entry into Ph.D. programs.
The primary goal of this program is to ensure that underrepresented minority students are provided with every opportunity for success in entering and mastering graduate level work.
We aim to support a vision of proportional representation of people from all groups in the Ph.D. and professor ranks.
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