CSULB MARC Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U*STAR) Program The overall goal of the current competitive renewal of the California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U*STAR) Program is to continue to increase the number of underrepresented/under-served (UR/US) students entering and earning doctorates in biomedical sciences. CSULB plays a critical role in serving the diverse urban populations surrounding the university in southern California. With the Hispanic/Latino student population forming the largest ethnic group, CSULB has earned the designation and recognition as a Hispanic Serving Institute, as well as an Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander Serving Institution. The MARC program objectives reflect CSULB's recognition as one of the top universities in the nation for UR/US student education, academic excellence, and value. As a teaching- intensive, research-driven university, its priorities are deeply integrated into the goals and extensive commitment to access and success of UR/US students in academia. The rationale for the proposed training program is the immediate availability of the UR/US student pool, the strong STEM education or graduation rates of CSULB, the success rate of the current MARC program in matriculating MARC Scholars into PhD programs, availability of a strong research-driven group of faculty mentors, who have well funded research programs, the experience in dealing with a diverse student population, and who have published in peer-reviewed journals with undergraduate students. In the proposed MARC program, we plan to recruit 10 Honors-eligible students, typically in their Junior year from Departments that offer degrees relevant to the area of biomedical research. The program will identify students with potential and interest in pursuing biomedical research as a career; they will be selected through a competitive application process, and appointed for a period of 21-24 months. The design, objectives and key activities of the research training program are: (i) offer a rich, intense and individually designed education through research-based, advanced topics curriculum, supplementary academic support, priority registration and counseling to the trainees to; (ii) provide an enriching research experience, in a mentored environment that fosters critical thinking and espouses a systematic hypothesis- driven research methodology, (iii) train MARC Scholars in professional and leadership development activities, and, (iv) encourage graduate school preparation. We have established collaborations with Universities with outstanding graduate programs, which will provide additional short-term extramural research training for the Scholar. Taken together, the MARC program will support the Scholars and lay the essential groundwork required for them to enter and face the rigors of graduate school education in a highly competitive atmosphere. All components of the CSULB MARC Program will be rigorously evaluated by an internal evaluation process, based on quantitative and qualitative assessment employing established rubric and tools. The evaluator will employ a logic model to assess the impact and effectiveness of the training activities and provide valuable feedback to the Program Director and senior administration to facilitate program improvement. The intended trainee outcomes are that a majority of the trainees would report confidence in their STEM skills & knowledge, communication, networking and leadership skills, and that a majority of these trainees would successfully enroll in and graduate from PhD programs. In summary, the CSULB MARC U*STAR Program will have a lasting impact on the career decisions of UR/US students and will contribute significantly towards increasing diversity in the biomedical workforce and research needs of the country.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of the CSULB MARC U-STAR Program is to increase diversity in biomedical research by providing enhanced academic and research training opportunities, and workshops on professional/leadership skills to underrepresented/underserved (UR/US) students. The objective is to increase the number of UR/US students entering graduate programs and earning doctoral degrees.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
MARC Undergraduate NRSA Institutional Grants (T34)
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NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
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Koduri, Sailaja
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California State University Long Beach
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Long Beach
United States
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