The MARC U-STAR Program, now in its 20th year at the University of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez Campus, is designed to provide honors students with research related activities and a special science curriculum that will improve their possibilities of being accepted and successful in biomedical related doctoral programs. Honors students from the biology, industrial microbiology, chemistry, and industrial biotechnology programs interested in a doctoral career in biomedical sciences, can become MARC trainees. Proposed initiatives in order to accomplish this goal are a special science curriculum, on- and off-campus research experiences, weekly meetings, workshops on academic skills improvement, and special topics courses. Recruitment for prospective MARC students includes activities such as an orientation on research careers, and five summer on-campus workshops designed to provide them with the opportunity to learn new skills and methodologies in biomedical research areas. The UPRM MARC Program also provides faculty with the opportunity to update their science teaching skills by providing them with the opportunity to attend meetings on this subject. The objectives of the MARC U-STAR Program at UPRM are: 1) to provide all freshmen and sophomore students from the participating academic programs with information regarding research careers and opportunities in biomedical sciences, 2) to provide faculty from the MARC participating programs at UPRM, with opportunities to improve their teaching of science, 3) to maintain the number of MARC trainees who participate in research experiences at 100%, and 4) to maintain, or surpass, the current level (82%) of MARC trainees that enroll in Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs. This level is 3.3% higher than the one proposed for the actual funding period.
Academically outstanding Hispanic students from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, can participate in the Minority Access to Research Careers Program, designed to provide them with the opportunity to participate in research related activities and to follow a special science curriculum that will improve their possibility of gaining admission and being successful in a doctoral program in biomedical sciences. We propose to provide 26 students from the academic programs in biology, industrial microbiology, chemistry, and industrial biotechnology, with the opportunity of becoming MARC trainees.