We propose to increase the number of academically competitive SFSU MARC-U*STAR underrepresented minority undergraduates entering and completing Ph.D. programs in the basic biomedical sciences. Each year we will introduce 15 Pre-MARC students through freshman/sophomore colloquia to Frontiers in Science and Writing in Science in anticipation of their entry into the Junior MARC (or Junior RISE). We will prepare 24 highly qualified underrepresented minority junior/senior students in a rigorous science curriculum and provide them with high quality and stimulating research experiences. Our MARC-U*STAR Honors program consists of five major components: 1) Improve science literacy of our students by providing supplemental writing instruction within the discipline;2) a summer entry intramural research experience that includes scholarly activities;3) a two-year academic-year curriculum highlighting an Honors course in Genetics, Chemistry or Computing, four semesters of Honors Colloquia, four semesters of biomedical science &Minority Speakers seminars, and four semesters of independent research;4) extramural summer research at a partner institution or other major research institutions;and 5) graduate school placement activities. All MARC trainees will be encouraged to present their research results at scientific meetings and in journal publications. They will also receive preparation for the GRE exam and extensive training in responsible conduct in research. For their summer research experience, each trainee will choose a project that is related to the ongoing research efforts of a MARC faculty mentor. Our objective is to provide the trainees an integrated research experience that mirrors what they will experience in graduate school;by making them part of the preceptor's research team. For their extramural research experience, MARC students will be placed in top research institutions located across the United States. The program director and MARC Honors Advisor will be responsible for the administration of the program;SFSU MARC program policy will be developed by a nine-member Steering Committee. Recruitment, advisement, placement in extramural internships and tracking of MARC-U*STAR trainees will be the joint responsibility of the MARC faculty, MARC steering committee, and administrative team. Records will be maintained that will allow us to carefully monitor each trainee's progress at SFSU, and document their success in their respective Ph.D. programs, and in their biomedical research careers. The MARC-U*STAR program will be evaluated by SageFox Associates in conjunction with the other student support programs administered by the Student Enrichment Opportunities (SEO) office.
The SFSU MARC program prepares SFSU undergraduate Honors students to continue into biomedical PhD degree programs in route to careers as research scientists. The partnership between the Minority Serving Master's I institution and a number of pre-eminent PhD granting institutions to provide summer training of SFSU MARC students adds strength to the program. The MARC program has developed into productive route to train students for high quality PhD degree institutions.
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