The University of Arizona (UA) MARC program provides unique research, mentoring, financial, and academic opportunities to upper-division underrepresented students (African-American, Hispanic, Native-American, U.S. Pacific-Islander and first-generation college students) who have interest and potential to pursue biomedical research careers, seeks to increase the number of such students entering Ph.D. programs, and provides opportunities for lower-division students to achieve a solid academic foundation. The specific objectives are 1) to attract 125 new students per year to participate in outreach activitis 2) to successfully retain into the next academic year, 90% of the pre-MARC tutored students and students receiving General Chemistry Supplemental Instruction who are freshmen or sophomore 3) to have 85% of MARC trainees who enter the program, as of June 2012, and complete the MARC program enter PhD programs or combined-PhD programs. UA MARC trainees, 14 per year, are a select group, chosen for their grades, research interest, and potential from an eligible pool of honors underrepresented students from 11 majors (chemistry, math, and 9 areas of biological science) in 4 colleges. Outstanding, well-funded training faculty at the UA provide opportunities for research guidance and intensive mentoring using their training experience and with undergraduates and commitment to training minority students. Mentoring also is provided by the Program Director and co- Directors. Through the Minority Biomedical Research Colloquium, trainees meet outstanding minority scientists from other institutions as well as former UA MARC trainees in Ph.D. programs or Ph.D. graduates. Students attend workshops on research ethics and minority health disparities;take part in a scientific writing program;attend national science meetings;participate in intramural and extramural research;present posters at campus and national conferences;give oral presentations in the Research Colloquium, attend a GRE preparation course (not funded through the MARC program), and attend workshops on the graduate application process. The outreach activities of the UA MARC program impact a large number of students through providing one-on-one tutoring for foundational math and science courses, the Careers in Math and Science Colloquium, Supplemental Instruction for General Chemistry, and through the dissemination of information about opportunities. The UA MARC trainee program is selective, prestigious and the """"""""carrot"""""""" that encourages lower-division underrepresented students to do well academically, and the conduit that prepares outstanding underrepresented students to pursue careers in biomedical research.
Increasing the diversity of Ph.D. scientists will bring diverse perspectives to bear on health issues and will ultimately result in more rapid advances in a field. The UA MARC program seeks to increase the number and quality of underrepresented students in biomedical Ph.D. programs, ultimately increasing the diversity of Ph.D.-level scientists.
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