The UC Davis MARC Scholars Program will prepare underrepresented minority (URM) students to enter doctoral programs in areas related to biomedical research. For this, we propose a two-pronged program: (1) the Pre-MARC component (called the UC Davis Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program or BUSP) - a professional development program for freshman and sophomore biology students thatfeatures structured and challenging academic enhancement activities, academic and personal advising, and early experience in research;and (2) the MARC Scholars Program for junior and senior level students that will build on the BUSP program and include intensive research experiences as well as a series of activities that will enhance the Scholars'oral &written communication skills;engage them in discussions of multidisciplinary research topics, research integrity, and experimental design;provide them with advice and experience in preparing oral and written scientific presentations;provide them with experience in grant writing;and provide them guidance in the graduate school application process.The overall goal of the MARC Scholars Program is to increase the number of URMs who successfully pursue PhD or MD/PhD degrees in areas of biomedical research. Our Specific (and measurable) Aims are to: (1) establish a 4 year program that will provide a strong foundation for URM students to enter and complete a PhD program in an area of biomedical science [i.e., they will graduate with at least a 3.0 GPA in a participating major, score in the top 50th percentile on the GRE, gain expertise as a student researcher with respect to understanding experimental design and data interpretation, and gain experience in presenting their research both regionally and nationally (e.g., at ABRCMS, SACNAS)];(2) recruit and admit into the MARC program, 10junior honor URMs interested in biomedical research each year (except in year 1,when we will admit 8 students as we ramp up the program);and (3) have at least 40% of the senior MARC Scholars enter PhD (or MD/PhD) programs in biomedically related disciplines (i.e., an average of 4/year as opposed to 2.5/yrfrom the BUSP- honors program). Increasing the number of URMs involved in biomedical research is important for increasing the diversity of ideas and backgrounds brought to bear on many current health issues -- including racial and gender-related health disparities.
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