FAQ’s

What is the MARC U* STAR program?

  • MARC U*STAR is a program designed for underrepresented, undergraduate students to increase access to careers in biomedical research by: admitting them to a research laboratory of their choice, teaching them how to perform ethical and responsible science, and giving them the tools and mentorship required to continue in academia
  • MARC U*STAR acknowledges that underrepresented students are interested in being apart of research however they often are not because it isn’t possible or healthy to juggle school work, research, and multiple jobs. MARC offers an annual tuition schlarship and monthly stipend to target this issue
  • Visit our About page; mission, goals and objective to learn more

What is the purpose or primary outcome of the MARC U* STAR program?

  • The purpose of MARC U*STAR is to show that there is value in undergraduate research, especially for underrepresented, undergraduate students. MARC U*STAR is fighting the notion that undergraduates are a hindrance in research environments by establishing a community of laboratories that are happy to host undergraduates. It shows that underrepresented students are innovative, valuable, and offer diversity in thought. MARC U*STAR helps trainee form friendships with other underrepresented students who share the same values and struggles, which is not always easy to find in STEM.
  • Visit our About page; mission, goals and objective to learn more

Who is eligible for the MARC U* STAR program?

  • MARC U*STAR is for rising juniors who are interested in pursuing biomedical research and who are underrepresented in scientific spaces; click here to review the URI MARC U*STAR program eligibility page
  • Click here to review the National Institutes of Health guidelines on diversity and definition of populations underrepresented in the biomedical sciences

Where are you expected to fulfill your research hours? Is the MARC program hosted on campus or off campus?

  • Both! The MARC program does a blended system; you work in your “home lab” on campus at URI during the academic year, then during the summer between your junior and seniors year, you complete a 10-week summer research experience (SRE) at an external college or university
  • Click here to learn about the MARC summer research experience (SRE)

Can I have another job while doing this?

  • By providing tuition and a monthly stipend for the trainees, the hope is that trainees do not need to have another job. Under certain circumstances it is possible to hold another job, but the main priority should be on your lab work.
  • For further questions please contact the Program Coordinator, Meagan Pepper Estes, at mspepper@uri.edu

How many hours do I need to put in and can they be across multiple days?

  • During the academic year, the requirment is 12-15 research hours per week, but each week can be different, with some weeks being more and other weeks less. Most labs are flexible with how long you stay, but there may be days where you need to give a larger amount of time than normal to run an experiment

How long is the duration of the program? 

  • 2-years, starting the summer preceding junior year until the end of senior year. You are expected to be working in your lab year round (12-15 hours per week during the academic semester and 35-40 hours per week during the summer months)