2019 MARC U-STAR Honors Program Application

The Washington University MARC U-STAR Trainee Program is a two-year, junior-senior level honors program for under-represented students in the sciences*** interested in pursuing the PhD in a biomedically-relevant field.   If you are primarily interested in medical school, this program is not appropriate: its focus is to prepare students to pursue a research-focused PhD; we are evaluated based on our ability to help students gain entry into PhD programs.

***Under-represented students in the sciences as defined by NIH include the following groups:

    • Students from racial or ethnic groups under-represented in the sciences, including African-American, Hispanic or Latino, American Pacific Islander, or Native American/Alaskan Native.
    • Financially disadvantaged students (e.g., Pell-eligible students or the equivalent)
    • Students with disabilities, defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. 

Benefits of the Washington University MARC U-STAR Program

  • Students receive a monthly stipend of about $1,000 beginning June 1, 2019 through May 31, 2021, assuming satisfactory progress in the program.
  • Students receive travel benefits for one scientific conference per year.
  • Students may receive a tuition benefit.
  • Students are rigorously trained in effective scientific presentation.
  • Students become part of a closely-knit, supportive scientific community.


Eligibility for the MARC U-STAR Program

  • Students must intend to pursue a research-based PhD in a biomedically relevant field.
  • Students must have attained junior-year standing by August, 2019.
  • Students must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.


Requirements of the Washington University MARC U-STAR Program

  • Students must commit to a two-year program and remain at Washington University during their junior and senior years. The MARC U-STAR Program is incompatible with junior- or senior-year study abroad programs.
  • Students must conduct mentored research for 10 or more hours per week during the academic year and for 40-hours per week during the summer after their sophomore and junior years.
  • One summer research experience must be at a university other than Washington University.
  • Students must attend a weekly, one-hour U-STAR scientific presentation course/seminar every semester.
  • Students must present their research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium each semester.


How to apply to the Washington University MARC U-STAR Program

Please send items 1-3 to Amber Noland (a.noland@wustl.edu) as a single PDF by February 15, 2019. Please have your two recommenders send their letters directly to Amber Noland by February 15, 2019.

1) A statement of purpose of one-page or less that addresses your career goals, how you became interested in research, your prior research experience, and your proposed research for the next two years.

2) A statement of 500 words or less that addresses how will you benefit from participation in the MARC U-STAR Program.

3) A list of publications and oral or poster presentations (including presentations at undergraduate research symposia).

4) Please have your proposed MARC U-STAR Faculty mentor and one other faculty member or advisor send letters of recommendation directly to Amber Noland (a.noland@wustl.edu) by February 15, 2019.

Please direct questions about eligibility or the application process to Amber Noland (a.noland@wustl.edu). Please direct research-based or academic-related questions to Jim Skeath (jskeath@wustl.edu).