Washington University MARC U-STAR Program

The MARC U-STAR Program is a two-year, junior-/senior-level, research-based honors program for under-represented students at Washington University interested in pursuing the PhD in the biological and biomedical sciences.  The program provides a ~$1000 monthly stipend for the full calendar year, may provide a tuition benefit, and requires students work 10 or more hours per week in a research lab of their choice during the academic year and full-time during the summer.  The program requires students attend a weekly seminar that trains students in effective scientific presentation.  Other program benefits include workshops on personal statements and poster presentations, grad/undergrad joint dinners, opportunities to attend national scientific conferences, and membership in a close knit supportive academic community.  

The 2019 Application Deadline  is February 15th. CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO APPLY TO THIS PROGRAM.  













Key Program Activities/Benefits:

Mentored research in a Wash U research lab during junior and senior year.

Full-time mentored summer research after Sophomore and Junior years (one summer must be spent outside Wash U).

Weekly seminar that focuses on rigorous personalized training in scientific presentation.

Professional Development workshops.

Funds to attend national scientific conferences.

Mock PhD interviews.

Joint undergraduate/graduate social dinners.  

A $1000 monthly stipend and potential for tuition benefit.


Student Quotes about the MARC U-STAR Academic Year Program

“uSTAR had a great impact. I have much more confidence to pursue a PhD. I don’t have as many science classes as some, but uSTAR not only taught me new things, but how to think.”

“The opportunity to go to the ABRCMS conference was awesome because I got to network with so many other students and people affiliated with academia.”

“Participating in U-STAR has made me more confident.”

“Cookies! Communication with Prof. Skeath and Graduate student Jacqueline. Able to consult problems and questions regarding graduate school and various situations is helpful.”

“Thanks to the uSTAR program, I am more confident in my ability to communicate science, both written and oral. Now, as I prepare to graduate, I have many of the necessary skills to succeed at the next level.”

“I really enjoy the supportive, friendly atmosphere fostered by our close-knit group and the relaxed conversations about science.”

“I really feel it prepared me for graduate research. It taught me how to present my ideas and research more clearly (poster, schematics, etc), and taught me how to read and understand research papers. Given the intimate setting of the class, it makes it easier to make mistakes and learn from them.”

“I liked having a community of fellows who would come together and learn about STEM fields and contribute individual perspectives on research. The program’s financial support made it easy for me to be flexible with my research. The weekly seminar was a great way to practice giving talks about my research. I also developed my writing skills by participating in the research symposia and it was good to have Dr. Skeath provide a lot of feedback on presentations and writing.”

“The opportunities I was given by uSTAR greatly impacted my career choice. Before joining uSTAR, I was on the border of being pre-med or research-oriented. The flexibility of the program allowed me to pursue my interests and solidify my desire to apply to grad school. The support over the summer allowed me to branch out and build connections at top universities and I attribute a lot of my achievements, such as getting into UCSD, to these experiences. Without uSTAR, I may still be a graduate student in bioengineering, but I would have spent a lot more time securing funding and finding a research advisor instead of actually getting into the lab.”