2022-2023 MARC cohort


The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program is a two-year, NIH-funded, undergraduate honors program that seeks to increase the number of biomedical scientists from diverse backgrounds that significantly impact health-related research. The program specifically seeks to strengthen the skills and research training of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. This program is appropriate for students interested in pursuing a PhD or dual PhD degree upon completion of their baccalaureate degree.

The MARC Program offers research training, financial support, mentoring, networking opportunities and academic preparation for strong and motivated students. The UCLA MARC program is one of the longest-standing MARC programs at Research I universities across the nation, and graduates from the program have embarked on highly successful careers.


All applicants must be:

  • US Citizens or legal residents. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
  • Registered, full-time undergraduate students at UCLA majoring in STEM fields with an interest in biomedical sciences.
  • Have two years remaining at UCLA at time of application (graduating in Spring 2026)

According to NIGMS guidelines, priority for the MARC Program is given to applicants who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • From historically underrepresented racial or ethnic groups such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Polynesians (Hawaiians, Samoans, Guamanians)
  • Individuals with disabilities, defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • From a low-income background that can demonstrate that they qualify for federal disadvantaged assistance (i.e., Pell-eligible)


MARC trainees are required to fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Engage in research during their 2-year appointment for 10-12 hours/week during the academic year and 40 hours/week for ten weeks during the summer
  • Conduct off-campus research during one summer
  • Enroll in and fully participate in the MARC Journal Club (PhySci 194) all academic year quarters
  • Complete all writing activities, including research papers, mock grant proposals, and statements
  • Present research findings at conferences (national and regional)
  • Participate in outreach activities/mentoring
  • Submit a summary of your work and a photo for an online profile


MARC trainees receive the following scholarship/funding:

  • Stipend of approximately $14,000 per year (disbursed monthly)
  • Trainees also receive partial tuition support (~$8,000 per year, more for out-of-state students) and funding for travel to a national conference each year, as well as funds to support a summer extramural research experience.
  • Continuation of funding will depend on satisfactory performance in the program and availability of funds from the NIH.
  • *IMPORTANT FINANCIAL AID IMPLICATIONS: The MARC stipend will be part of your overall financial aid package; the Financial Aid office will adjust your financial aid package to ensure that you do not exceed your financial need. For more information, please contact the financial aid office directly.


Do I need to be currently conducting research in order to apply?

  • No. If you don’t have a research position yet, upon acceptance into the program we will work with you to identify one.

Can I work in a lab that is not listed on the “Faculty Research Mentors” page?

  • Yes. There are many faculty across UCLA that conduct “biomedical” research. We can work with faculty that are not listed to ensure their mentor training and support is suitable.

What counts as “biomedical” research?

  • This is a very broad area that can encompass many different fields and the answer may surprise you. Even if you are not a “life science” major, or are working in a department that may not identify at first glance as biomedical, the research could still be important to human health, broadly defined. Chemistry, physics, math, ecology, etc. can all have impacts on health and well-being. Please reach out with questions!


If you have any questions about the program, please contact Larone Ellison, MARC Program Representative, larone@lifesci.ucla.edu or the MARC Directors, Dr. Megan McEvoy mcevoymm@ucla.edu and Dr. Gina Poe ginapoe@ucla.edu.