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We recruit rising juniors who've indicated an interest in biomedical or behavioral sciences research and a determination to pursue a Ph.D.

We provide activities that contribute to a culture of inquiry in science and technology. The program provides personal mentoring and increased exposure to good biomedical science and the thrill of research. In essence, we present promising fellows with a career option in biomedical research that they may never have otherwise considered. In addition, these students are provided with the skills and guidance to be successful in biomedical research.

2021-2023 application cycle has closed!


To meet our goal of encouraging underrepresented groups to continue on to successful biomedical or behavioral science research careers, we provide a focused initiative that motivates promising students to choose a biomedical or behavioral science career. This goal is important because many students do not know what biomedical research is or how exciting and rewarding it can be.

  • About

    We offer our trainees unique opportunities including:

    • Research with faculty on campus
    • Summer research internships
    • Publication of their research findings in scientific journals
    • Public speaking opportunities, including local and national forums for scientific research presentations
    • Preparation for graduate school or post-baccalaureate programs
    • Thesis writing guidance
  • Benefits

    Participants are supported in their scientific careers by:

    • Advising
    • Access to graduate school recruiters
    • Monthly stipend
    • Tuition waiver
    • Funded travel to national scientific meetings
    • Summer research opportunities
    • Work in research laboratories
    • Participation in our Annual Mini-Symposium
    • Participation in Special Skills Workshops
  • Eligibility

    Candidates must:

    • Possess Underrepresented Minority Status (as defined by the National Science Foundation)
    • Be starting junior year (apply spring of sophomore year) OR have two years until graduation (completed approximately 60-65 credits)
    • Have a GPA of 3.3 or higher
    • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • Be enrolled full time at FIU in the natural sciences, physical sciences or behavioral psychology
    • Have a strong desire to pursue a career in biomedical or behavioral sciences research (PhD)
    • Underrepresented students, military veterans, and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply

    Participating students must:

    • Be committed to the program for two years
    • Be enrolled full time during Fall/Spring Semesters
    • Attend at least one Summer Research Experience
  • Apply

    Applicants should complete the online application (once available) and submit two letters of recommendation addressed to Dr. DeEtta Mills, MARC U*STAR Program Director, and sent to Amy Reid at or mailed to:

    Florida International University
    11200 SW 8th St.
    AHC4 427
    Miami, FL 33199
    Attn: MARC U*STAR Program Coordinator Amy Reid

    All materials must be received by April 1.

Fellows & Mentors

We provide access to personal mentoring and increased exposure to good biomedical science and the thrill of research. Our fellows work with their faculty mentors to build the skills needed to succeed in biomedical research and explore their career options.


Upcoming events will be posted here.

Throughout our program, students - particularly those from underrepresented groups - have the chance to hone their skills and broaden their network.

MARC U*STAR and QBIC hosted their Mini-Symposium on Oct. 11, 2019, with students presenting research across STEM disciplines. Learn about the Mini-Symposium presenters

Other workshop and event topics include:

  • Preparation for Graduate School
    • Information sessions with various representatives from graduate programs across the nation
  • Study Skills and Resources
  • Preparing Scientific Presentations
  • Database & Library Searches
  • Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Lab Safety Certification
    • EPA: Hazardous Waste Handling
    • Laboratory Hazard Awareness
    • HazCom: In Sync with GHS
    • Fire Safety
    • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Scientific Concept Mapping
  • Communication Skills

Student Success

Former MARC U*STAR fellow Brian Ho, a 2017 FIU Worlds Ahead Graduate, earned a yearlong paid research position at the National Institutes of Health.