We recruit rising juniors who have an interest or are involved in biomedical or behavioral sciences research and want to pursue a Ph.D. or combined doctoral degree.

We provide engaging opportunities to form a culture of students that are actively participating in thought-provoking discussions to understand unknown topics in science and technology. In addition, students are exposed to biomedical science research and personal mentoring from not only their faculty mentor but as well as the program’s leadership team.

We offer students a unique community to strengthen their skills and interest to be successful in the biomedical research career of their choice.

2024-2026 application cycle is now open! 


MARC U-STAR is a research training program for junior-level undergraduate students majoring in biomedical and behavioral sciences. The program is designed to increase the number of individuals from groups that are underrepresented in biomedical sciences by preparing students for high-caliber graduate training at the Ph.D. level.
  • 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

    Fellows are supported in their scientific careers by:

    • Additional Advising from the program
    • Exposure to graduate school recruiters (e.g. group presentations and one-on-one meetings)
    • Monthly stipends
    • Tuition waivers
    • Funded travel to national conferences (e.g. ABRCMS)
    • Support and opportunities for summer research opportunities off-campus
    • Working in a research lab of your choice within biomedical or behavioral sciences on campus
    • Participation in our annual symposium
    • Participation in enriching workshops (Refer to our Events section down below)
  • 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

    2024-2026 application cycle is now open. Application for 2024-2026 cycle 

Fellows & Mentors

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



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

MARC U*STAR provides interdisciplinary events to fellows ranging from professional to personal development.

Preparation for Graduate School

Lab Safety Certification

Study Skills and Resources

Database & Library Resources

Responsible Conduct of Research

Study Skills and Resources

Science Communication Skills

Reading Scientific Journal Articles

Proactive Stress Management

"Love Yourself: Nutrition and Positive Body Image"


Promoting and Cultivating Healthy Relationships

Becoming your Authentic Self

Abstracts: What are they and how important are they anyway?

Women in Science Seminar


Student Success

MARC U*STAR alumna Janiel Ahkin Chin Tai '16 is a PhD student in the Purdue University Life Science program, studying toxicology. She worked as a remote intern with PepsiCo during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be joining the company as a senior scientist.