Student working on a lab

The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program offers research training to participating students to help prepare them to compete successfully for entry into graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. in biomedical sciences. Funded through the National Institutes of Health, the MARC program’s goals are to increase the numbers and capabilities of underrepresented scientists and to prepare students for careers in biomedical research.

Program Director

Amount & use
  • Monthly payments of $1114
  • Must be able to commit to at least 12 months (up to 24 months) period on MARC
  • Guaranteed placement in a UCSC research Lab
  • Partial tuition and fees (varies depending on financial aid eligibility)
  • Travel to conferences to present research and learn about graduate school
  • Support for an extramural research experience in the second summer of the program
  • General Record Exam (GRE) course
  • Program support for graduate school applications
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled as full-time undergraduate students at UCSC or accepted transfer students in the upcoming Fall. 
  • Must be interested in pursuing a Ph.D. degree after the bachelor’s degree
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident eligible for work in the U.S.
  • Some upper-division biology or chemistry coursework experience is desirable but not required.

Underrepresented students and those who have overcome socioeconomic hardships are strongly encouraged to apply.

The annual application deadline to apply for the MARC program is the second Friday of every February.
Selection criteria
Applications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of staff, faculty, and students. Selected candidates will be invited for an interview with staff and current scholars. Final candidates will be interviewed by the MARC faculty director. Candidates will be evaluated based on a holistic review process of their applications, education/ career goals, and aspirations.

How to apply

You can apply to the MARC, UC LEADS, and CAMP Programs simultaneously with one application. Only COMPLETED applications will be reviewed.

The application for the STEM Diversity Programs will be available in December of every year.

Click here to access the application

The application components include:

Online application & supplement documents (to be uploaded with the online application) – Due Second Friday of February

  • Completed online Application (this includes essay questions, see questions below)
  • Resume or CV (Career Center Resume Guide)
  • Copy of Your Unofficial Transcripts (UCSC and/or community college, just print them from your student portal)
  • Copy of Your Unofficial Financial Aid Support (if you do not get financial aid, you ARE still eligible for the programs, please state in the online application.

Two letters of recommendation – Due Third Friday of February: from a faculty or staff member (These should be emailed directly from the recommender to

Essay Questions: Please limit your responses to 200 words for each question.

Click here to view the application essay questions

For questions and additional information about the application process, please contact our office at 831-459-4770 or send an email to