Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the MARC program?

The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) training program offers an extraordinary opportunity for students seeking careers in biomedical research. This program is funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institute of Health to Dr. Amybeth Cohen, Professor of Biological Science.

The goals of the program are to provide first-rate research training of undergraduate participants, to place undergraduates into respected graduate programs and to ensure their success in those programs. To achieve these goals, the program will provide MARC Scholars with a solid curriculum, strong intramural and extramural research experience, personalized career and academic advisement and experience in presenting research data on the CSUF campus and at national professional meetings. Scholars will also gain exposure to a broad range of biomedical researchers through an enhanced seminar series in the Department of Biological Science.

One of the features of the program is that MARC Scholars will have the opportunity to work with outstanding CSUF faculty members from biological science, chemistry, biochemistry, bioengineering, biophysics, mathematics, computer science, and psychology. These faculty members will serve as mentors and thesis committee members.

2. What kind of support is provided?

Students selected for the MARC program are provides an annual stipend, tuition and fees waiver, funds for travel to local and national conferences, and funds for research equipment and materials. Thus, MARC scholars will have the opportunity to perform original research, meet visiting scientists, and get to travel to local and national professional meetings in their field of interest.

3. What are the terms of support?

Students selected for the MARC program must be able to participate in research for an average of fifteen hours per week during both semesters of the academic year and full-time for eight weeks in the summer. Scholarship appointments are for the last two years of undergraduate study. As part of their MARC studies, each participant will undertake a research project that will culminate with a senior thesis. Students will be required to attend departmental seminars and to participate in 480M: MARC pro-seminar classes. In addition, scholars will be required to take PHIL 316: Research Ethics and BIOL 398/498: Scientific Communication Workshop during their participation in the MARC Program.

4. Who can apply?

To qualify for the MARC Program, applicants should be from an underrepresented group and majoring in a STEM field (anthropology, biological science, biochemistry, chemistry, bioengineering, biophysics, mathematics, computer science, psychology). Students from any ethnicity who can provide proof of a disadvantaged status (first generation in his or her family to attend a four-year university, come from a high school that does not send a high percentage of its students to a four-year college and/or has a physical disability or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities) are also invited to apply to this scholarship program.

Applicants must intend to pursue a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. program in a biomedical-related and/or behavioral field. The applicant must have junior standing at CSUF by the first semester of participation in the MARC Program or be at least two years from graduation. Also, the applicant must have a minimum GPA of 3.2.

Note that a scholar in the MARC Program cannot be concurrently supported by another federally-funded program.


5. Who are the MARC faculty?


Anthropology: Dr. Nga Nguyen


Biological Science: Dr. Catherine Brennan, Dr. Esther Chen, Dr. Amybeth Cohen, Dr. Math Cuajungco, Dr. Kristy Forsgren, Dr. Veronica Jimenez-Ortiz, Dr. Hope Johnson, Dr. Alison Miyamoto, Dr. Nikolas Nikolaidis, Dr. Misty Paig-Tran, Dr. Nilay Patel, Dr. Maria Soledad Ramirez, Dr. Melanie Sacco, Dr. Parvin Sharestani, Dr. Marcelo Tolmasky


Chemistry and Biochemistry: Dr. Peter De Lijser, Dr. John Haan, Dr. Paula Hudson, Dr. Niroshika Keppetipola, Dr. Maria Linder, Dr. Marcos Ortega, Dr. Stevan Pecic, Dr. Madeline Rasche, Dr. Fu-Ming Tao


Engineering and Computer Science: Dr. Nina Robson (Mechanical), Dr. Garrett Struckhoff (Civil and Environmental)


Mathematics: Dr. Charles H. Lee, Dr. Anael Verdugo


Physics: Dr. Wylie Ahmed 


Psychology: Dr. Iris Blandón-Gitlin, Dr. Jessie Peissig, Dr. Nancy Segal, Dr. Eriko Self, Dr. Jennifer Trevitt, Dr. Aaron Lukaszewski


6. Where do I get more information?

Further information about the program can be obtained from:

Dr. Amybeth Cohen, CSUF-MARC Program Director
Department of Biological Science, MH-282
California State University Fullerton
Telephone: (657) 278-2178
Fax: (657) 278-3426


7. How can I apply?

Applications must be submitted on-line via email to Dr Cohen at:

Click herePDF File Opens in new window  to access the application form in PDF, or click hereOpens in new window to access the application form in Word document.

Note: Interviews are done during the spring semester. Acceptances are done during May or earlier. A second call for application may be done during spring and interviews will be held soon after the applications closed.