About Us

Welcome to the Río Piedras MARC Program

What is the MARC program?

The MARC Program for undergraduate students is research-training program sponsored by the “National Institute of General Medical Sciences” (NIGMS) aimed to the scientific formation of a selection of the best in sciences. Scientific research constitutes a fundamental part of this training. The main goal of this Program is to have more puertorrican students and other minority groups with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences. To obtain this, the selected participants are provided with a monthly stipend. These stipends are for 24 months and start on June 1st of their first year of research training.

There are more than 60 similar programs in different universities and the program from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras Campus is the biggest one. Right now we have 32 students and the annual recruitment is about 17 candidates to conduct research projects in the Biology and Chemistry Departments.

Who qualifies?

Students with a mayor in Biology or Chemistry qualifies if they fulfill these requirements:

  • Maintained a 3.2 grade point average in sciences and other courses.
  • Completed the Organic Chemistry Course before his/her first semester in the Program.
  • To be engaged with undergraduate research.
  • Show a genuine interest in completing a PhD degree.

Those students interested in completing studies to be a MD (medicine doctor), with the only purpose to dedicate his/her career to exercise the medicine field do not qualify.

What are the program’s requirements?

In addition to the regular requirement for the mayor in biology or chemistry, the students have to:

  • Attend all the MARC seminars and/or meetings.
  • Attend all the special workshops that the program offers.
  • Will enroll in the undergraduate research course every semester.
  • Will present his/her data in a public forum at least once a year.
  • Will complete his/her bachelor degree in Chemistry or Biology.
  • Will complete a Tesina of his/her research work and will hand it out at the Program’s office at the end of his/her appointment period.

What are the advantages?

The participants of the MARC Program will receive:

  • Training in the latest research techniques.
  • A stipend of  $988.00 monthly during the period that will be participating in the Program, up to 24 months.
  • Exemption in tuition fees during this time (does not include summer tuition fees).
  • Funds for a travel to present his/her work at a scientific meeting.
  • Help to be admitted in graduate programs or summer internships.

At a National level, the MARC Program has fellowships available for graduate studies. These fellowships are very competitive and are granted to students in a graduate program for a maximum of five (5) years and covers Tuition Fees, laboratory supplies, and a stipend for personal expenses.

Where and when to apply?

The application form has to be picked up at the Program’s Office. It consists of an admission form that has to be filled and three (3) letters of recommendation that has to be submitted by professors of any course of our Faculty. With the application, every student has to request an official transcript that has to be sent to this address: MARC Program, Facundo Bueso Bldg. 3rd Floor, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, San Juan, PR 00931. Applications that are not in the Office at the deadline date will not be considered for evaluation. After that, the Program’s Steering Committee will analyze all the applications and all the qualifying students will be called for an interview. The committee will make the selection and the students will be admitted to the Program according to the interview, application and letters of recommendations submitted by professors. The selected students will begin his/her research in the laboratory of their choice on June 1st.