The MARC U-STAR and CDI Star Programs are offered jointly as a two-year, junior-/senior-level, research-based honors program for under-represented students at Washington University interested in pursuing graduate studies in biological and biomedical sciences.  This cohort-based  program offers students essential professional development training and personalized academic advising all within a supportive community network.  

MARC uSTAR Trainee Oyin Adenekan presenting at 2019 ABRCMS Conference in Anaheim CA.

MARC uSTAR Trainee Oyin Adenekan presenting at 2019 ABRCMS Conference in Anaheim CA.

Application Deadline for 2020 is February 15!

Applicants are welcome to submit application materials for both the MARC U-STAR and CDI STAR programs.

“Thanks to the uSTAR program, I am more confident in my ability to communicate science, both written and oral. Now, as I prepare to graduate, I have many of the necessary skills to succeed at the next level.”

Program Benefits

Students accepted into one of these programs will receive a minimum of $8,000 for each of the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years assuming satisfactory progress in the program as well as full or partial travel benefits to the Annual Biomedical Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). In addition to this, trainees will have the opportunity to shadow physicians at Children’s Hospital and be rigorously trained in effective scientific presentation.

 Other program benefits include workshops on personal statements and poster presentations, grad/undergrad joint dinners, and membership in a close knit supportive academic community.

Program Requirements

  • Students must commit to a two-year program and remain at Washington University during both their junior and senior years. The MARC U-STAR/CDI STAR Programs are incompatible with junior- or senior-year study abroad programs.

  • Students must conduct mentored research for 10 or more hours per week during the academic year and for 40-hours per week during the summer after their sophomore and junior years. At least, one summer research experience must be at a university other than Washington University. Please note that the summer research requirements are more flexible if you are accepted into the CDI Program.

  • Students must attend a weekly, 1.5-hour scientific presentation course every semester.

  • Students must present their research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at least once per year.

About the Programs and How to Apply

MARC U-STAR

The NIH-funded MARC uSTAR program supports students committed to pursuing a PhD (or MD/PhD), in a biomedically-relevant field, rather than those pursuing an MD degree.

Eligibility for the NIH MARC U-STAR Program

  • Students must intend to pursue a research-based PhD in a biomedically relevant field (e.g.: any field of biology, chemistry, BME, chemical engineering, etc.).
  • Students must have attained junior-year standing by August 2020.
  • Students must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Students must either be in a research lab (preferred) or have identified a research mentor.

How to apply

Please send items 1-5 to Amber Noland (a.noland@wustl.edu) as a single PDF by February 15, 2020. Please have your two recommenders send their letters directly to Amber Noland by February 15, 2020.

Students may apply to both programs simply by stating “I wish to apply to both the MARC U-STAR and CDI STAR Program” as the first line of their statement of purpose.

  • A statement of purpose of one-page or less that addresses your career goals, how you became interested in research, your prior research experience, and your proposed research for the next two years.
  • A statement of 500 words or less that addresses how you will benefit from participation in the CDI STAR Program or the MARC U-STAR Program.
  • A list of publications and oral or poster presentations (including presentations at undergraduate research symposia). If none, simply say “None”.
  • Please have your proposed CDI or MARC U-STAR Faculty mentor and one other faculty member or advisor send letters of recommendation directly to Amber Noland (a.noland@wustl.edu)by February 15, 2020.

CDI STAR

The Children’s Discovery Institute STAR Trainee program is specifically designed to introduce students to research broadly related to child-health and to expose students to shadowing opportunities at Children’s Hospital.  Students interested in any career in science, including the MD, are encouraged to apply for this program.

Eligibility for the CDI STAR Program

  • Students must intend to pursue a career in science; students interested in pursuing medical school are particularly encouraged to apply for the CDI STAR Program.
  • Students must attain junior-year standing by August, 2020.
  • Students must either be in a research lab (preferred) or have identified a research mentor.
  • Preference will be given to students who carry out research broadly relevant to child-health related issues and who have identified a faculty member associated with The Children’s Discovery Institute.
  • Students currently in their junior year may apply for the CDI STAR Program for one year of funding.

How to apply

Please send items 1-5 to Amber Noland (a.noland@wustl.edu) as a single PDF by February 15, 2020. Please have your two recommenders send their letters directly to Amber Noland by February 15, 2020.

Students may apply to both programs simply by stating “I wish to apply to both the MARC U-STAR and CDI STAR Program” as the first line of their statement of purpose.

  • A statement of purpose of one-page or less that addresses your career goals, how you became interested in research, your prior research experience, and your proposed research for the next two years.
  • A statement of 500 words or less that addresses how you will benefit from participation in the CDI STAR Program or the MARC U-STAR Program.
  • A list of publications and oral or poster presentations (including presentations at undergraduate research symposia). If none, simply say “None”.
  • Please have your proposed CDI or MARC U-STAR Faculty mentor and one other faculty member or advisor send letters of recommendation directly to Amber Noland (a.noland@wustl.edu)by February 15, 2020.

    For questions about the MARC U-STAR/CDI-STAR Joint Program, please contact Amber Noland (a.noland@wustl.edu).

    For academic-related questions, please contact Dr. Jim Skeath (jskeath@wustl.edu).