The MARC uSTAR Summer Scholars Program is an eight-week, minority-focused, research program for rising Washington University sophomores interested in scientific research.  The goal of the program is to expose students to mentored research in the context of a positive, personal, supportive, and critical scientific environment that drives student success in order to help them learn if they enjoy research.

Program Highlights

  • 8 week program. Program dates are May 29-July 23, 2022.
  • Free housing and $3,200 summer stipend
  • Mentored full-time research in a top-notch Washington University research lab.
  • Rigorous personalized training in scientific presentation.
  • Opening and closing dinners at the program director’s house for students and their friends.
  • Weekly Evening Science talks from PhD scientists about their research and career path.
  • New: Student panels on graduate school and medical school and the MD/PhD.
  • Closing symposium for all students and their labs.

Application Requirements

Applicants must be rising sophomores (hold sophomore status by August 2022).

One 1,000 word essay describing why you want to conduct scientific research, how you will benefit from the program, and your expected career plans. 

One letter of recommendation from someone at WU who is familiar with you and your interests. It need not be a science lecturer, but can be an advisor or faculty representative whom you know. If you have already found a lab, the recommendation should come from your mentor. 

If you have questions regarding the uSTAR program, Dr. Jim Skeath can be reached at (

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Program Requirements

As part of the uSTAR Sophomore Summer Scholars Program, students will commit to the following expectations:

  • Attending a research ethics workshop held in June (date TBD).
  • Attend the weekly uSTAR seminars throughout the summer.
  • Not enroll in any other courses or accept employment during the program dates.
  • Present at the uSTAR closing symposium during the last week of the summer program as well as the Washington University Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium (date TBD).

Finding a Mentor

If you need help finding a mentor, we encourage you to start by visiting department websites and reading faculty biographies to identify faculty members whose academic interests align with your own. If you need help reaching out to a specific faculty member, please contact Dr. Jim Skeath at


On-campus, apartment-style housing will be provided by the uSTAR program. Students will have access to a shared kitchen with linens (sheets, pillow, pillowcase, blanket, towels) provided. However, program participants will be responsible for purchasing their own groceries and kitchenware. We recommend arranging with your suite mates prior to move-in.