MARC and IMSD Programs

The Division of Physical and Biological Sciences sponsors two National Institutes of Health grant programs: the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program and the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program. Though separately funded, the projects share a similar mandate: to increase the number of well-prepared, under-represented, ethnic-minority, and disadvantaged-background students who are admitted to graduate or professional schools in biomedical sciences. The program seeks students from groups that have traditionally been denied equal access to educational opportunities in the science professions.

UCSC students should apply in their sophomore year or as juniors staying a 5th year. Both programs require a two-year commitment. In addition, a student should be in the process of completing specific introductory courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics because the program begins in the summer. The MARC and IMSD programs aim to introduce students to program faculty, their research, and laboratory research techniques. After students successfully complete the summer program, they have the opportunity to work in a faculty lab for the following academic year. Financial compensation is available for laboratory research and participation in the summer program.

MARC and IMSD are housed under the STEM Diversity Programs and run in conjunction with UC LEADS and CAMP. The STEM Diversity Programs also work with other offices to help make the most of campus resources and provide practical assistance with the graduate school admission process. Additionally, the staff maintains an information file on summer enrichment programs (which can provide you with vital research experience), conferences, professional development workshops, journal clubs, and seminar courses. Students admitted to the program are supported by a well-equipped student office, which provides additional academic support and a convenient place for students to meet.

For further information, contact the STEM Diversity Programs office to learn more about eligibility requirements and visit the STEM Diversity Programs website or email STEM Diversity Programs Director Yulianna Ortega at