Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Awards (T34)


Program Goal & Structure

The goal of the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) research training program is to promote broad participation in the biomedical research workforce by strengthening research training environments and expanding the pool of well-trained students who complete their baccalaureate degree, and transition into and complete biomedical, research-focused higher degree programs (such as Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.). Specifically, this funding announcement provides support to eligible, domestic organizations to develop and implement effective, evidence-informed approaches to biomedical undergraduate training and mentoring to support the development of a biomedical research workforce that will benefit from the full range of perspectives, experiences and backgrounds needed to advance discovery. NIGMS expects organizations to engage in outreach and recruitment activities to encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to participate in the program (for examples of groups that are underrepresented, see the Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity).

Training grants offset the cost of stipends, tuition and fees, and training related expenses, including health insurance, for the appointed trainees in accordance with the approved NIH support levels. Training grants are usually awarded for five years and are renewable. Full details are found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) PAR-24-138.

Organizational Eligibility

MARC provides support to eligible, domestic organizations to develop and implement effective, evidence-informed approaches to biomedical research training and mentoring that will keep pace with the rapid evolution of the biomedical research enterprise. This program is limited to applications from baccalaureate degree-granting research-intensive organizations (i.e., those with an average of NIH Research Project Grant (RPG) funding greater than or equal to $7.5 million Total Costs over the last 3 fiscal years). RPG data are available through NIH RePORTER (see additional guidance here [PDF]). Only one MARC application per organization is allowed.

Trainee Eligibility and Participation

The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. Additional details on citizenship, training period, and aggregate duration of support are available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Trainees should be research-oriented individuals enrolled in a major leading to a baccalaureate degree in a STEM discipline that will prepare the trainee for a biomedical, research-focused higher degree program (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.).

All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time as specified by the sponsoring organization in accordance with its own policies. Trainees are typically provided full-time support for two to three years of undergraduate studies. Use of training grant support in the final three years of undergraduate research training is strongly encouraged to allow for the participation in research, training, mentoring, professional development, and cohort-building activities that will prepare the trainees to successfully transition into a biomedical, research-focused higher degree program.

Information for Applicant Organizations

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the NOFO (including Related Notices in the Overview Section), Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and consult NIGMS staff to discuss eligibility and application requirements prior to submission. When submitting an application, it's important to follow all instructions and avoid issues that lead to noncompliance  and withdrawal prior to review. NIGMS does not require applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year to contact staff to obtain agreement that the IC will accept the application.​

Potential applicants for MARC should contact either Dr. Lameese Akacem or Dr. Kalynda Gonzales Stokes.

The Maximizing Access to Research Careers Program (T34) is part of the NIGMS undergraduate program umbrella cited in 42 CFR 66.102.