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

MARC is an undergraduate student training program for institutions with research-intensive environments. Eligible institutions must have a 3-year average of NIH research project grant (RPG) funding greater than or equal to $7.5 million in total costs. To determine RPG funding for your institution, visit NIH RePORTER.

The goal of the MARC program is to develop a diverse pool of undergraduates who complete their baccalaureate degree, and transition into and complete biomedical, research-focused higher degree programs (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.). The long-term goal is to develop a diverse pool of well-trained biomedical scientists, who have the following technical, operational, and professional skills:

  • A broad understanding across biomedical disciplines and the skills to independently acquire the knowledge needed to advance their chosen fields;
  • The ability to think critically and independently, and to identify important biomedical research questions and approaches that push forward the boundaries of their areas of study;
  • A strong foundation in scientific reasoning, rigorous research design, experimental methods, quantitative and computational approaches, and data analysis and interpretation;
  • A commitment to approaching and conducting biomedical research responsibly, ethically, and with integrity;
  • Experience initiating, conducting, interpreting, and presenting rigorous and reproducible biomedical research with increasing self-direction;
  • The ability to work effectively in teams with colleagues from a variety of cultural and scientific backgrounds, and to promote inclusive and supportive scientific research environments;
  • The skills to teach and communicate scientific research methodologies and findings to a wide variety of audiences (e.g., discipline-specific, across disciplines, and the public); and
  • The knowledge, professional skills and experiences required to identify and transition into careers in the biomedical research workforce (i.e., the breadth of careers that sustain biomedical research in areas that are relevant to the NIH mission).

MARC grants are institutional awards. Applications may be submitted by domestic public/state institutions of higher education, and private institutions of higher education that have a significant number of mentors with NIH or other extramural research support.

Awards are made to colleges and universities that offer the baccalaureate degree in biomedical sciences. Applicant organizations may submit only one application (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number). An institution can hold only one MARC (T34) program at a given time. Institutions with currently funded MARC, (T34) or IMSD (R25), or RISE (R25) programs for support of undergraduate students are eligible to apply for this FOA or U-RISE FOA only at the end of their current MARC, IMSD, or RISE funding period. The total requested project period for these awards may not exceed 5 years. Awards are renewable.

MARC institutions select the trainees to be supported. Trainees must be research-oriented students majoring in the biomedical sciences who have expressed interest in pursuing postgraduate education leading to the Ph.D., M.D.-Ph.D. or other combined professional degree-Ph.D. in these fields upon completing their baccalaureate degree.

Each institution is encouraged to design a program that emphasizes its environment, mission and strengths, and to set measurable goals and specific objectives against which the program will use for self-assessment and evaluation for continual institutional improvement and continued funding. MARC falls under the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Minority Access to Research Careers program.

NIGMS encourages all applicants for MARC grants to contact Dr. Sailaja Koduri or Dr. Luis Cubano. For more information about the MARC program, please see the links below, and consult the MARC program announcement (PAR-19-219).

Applicants should also please note that NIGMS does not require applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year to contact staff to obtain agreement that the IC will accept the application.

MARC U-STAR Participating Institutions

MARC Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

xTrain Module Web site

xTrain Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Instructions for Completing the Budget Pages for the MARC U-STAR Program

MARC U-STAR Student Appointment Policy [PDF, 56.3KB]

MARC U-STAR (T34) Summer Research Experience (SRE) Policy

Guidance for Interim Funding

NRSA Policy Guidelines (Look under Section 11.3 for Institutional Research Training Grants)