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

Effective April 1, 2010

To create an enhanced sense of community and achieve programmatic equity, MARC U-STAR trainees are required to remain in the MARC U-STAR program for a consecutive 24-month period, which includes the summer research training months conducted at an external research intensive institute. NIGMS provides per diem and travel funds to defray living and travel costs during the extramural Summer Research Experience, while continuing to provide trainee stipends. This action allows the host institution to select a MARC trainee at no cost.


  • The MARC undergraduate program requires trainees to pursue full-time academic and research training for a consecutive 24-month period, normally during their junior and senior years of college. The program includes a requirement of at least one summer of extramural research training at a research intensive institution, called the Summer Research Experience (SRE). This experience is typically for a 10-week period.

  • MARC trainees receive an annual stipend and partial tuition support. Information on stipend amounts is available at This monthly stipend amount must be provided to trainees throughout the summer research experience (the use of direct deposit to the trainee’s bank account is strongly encouraged). To help defray costs associated with living expenses while at the host institution during the summer, MARC trainees participating in the SRE receive a per diem and travel funds. Travel funds are available for travel to and from the host site.

  • Per diem and travel funds are restricted for the SRE purpose only, and may only reimburse actual costs incurred. Since the cost of housing, food and travel will vary, the institutional MARC program director can rebudget these funds within the SRE category per their institution’s policies to accommodate up to all of the MARC trainees participating in the SRE in a given year.

  • In those cases in which a student would participate in on campus housing and a meal plan, the MARC institution should act on behalf of the trainee and pay the host institution for summer housing and meal plans for the period of the training using SRE funds. The per diem funds should not to be given to MARC trainees for them to pay host institutions directly. In those cases where a MARC trainee does not reside on campus (e.g., rents a room or apartment) and/or does not participate in the host campus meal plan, trainees are to be reimbursed for actual living and meal costs at a rate consistent with university policies for the per diem.

  • MARC trainees cannot receive additional support from any other federally-sponsored award that would otherwise duplicate the fiscal support of what trainees receive in the MARC program. If they receive complementary housing and meal support, they would not incur costs for reimbursement.

  • Arrangements for MARC trainees to participate in the SRE should be done by the spring and the institutional MARC program director must be involved.

  • MARC trainees should be strongly encouraged to maintain health insurance during their SRE since if an accident occurs at the host institution, responsibility for coverage generally rests with the MARC trainee.