Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement
The Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE) is a training program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It builds on the 40-year legacy of the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (U*STAR) started by the late Jose Miguel Cimadevilla, Ph.D. in the early 1980s. This training program is for students from populations historically underrepresented in STEM with an earnest desire to obtain a Ph.D. and pursue a research career in biomedical or behavioral sciences.
The goal of the program is to provide St. Mary’s students with a two-year training program designed to give them the technical, operational, and professional skills necessary to transition into research-focused higher degree programs and the biomedical or behavioral sciences workforce. The overall aim is to diversify the nation’s scientific workforce.
U-RISE provides students majoring in STEM or Behavioral Science disciplines opportunities to participate in biomedical research and work alongside faculty mentors in the biomedical sciences.
Undergraduate students participating in U-RISE are provided with academic, financial, research, and personal support to become competitive applicants for Ph.D. programs and build the skills that will help them succeed in a Ph.D. program.
The program is year-round and offers students numerous benefits, including academic year and summer research experiences at designated laboratories, opportunity to present at the campus-wide and SET research symposia, attendance at a scientific conference (travel-related costs are provided), professional development including colloquiums, seminars, and workshops, as well as a stipend (about $1,200 per month) and tuition assistance ($16,000 per year).
The latter may affect a student’s financial aid package.
U-RISE Program Aims
- Build the interest of St. Mary’s students in research careers in the biomedical sciences and pursuing a Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences through early outreach and interactions with local high schools.
- Implement a research track curriculum designed to mentor, train and engage students in biomedical research (including community college transfer students) and increase the number of students interested in research careers.
- Recruit and prepare a diverse pool of URISE scholars who complete their baccalaureate degree, and complete biomedical, research-focused higher degree programs (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.) and pursue biomedical research careers
Eligibility and Requirements
- Must be pursuing a course of study in Science, Engineering and Technology or Behavioral Science
- Must have a minimum of 2 years remaining before graduation, and no more than 3 years remaining
- Maintain a competitive GPA during training period
- Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident
- Be genuinely interested in attending graduate school and obtaining a Ph.D. upon completion of your degree
- Commit at least 10 hours per week to a research project during academic year and 10 weeks full time during the summer
- Enroll in required U-RISE specific coursework, including research for credit
Interested in applying?
Let us know you’re interested in being part of U-RISE by filling out the survey below.
MARC U*STAR Outcomes
|Since 1983||Since 2000|
|# of trainees (completed MARC)||153 (138)||90 (75)|
|Obtained Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.||39.1%||49.2%|
|Ph.D. in progress||13.8%||28.8%|
|Overall persistence in Ph.D. (STEMM)||53% (96.1%**)||78% (96%)|
|Obtained M.D. or D.O.||12.3%||6.7%|
|Obtained* master’s degree or equivalent||18.8%||26.7%|
|*Includes Masters in progress, individuals with more than one masters degree and individuals with or pursuing a Ph.D. **Excludes 10 trainees with unknown status.|
MARC U*STAR participants attend summer programs and Ph.D. programs across the country, and at top-tier research institutions.
MARC U*STAR sponsored undergraduate research experiences for SET students enhanced academic success:
- The 4-year graduation rate for research active students who participated in MARC or Pre-MARC* training was 87% compared to 52% for SET majors not associated with MARC or Pre-MARC training and 55% for all St. Mary’s undergraduates during the same time.
- Trainees who participated in both MARC and Pre-MARC training had an average 4-year graduation rate of 95% which was higher than MARC training alone (77%).
- Pre-MARC training by itself had a 90% 4-year graduation rate, suggesting that an undergraduate research experience yields greater benefits the earlier a student starts research.
- Additionally, participation in research had a positive impact on MARC trainee academic performance. MARC trainees had an average 3.63 cumulative GPA compared to 3.15 for SET majors.
* “Pre-MARC” students are freshmen or sophomores participating in MARC-sponsored research experiences.
U-RISE Biomedical Research Initiatives
Spring Research Fellowship
The Spring Research Fellowship (SRF) program provides freshmen and sophomores with a hands-on research experience and mentorship with a St. Mary’s faculty member during the spring semester. Students who are selected will research for a minimum of 100 hours and will receive a stipend. Those who are interested in a Ph.D. are strongly encouraged to apply. In order to be eligible for the program, students:
- Must have at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Must be pursuing a course of study in Science, Engineering & Technology or Behavioral Science
- Must be interested in research
Check back soon for more initiatives!