Welcome to the UTSA APPEX Program

The NIH/Federally-funded UTSA APPEX (Academic Personal and Professional Excellence) Research Training Program and Scholarship guides students towards academic and research excellence, while promoting their long-term well-being and resilience. Its goal is to develop future scientists at all levels of education, who contribute to the national STEM workforce. APPEX lays strong foundations through academic enrichment, financial support, faculty and peer mentoring, training in psychosocial skills and cognition, and engagement in UTSA research laboratories.

In partnership with program directors and mentors in their fields, all scholars develop an individual development plan that will assist them to attain their STEM career goals and prepare them for graduate education, as desired. APPEX Scholars are recruited from incoming Freshman STEM students in majors listed below. Admission to APPEX grants automatic admission to both the UTSA Honors College and College of Sciences Honors programs.

Who is Eligible?

APPEX Scholars should be high-achieving students who are interested in completing STEM degrees and STEM-related occupations. Particular attention is given to those with research experience or a desire to pursue a PhD. The APPEX program is not designed to support pre-health students, unless they desire to be medical scientists (MD/PhD). Included majors are Biology, Chemistry or Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, Neuroscience, Physics, and Math.

Program Details

Throughout their studies, APPEX Scholars take part in well-being training, pre-research training, and then in meaningful research laboratory engagement. They also engage in peer and faculty mentoring and academic assistance programs, and develop strong foundations for success.

  • Just prior to their first semester, all Scholars will attend a one-day introductory Boot Camp.
  • In their first semester, Scholars will initially engage in a common AIS Course designed to provide foundations in academic, well-being, research career development, and presentation skills. They will also attend occasional APPEX meetings.
  • Following their first semester, Scholars participate in stage-specific group meetings designed to continue group connection and stage-specific training in professional/career development and personal well-being.
  • By their second year, Scholars are encouraged to begin working in research labs at UTSA.
  • As rising third-years or earlier, Scholars are highly encouraged enter a summer research training program at one of the top research institutes in the country.
  • APPEX Scholars may also opt to become MARC-2 trainees and affiliate with the NIH MARC Training Program and complete training designed to prepare them for submission of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and doctoral program matriculation. Trainees in MARC and its affiliates have very strong placement records into some of the top biomedical research programs in the country.

Financial Considerations

  • During all Fall and Spring semesters, Scholars receive monthly support amounting up to $4000 per semester ($8000/year) for up to four years. APPEX funding is need-based so it must fit into the students’ cost of attendance. Scholars who do not have unmet need can participate in the program on a voluntary basis, as APPEX-2 trainees.
  • In their third year, Scholars receive $500 towards attendance to a national student research conference and receive guidance on how to write travel scholarships and awards.

Scholar Application

Interested in becoming an APPEX Scholar? Click the link to learn more.

Funding provided by

NSF logo

The APPEX program is one of the training programs in the UTSA Research Initiatives for Scientific Equity (RISE) Office. See UTSA RISE Office for details about the programs.