MARC supports student academic and research activities while they prepare to enter PhD programs. Students receive financial benefits, exceptional professional training and experiences, and participate in outreach activities, all of which make them exceptional candidates for doctoral program admission and strong candidates for NSF graduate research fellowships. To maximize their participation in program activities and the laboratory, MARC students are not allowed to hold a job in addition to MARC.


  • Trainees obtain "hands-on" research experience in research laboratories at UTSA and participate in an extramural summer internship in their second summer. Students have a project of their own (or work on a larger collaborative project) and create scientific abstracts, a thesis, and may even be an author on a scientific paper.
  • MARC trainees are expected to take responsibility for their research experience and develop a deep understanding of their project. By the time they graduate, they should at least be working at the level of master's students, or even young PhD students.
  • Students are expected to work 15 or more hours per week in the laboratory during the semester and full-time (40 hours) during the summer. Students should NOT sacrifice their academic success by putting too much emphasis on their research and working extra/extensive hours.


  • All trainees will be admitted into the UTSA Honors College and must respond to emails from the Honors College. They will have a semester to decide whether they will fully engage in Honors, or if they would rather limit themselves to earning a Distinction in Research, or departmental honors. Please be proactive about this because Honors students pay a fee to participate.
  • All trainees will complete a thesis, which can be used for Honors experience as well as College of Sciences Distinction in Research.
  • As Honors trainees, MARC students will receive benefits reserved for Honors trainees, including Honors advising, priority registration, and others.


(Note: This program will likely cause reorganization of your financial aid. See MARC and Financial Aid below.)

  • MARC is an NIH T34 National Research Service Award and its stipend increases annually. See the NIH NRSA Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels for current rates. Look for amounts for Jr/Sr Undergraduates.
    Note: increases happen on June 1, each year.
  • MARC pays approximately 60% of Spring and Fall tuition.
  • MARC provides $1000 towards students' travel expenses, annually. Please work with your PI, Honors College, and faculty to identify additional funds. In their first year, all trainees will travel as a group to the ABRCMS or SACNAS conferences.
  • MARC stipends are year-round and cannot be stopped. MARC trainees will have to connect their summer program with UTSA's administrative assistant to determine how to best coordinate funding. MARC has an extra $3000 that can be paid for housing/food and $500 for travel.


  • Enriched Academics to include basic Biology courses to provide Biomedical foundations for all majors
  • Two semesters of Research for Credit – the title will vary with department (6 credits)
  • One upper division course pertinent to their laboratory emphasis
  • Complete pre-semester MARC training
  • Encouraged participation in at least one graduate-level course or journal club prior to graduation

Conference Attendance

  • MARC is given $1000 per MARC trainee for conference attendance annually (June 1-May 31).
  • It can be used towards any of the following:
    • Airfare
    • Hotel (sharing a room)
    • Registration fees
    • Per diem (food; generally a flat $35-$48/day for food when it is not provided by the conference)
    • Taxis and other travel related to attending the conference. All other travel/entertainment is the responsibility of the student.

Professional Development

  • MARC Friday meetings
  • Departmental seminars (2 times per semester)
  • Mini-Mester and pre-semester stage-specific skills training
  • Psychosocial Wellness
  • Broader Impact/Outreach activities (at least 1 time per semester)
  • Networking opportunities with former students and graduate programs
  • Conference attendance
  • Off-campus/extramural summer research internship
  • Training in writing
  • Development of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Thesis creation and final oral presentation

Please note: Students at all levels should expect to spend sufficient time in their laboratory to complete their research projects. There will be times when undergraduates will have to invest longer hours to complete their projects. However, they should do so while keeping their courses in mind – do not sacrifice your grades!

MARC and Financial Aid

The MARC program funds are considered a scholarship or stipend and are disbursed through the scholarship office. MARC will be inserted within your financial aid award - if you are getting loans, it will likely replace them, as well as some university scholarships. If you are at maximal financial aid (~$28K) and working off campus, you will need to assess whether MARC participation will cause financial hardship by replacing your financial aid as well as outside employment. When you are offered a position in MARC, please set up an appointment to visit with the Financial Aid Office to assess the program's impact on your finances.

MARC Two-Year Training Cycle

Year 1 (First Year)

May-Mester Summer Pre-Fall Fall Pre-Spring Spring
  • Intro Psychosocial Wellness
  • Foundation Workshop
  • UTSA Responsible Conduct in Research
  • Expt. Design/Rigor Workshp
  • UTSA/Extramural Summer Research
  • Sci. Comm. 1 (writing basics, abstracts, posters, etc.)
  • Abstract Submission
  • End-of-Summer Poster Presentation
  • MARC Retreat
  • MARC Friday Seminars
  • Leadership Workshop
  • Individial Coaching (posters)
  • Psychosocial Wellness
  • MARC/ESTEEMED Poster Session
  • Pre-Conference Training
  • Sci. Comm. 2 (summer apps w/ personal statement, presentation prep, 3MT, orals)
  • Ethics Refresher
  • MARC Friday Seminars
  • Weekly Support (summer apps)
  • Individual Coaching (orals)
  • Psychosocial Wellness
  • Honors Research Credit
  • MARC/ESTEEMED 3MT Competition
  • OUR Showcase: Orals

Year 2 (or Final Year)

Maymester Summer Pre-Fall Fall Pre-Spring Spring
  • Computational/Python
  • Extramural Summer Research
  • MARC Retreat
  • Sci. Comm. 3 (PhD apps, GRFP app worksheet)
  • MARC Friday Seminars
  • MARC/ESTEEMED/IMSD Poster Session
  • Weekly Support (PhD and GRFP apps)
  • Honors Research Credit Conference
  • Sci. Comm. 4 (interview workshop w/ mock interviews)
  • Ethics Refresher II
  • MARC Friday Seminars
  • Capstone Submission
  • Transition Support