FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the MARC GatorSTAR program and grant provide?

All MARC GatorSTAR Trainees are eligible to receive the following support, beginning in the summer prior to their junior year:

  • Research stipend of $1,028 per month
  • Scholarship for tuition (up to 60% of the tuition)
  • Registration, travel, housing, and meals to attend ABRCMS in the Trainee’s junior or senior year
  • Registration, travel, housing, and meals to attend a regional or national scientific meeting
  • Travel to and from the extramural research program (up to $500)
  • Subsistence during the extramural research program (up to $3,000)

The financial support is intended to allow MARC GatorSTAR Trainees to devote full attention to their studies and research, and therefore Trainees must agree to not be employed in any manner during their participation in the program.

How many students will be in the program?

The MARC GatorSTAR program is designed to remain small, with six new Trainees each year.

Who is eligible to apply?

MARC GatorSTAR Trainees must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a member of a group that has been traditionally under-represented in the sciences. Eligible applicants must be at least one of the following:
    • Member of  a racial and ethnic group shown to be underrepresented nationally (defined as Blacks or African Americans; Hispanics or Latinos; Native Americans or Alaska Natives; Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders), OR
    • Have a disability, defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
  • Be a citizen, non-citizen national, or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Score 75% or higher on the ALEKS math assessment, or have completed MAC1147 with a grade of B or higher.
  • Have a 3.2 cumulative GPA in a major related to biomedical or behavioral science (list of applicable UF majors).
  • At the time of application, be a sophomore (second year) or junior (third year) undergraduate.
  • Be qualified to earn a BS degree from UF in an applicable major within two years of being appointed to the MARC GatorSTAR program, unless an exception is granted by the MARC GatorSTAR Steering Committee  (list of applicable UF majors).
  • Plan to pursue a PhD and a career in biomedical or behavioral science. Students who plan to pursue a PhD along with a professional degree (e.g., MD, DO, DDS, DMD, DVM) will be considered.
  • Clearly demonstrate an interest in the value of a diversified biomedical and behavioral sciences research workforce.
  • Agree to not be employed in any manner during your participation in the program.
  • Agree to participate in all MARC GatorSTAR program activities.
  • Agree to notify the MARC GatorSTAR program of any change in academic status or financial aid status.

If I’m accepted, when would I start in the program?

MARC GatorSTAR Trainees begin their appointments on May 1. The summer research skills course typically begins at the same time as the summer A session.

 What are the requirements for admission into the University of Florida?

Please contact the Admissions Office for information regarding admission requirements.

How do I apply?

Follow the application instructions here: http://marc.program.ufl.edu/apply/application-process/.

What experience to I need?

Prior experience in research is recommended, but is not required.

What happens if I have trouble with any of my courses?

Contact the MARC program if you find yourself having difficulty keeping up with any courses. We want all of our Trainees to succeed, and we can help by arranging peer-tutoring or tutoring from a graduate student, and participation in activities and programs to improve time management and stress management skills. Don’t wait until late in the semester; the sooner you let us know there is a problem, the more we can do to help.

What happens if my GPA falls below 3.2?

Every MARC GatorSTAR trainee’s cumulative GPA must stay above 3.2 to be considered eligible. A term GPA below 3.2 will not impact the trainee’s standing unless that term lowers the cumulative GPA below 3.2. Trainees who fail to meet the GPA requirement must raise their GPA above a 3.2 in the following summer by taking credits at UF but cannot receive funding for that term.

Trainees who are off-track in their major should seek assistance from the MARC program. Students who are off-track in their major for two successive semesters are not eligible to remain in the MARC GatorSTAR program.

Is the MARC GatorSTAR program available to transfer students?

Yes.

How long can I receive funding as a MARC GatorSTAR Trainee?

MARC GatorSTAR Trainees are supported for up to two years.

How many credit hours do I need to take each semester?

MARC GatorSTAR Trainees must complete 24 credit hours in each academic year. The number of credits you take may vary by semester, but 24 credits must be earned each year. Students who do not earn 24 credits are placed on probation and must make up the credits in the summer to remain eligible for the following fall term. Students must also be considered full-time students and therefore are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 UF credits each semester. Students who elect to use a university-granted drop may fall below full-time status, which is permitted. The general rule of thumb is that students must begin each semester as a full-time student with 12 or more credits.

Trainees registered with the Disability Resource Center are required to earn 18 credit hours per academic year and they may petition for additional semesters to complete their degree. Under special circumstances, a Trainee may earn fewer per their approved accommodations.

Can I take fewer than 12 credits in my final semester if that’s all I need to graduate?

Yes. In a Trainee’s final semester, the MARC GatorSTAR program will fund the remaining credits needed to graduate provided the Trainee is enrolled in at least 6 credits. Graduating Trainees are considered a full-time student with fewer than 12 credits for purposes of continuing to receive UF student services such as involvement in student organizations, use of the Counseling and Wellness Center and Disability Resource Center, and recreation facility use.

Can I take a summer course while I am a MARC Trainee?

Other than the Research Skills course during the beginning of the summer, MARC GatorSTAR Trainees typically should not plan on taking any summer courses. This is to make sure Trainees are able to devote sufficient time to working with their research mentor. Exceptions may be made for Trainees who need to complete a specific course in the summer in order to graduate on-time.

 If I drop a class, how will my stipend and scholarship be affected?

Since MARC GatorSTAR Trainees are required to earn 24 credits each year, dropping a class may put you behind in earning these credits. This drop may affect the number of credits you register for the following semester. We encourage students to meet with program director prior to making the decision to drop a class. Each semester, the university sets a date by which all students much drop classes if they choose. Be sure to pay attention to this date each semester as dropping a class after the university deadline will result in needing to complete a petition.  All UF students receiving Bright Futures scholarship are required to repay the cost for classes they drop, unless it is a documented medical reason. Learn more at http://www.registrar.ufl.edu/hubstudents.html

Do I have to live on campus?

No, but it is recommended that you live on campus in your first-year so that you may become familiar with campus and participate in activities coordinated by the Department of Housing and Residence Education. Students may stay on campus their entire college career assuming they turn in paperwork by the established deadlines.

Can I have a part-time job and still remain in the MARC GatorSTAR program?

No, MARC GatorSTAR Trainees may not be employed in any manner during their participation in the program.

What happens if I do not earn 24 credits by the end of the spring semester?

Trainees who fail to meet the credit hour renewal requirement can make up the deficit in the following summer at UF or another Florida community college or state university (per approval of transient form) but cannot receive MARC GatorSTAR stipend and tuition scholarship for that term.

What happens if I take a semester off from UF?

MARC GatorSTAR Trainees who are not enrolled in a fall or spring semester are reviewed for renewal based on having earned at least 12 credits in the one semester (fall or spring) that they were enrolled. MARC GatorSTAR Trainees who believe they should take a semester off must meet with the program director to determine the feasibility of a successful return to the program.