Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program:
Fisk University hosts a National Institutes of Health-funded Minority Access to Research Careers ( MARC U*STAR) Undergraduate program. The overarching goal of Fisk University’s MARC U*STAR program is to develop undergraduate students currently under-represented in the biomedical sciences for successful application to and graduation from highly selective Ph.D. biomedical training programs, aligning fully with Fisk’s mission is to produce “graduates from diverse backgrounds with the integrity and intellect required for substantive contributions to society".
Students identify their interest in biomedical research, and later training as a PhD or MD/PhD, as early as the first semester of their Freshman year, and in doing so, begin participation in pre-MARC program activities, including professional skill development activities, career roundtables, and meetings with nationally recognized biomedical scientists who are guest speakers at Fisk’s monthly Cool Science Café. Pre-MARC and MARC scholars engage in academic year and summer biomedical research, both at Fisk University and nationally, including with scientists in formal partnerships with Fisk University at the University of Michigan; Michigan State; University of California; San Diego; University of California, Davis; University of Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt University, among others.
Students can apply in the Spring of their sophomore year for MARC Scholar funding, which provides partial support for 24 continuous months of tuition and provides a stipend to permit continued research engagement during the academic year and summers. MARC ( and pre-MARC )Scholars share their research findings at national meetings of biomedical scientists in their research area, as well as at the national meeting of minority biomedical scientists, ABRCMS.
The Fisk University MARC U*STAR program partners with the MARC program at Tennessee State University, and minority undergraduate and graduate programs at Fisk and Vanderbilt Universities to provide Fisk students with a large cohort of peers and role models similarly interested in a career that contributes to better human health through research.