The University of Missouri’s Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) / Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) program fosters, supports and trains our next generation of research leaders and innovators in biomedical and behavioral sciences.

IMSD express group of students
IMSD students participate in multiple national undergraduate conferences in addition to performing cutting-edge research on Mizzou’s campus. Front row (from left): Ashley Aguillard, Erica Braham and Alana Rodney. Back row: Alex Rodriguez, Paige Martinez, Chris Zachary, Joshua Jones, James Ball and Brian Booton.
Pre-pandemic photo taken by Roger Meissen

MARC/IMSD aims to identify and train the next generation of research leaders and innovators in biomedical and behavioral sciences. It is a comprehensive program that integrates research, mentoring, academic and social support, and professional development that prepares participants to matriculate into graduate biomedical doctoral and medical/doctoral programs. MARC/IMSD aims to promote excellence and diversity in the sciences.

The goal of the program is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in biomedical research who complete doctorate degrees in these fields. The program offers an opportunity to develop new or expand existing effective academic developmental programs, including student research internships, in order to prepare students from underrepresented groups for competitive research careers and leadership positions in the biomedical sciences.

Through a grant from the National Institutes of Health, MARC/IMSD students are supported for research in labs throughout the academic year and summer.

Our program combines research and mentoring with the academic and social support needed to help students excel. Professional development and an established support network prepare participants for the next level of their career path in the form of gaining acceptance to graduate programs in biomedical and medical areas of emphasis. With an eye on increasing diversity in the sciences, the MU MARC/IMSD Program promotes excellence and success for participants.


Stage I MARC/IMSD Apprentices

Freshmen, Sophomores, and Transfer Students

  • Attend a weekly seminar that will allow you to explore potential careers in biomedical research (Every Wednesday, 4-5pm)
  • Meet weekly with an upper-class peer mentor
  • Complete a research training “boot camp” your first fall semester
  • Begin identifying faculty for mentored research opportunities
  • Obtain a paid research lab position second semester in program
  • Maintain a high level of academic achievement

Stage II MARC/IMSD Apprentices additionally

Freshmen, Sophomores, and Transfer Students

  • Obtain a paid faculty-mentored research position
  • Meet bi-weekly with an upper-class peer mentor
  • Present research project at on-campus forum

**Maximum funding at the Apprentice level without a fellow’s proposal is 3 semesters and 2 summers

Stage III MARC/IMSD Fellows

Juniors and Seniors

  • Complete an independent faculty-mentored research project during the fall and spring semester
  • Complete a paid, immersive summer research internship
  • Travel to a national conference to present a research poster
  • Prepare to apply to graduate biomedical doctoral and medical/doctoral programs, or take program-sponsored GRE prep course

How to Apply

    Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists

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    Award-Winning Researchers

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    Jump Right In

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