I am sincerely grateful to everyone in the CASA for their time and dedication to helping students achieve even their loftiest ambitions.- Jacob Holmes, MARC
The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program at Georgia State University is an undergraduate research education and training program grounded in several of our research-focused STEM departments. Funded through a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the goal of MARC is to help prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers in biomedical research, starting with undergraduate research and moving directly into Master’s and Ph.D. programs in related fields. The program pays tuition and a stipend, includes funding to conduct research at Harvard or Vanderbilt during the second summer in the program, and requires taking specialized honors courses.
Private Investigator: Kyle Frantz, Ph.D.
Project Coordinator: Sherri Briggs, Ph.D.
Business Manager: Kay Hudson
Email: [email protected]
- Full-time, baccalaureate degree-seeking student at Georgia State University
- Major in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science (Public Health), Neuroscience, Psychology, or Biomedical Science and Enterprise (BIS) – Pre-med students are not supported by MARC
- GPA of 3.5 or higher, in the Honors College or eligible to join the Honors College
- Motivated to conduct research with a faculty member, although prior research experience is not required
- Expected graduation with bachelor’s degree in 2025
- U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or permanent resident
- Individuals from demographic groups underrepresented in STEM fields are especially encouraged to apply (including those who identify as African American/African descent/Black, Hispanic/Latino Latina, Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian, or Native Alaskan, individuals with documented disabilities, students receiving Pell Grant financial aid, and/or first-generation college-bound students)
- All applicants must be hard-working, collaborative, persistent, and curious, with high attention to detail and good time management skills
- For an application preview visit >>> CASA Research Assistantship Application. Please note that this sample application includes all programs; questions appearing on each individual application will be based on the programs.
- Applications will not be reviewed if they do not meet the minimum word requirements for each short-answer and essay text box.
- Make sure to include an unofficial copy of your transcript with your name, GPA, and total credit hours visible. You can access this information through PAWS.
- Application DEADLINE: February 12, 2023 @ 11:59 PM
Questions? Please schedule an appointment with CASA staff.
CASA Research Opportunity Informational Session
Wednesday, December 14, 2022 from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M.
Are you interested in pursuing a Ph.D. and research career? Are you a STEM or Humanities undergraduate student interested in pursuing a paid research assistantship?
If so, the CASA has paid research opportunities available:
- Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)
- Perimeter Research Assistantship (PRA)
- Center for Dynamic Multiscale and Multimodal Brain Mapping across the Lifespan (D-MAP)
- Math Path
Applications are now open. The deadline is quickly approaching, so be sure to apply by February 12, 2023, @ 11:59 pm.
What motivated you to get involved in undergraduate research?
At first, I wanted to improve laboratory skills and understand the concepts in classes better. Additional research as undergraduate can provide hands-on experience that highlights my resume. I also hope to gain an insight of how a research life is, as well as having guidance and experiences to prepare for graduate school.
In layman’s terms, tell us a bit about your research project. What is your general field? What research questions are you asking? What kinds of methods are you using to answer those questions? What are your preliminary results, if you have any so far?
In my project, I focused on the design and synthesis of Near Infrared (NIR) fluorophores for biomedical applications such as in vivo imaging by contrasting tumor with healthy tissue, and pharmaceutical agents. The innovation will assist surgeons in removing tumors without disturbing the healthy tissue efficiently. In the research process, the general questions will be how to design a dye that can selectively target tissues, what modifications can be applied to enhance properties of dyes, and what reagents and conditions can be used for the synthesis. To answer those questions, I will need research different literatures to understand the properties of different functional groups to design a new compound and how to approach the synthesis. During the processes, I might need to learn and applied different chemical reactions to achieve the final compounds. So far, I have successfully synthesized scaffolds of dye with different modifications and hoped that we can find great properties to target tissues and tumors from those dyes.
What are some challenges or roadblocks you’ve faced while conducting research?
Reading research papers were challenged at first. I had to practice reading frequently and get familiar to scientific terms and analyze data logically. New lab techniques and skills also required practice to perform experiment efficiently.
Which advanced degree are you pursuing? (Master’s, PhD, MD, JD, PA, etc.)
I am pursuing a PhD degree in Chemistry
What is your biggest achievement so far? Or something that’s challenged you?
Undergraduate research has helped me beyond my expectation. In addition of gaining skills and knowledge, I have great research mentors, and guidance that can help me to success as undergraduate and prepare for graduate school. As a MARC scholar, I also received guidance from the CASA and their inspirational advisors with GRE test prep, professional workshops and advice that helped me pave my path to the future research career.
I had so many dreams but had no idea how to achieve them. Then I found the CASA. I interviewed for a fellowship called MARC, and I earned a spot! Everything changed. I started receiving support ranging from mentor relationship-building to the graduate school application process. I am sincerely grateful to everyone in the CASA for their time and dedication to helping students achieve even their loftiest ambitions. Now, all those dreams I had are goals I am set to attain in the coming years. Thank you, CASA! – Jacob Holmes, MARC