Enrichment Programs


The MARC GatorSTAR program supports selected, full-time juniors and seniors who are underrepresented minorities and intend to pursue a PhD degree in biomedical or behavioral science-related disciplines. Students who are accepted into the program become GatorSTAR Trainees for their junior and senior years, during which they receive a scholarship, a stipend, and travel support, totaling up to $52,000. Trainees participate in programs to enhance their academic preparation and research skills, and participate in intensive research experiences with UF faculty mentors and faculty mentors at partner institutions throughout the southeast. The GatorSTAR program supports the Trainees through to their graduation with a BS degree in a biomedical or behavioral science-related discipline, and promotes each Trainee’s continuation to a successful career as a research scientist.

Recruitment of Trainees to the MARC GatorSTAR program typically begins with UF sophomores and eligible students who have transferred or plan to transfer to UF from state or community colleges and other higher education institutions. Research and program coursework begins in the summer prior to the Trainee’s junior year, during which the Trainee completes a summer research skills and ethics course and begins mentored research with a UF program faculty mentor with whom the Trainee will be matched. The mentored research experience will continue during the Trainee’s junior year under the supervision of the UF program faculty mentor. In the summer prior to the Trainee’s senior year, the Trainee will participate in full-time, off-campus research with an external faculty research mentor at an affiliated southeast institution. The Trainee will then continue participation in mentored research with their UF program faculty mentor during the Trainee’s senior year, and culminate with the submission of an Honors Thesis.

This program is funded by an award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/ National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to D. Julian with co-investigators Ryan Duffy, Christine Miller, David Miller, and Gabriela Waschewsky.

SF2UF Bridge to the Baccalaureate Program

The SF2UF Bridge to the Baccalaureate Program is a partnership between Santa Fe College and the University of Florida. The SF2UF Bridge Program seeks to increase the number of underrepresented SF students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences who go on to transfer to UF and graduate with bachelor’s degrees in biomedical and behavioral science-related disciplines.

The goal of the SF2UF Bridge program is to support the education, research experience, and professional development of students from underrepresented groups. A highlight of the program is that selected students will be able to conduct scientific research in the laboratory of a University of Florida professor as undergraduates while enrolled at Santa Fe College. In addition, SF2UF Bridge will support and enhance the educational experience of all Santa Fe College students by establishing a chemistry and biology tutoring center at SF, creating the seminar course (ISC2931: Entering Research in the Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences), and offering a lecture series at SF College in which active UF scientific investigators will share their research with the SF College community at large.

This program is funded by an award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/ National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to D. Julian with co-PI Vertigo Moody (Santa Fe College).

Bioscience Scholars Program

The Bioscience Scholars (BioS) program provides a pathway to a five-year, combined B.S. and M.S. degree for low-income students pursuing careers in biotechnology or in other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines. The program is not appropriate for students who want to become practicing physicians, dentists or veterinarians. Read more about student qualifications here. A key feature of the BioS program is early entry into research. Bioscience Scholars will be prepared and nurtured to begin mentored research in their sophomore year, and to continue that research through graduation with an honors BS, a thesis-based MS, and specific training in biotechnology applications.

Bioscience Scholars form a cohort that progress together in their academic coursework, research experience, and professional development. All Scholars are provided academic and social support to promote their confidence in achieving a successful career in the sciences. Scholars participate in research with a faculty mentor for four years. To enhance their professional development, Bioscience Scholars also receive early and repeated exposure to the diversity of STEM careers and professional development support to prepare them for employment in life science or biotechnology or entry into a STEM Ph.D. program. Up to 10 new Bioscience Scholars can be selected each year, with scholarships of up to $21,000 per year.

The Bioscience Scholars Program was funded by an NSF S-STEM award to D. Julian, with co-PIs Colette St. Mary, Rebecca Kimball and Richard Snyder.

Science for Life Program

The former Science for Life Program was a program funded by HHMI to strengthen and transform undergraduate research and interdisciplinary laboratory education in the STEM disciplines at the University of Florida and our partnering institutions. This program is no longer accepting applications for new awards.