The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)

Nature of Research/Program Description: 

IMSD provides participating students with the opportunity to receive an in-depth experience in the academic and experimental aspects of biological research.  The program consists of a laboratory-training program during the summer and laboratory research projects during the academic year. Graduates of the program have been able to enroll in a wide variety of graduate programs, internships, and professional schools.  The program includes funding for travel to conferences and to graduate schools, program support for graduate school applications, and study groups and tutoring services for upper division STEM coursework.

The program is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Keywords:  2 year; all year; summer; fall quarter; winter quarter; spring quarter; paid; conference travel; study groups; tutoring; laboratory research; biological research; experimental biology

Contact: Yulianna Ortega

Faculty Director: Melissa Jurica

Targeted Students: 
Full-time undergraduate or accepted transfer students who have taken specific classes (see website) and are planning to pursue a biomedically related a graduate degree after completion of the bachelor's degree. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents eligible to work. Underrepresented students and those who have overcome socioeconomic hardships are strongly encouraged to apply.
Program Time Period: 
Academic Year
All Year
Winter Quarter
Spring Quarter
Fall Quarter
2 year
An hourly-based salary with a maximum of $3000 for the summer and $400/month during the school year. Funding is also provided for research supplies and travel to conferences and graduate schools.
Application Deadline: 
Early February
Approximate Number of UCSC Students (Each Year): 
35 undergraduates
Year Began: 
Yulianna Ortega
Contact Title: 
STEM Diversity Program Director
Contact Email:
Faculty Director: 
Melissa Jurica
Faculty Director Email:
Participant Follow-up: 

We just celebrated our 100th PhD achieved by students who graduated from the MARC and IMSD programs combined.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Ecology and Evolution
Electrical Engineering
Human Biology
Marine Biology
Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology
Plant Sciences