NIH grant funds five years of undergraduate research experiences at CSUN

The National Institutes of Health has awarded five years of support, totaling more than $2.8 million, for a new program providing undergraduate research experiences in the CSUN College of Science and Mathematics, U-RISE.

U-RISE, the Undergraduate Research Initiative for Student Enhancement, is led by CSUN Biology faculty Cheryl Courtney-Hogue, Ray Hong, and MariaElena Zavala. The program builds on successes of the MARC program to provide opportunities to develop research experience and biomedical lab skills for students in groups underrepresented in scientific careers — over the five years of funding, U-RISE will recruit and train up to 90 undergraduate researchers. The new program will also support training for faculty research mentors, a summer workshop to prepare incoming freshmen for university coursework in Math and Language Arts, and a Molecular Biology Bootcamp to help students get started with key lab skills.

Applications are now open for the first U-RISE student cohort, which starts in late May. Eligible students 1) must want a research-based career, 2) have at least a 3.0 GPA, 3) belong to group that is underrepresented in basic biomedical research careers including Pell eligible students, 4) have two years before graduating, and 5) be prepared to participate in extramural research during the summer. Students majoring in Biology, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Psychology, or Public Health and Nutrition are all encouraged to apply — email Rachel Giacopuzzi ( for an application.