RISE Undergraduate Application


The RISE program is accepting applications for Summer 2018 pending program funding.
The priority deadline for Summer 2018 is March 11.

The information provided below details the requirements for application to the UTSA RISE Undergraduate Research Training Program.

The MARC-U*STAR/RISE/WSRTP application is always open and available.
Primary review deadlines are: • Spring: November 15 • Summer: March 11 • Fall: July 15
Additional application reviews will take place until all program positions are filled, as well as in the case of unexpected mid-semester positions.

RISE is a year-round program with students preparing for the next stage of their training. It is not a summer program but continues throughout the school year.

If you are interested in Medical School, do not apply for this program.

Participants must desire to pursue a PhD in one of the following:

  1. A biological field
  2. Physics in a biomedically-oriented field
  3. Biomedical Engineering
  4. Psychology with intention to be a college faculty member and not exclusively enter clinical practice
  5. Chemistry in a health-relevant field


  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Full time UTSA student
  • If transferring, have completed one semester at UTSA by the time of program entry
  • Will complete your undergraduate degree at UTSA (must not be planning to transfer)
  • Desire to pursue doctoral (PhD) education
    This does NOT include:
    • MD, DDS, MPH, or other professional degree without a PhD, even if you wish to perform research in the future
    • PhD/Professional degrees (MD/PhD or DDS/PhD)
    • Professional PhDs that lead exclusively to clinical or health care practice without research
  • 3.0 or higher GPA
  • Majoring in Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Microbiology/Immunology, or Psychology, or with a biomedical research emphasis
  • All As and Bs in science/math (and Psychology if Psychology major) courses in the semester prior to entry
  • Commitment to complete the program once it is started
  • Able to commit to 15 hours or more to research work in Fall/Spring and 40 hours in summer
  • Will give up additional employment
  • Will enroll and complete Research Careers and Professional Skills Development course
  • Will complete College (COS, COE) or Departmental (Psychology) Honors or Highest Honors from UTSA Honors College
  • Will complete a thesis
  • Will attend an annual scientific conference
  • Will attend an off-campus summer research program
  • Will complete the GRE prior to graduation
  • Will apply to at least seven (7) doctoral programs

Be underrepresented in the sciences for one of the following reasons:

  • African-American, American Pacific Islander, Hispanic, or Native American/Alaskan Native
  • Financially disadvantaged (eligible for Pell grants or equivalent)
  • Disability recognized by the UTSA Disability Services

The MARC-U*STAR/RISE/WSRTP application is always open and available.
Primary review deadlines are: • Spring: November 15 • Summer: March 11 • Fall: July 15
Additional application reviews will take place until all program positions are filled, as well as in the case of unexpected mid-semester positions.

New Student Application

apply image

The RISE Application is the same as that for MARC-U*STAR and the Work Study Research Training Program. Please indicate all that you want to apply for.

The Application consists of an online application (click here for application after you have read the information below).

You will need to upload a personal statement and Names/Emails from two recommenders.

Application Advice

Continuing Student Application

RISE or Work Study Research Training Program students who want to apply for the MARC-U*STAR program may fill out a smaller application. You will be asked to upload:

Advice for Writing a Personal Statement

Please write several paragraphs addressing the following:

  • What are your career plans?
  • Why are you interested in biomedical or behavioral research?
  • Why do you think that you will be a good researcher?
  • How do you think this program will enhance your ability to obtain your career goals?
  • How committed are you to earning a PhD?
  • If you desire a PhD, why do you want it and how have you prepared to pursue one?
  • Also, include any other relevant information that you feel the Student Selection Committee should take into consideration when reviewing your application.

General Advice

Do not let shyness or hesitation about an application prevent you from participating is this program. If you are strongly motivated to pursue a career in research and are having trouble with letters or other parts of your application, come and see Dr. Gail Taylor for advice. If a doctoral degree in Biology or Chemistry is your goal, our program will benefit you greatly, both in the present by allowing you to obtain valuable research experience, and in the future with admission to special off-campus undergraduate summer research programs and doctoral (PhD) programs.

Advice on Asking for Recommendations

You need two recommendations for this application.

  1. Obtain recommendations preferably from UTSA math or science faculty members
    • Exception: Psychology students should get at least one recommendation from a Psychology professor.
    • Recommendations from TAs are not recommended.
    • If you have worked in or are working in a research laboratory (not a teaching lab), get a recommendation from the PI of the lab
  2. The better you know someone, the better your recommendation is likely to be. If you have any doubts that a person will evaluate you well, ask them whether they "know you well enough to write a strong recommendation for you." People don’t like writing bad recommendations and this way, you give them an easy way to turn you down rather than write a bad or very scanty recommendation. Realize, however, that even a scanty recommendation is better than not turning one in at all or not applying.
  3. Ask your recommender as far in advance as possible - preferably two weeks at minimum. Good recommendations take some consideration and time to put together and your professors are very busy.
  4. You will provide the name and email address of your recommender when you apply. Your recommender will receive an email inviting them to send in the recommendation.
  5. If a faculty member doesn’t know you very well but will work with you, you may assist them by helping them get to know you better. Set up an appointment and provide them with a letter detailing your future goals and the program to which you are applying, as well as a copy of your resume/CV.
  6. PhDs often need to be reminded and are not annoyed if you do it politely. Follow up with your recommenders to make sure that the letters are actually sent. The "squeaky wheel gets the oil" really works in this circumstance.