CSUF Research Careers Preparatory (RCP) Program Information
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS (Scroll down for details)
The Cal State Fullerton Research Careers Preparatory Program is a program that provides freshmen, sophomores/juniors, and new transfer students the opportunity to explore research as a career through a specially designed pro-seminar course, a laboratory skills training course, and field or laboratory research activities. Senior year students may be considered in some instances.
Why join the RCP program? The goals of the RCP are to: 1) raise student awareness of research careers and mentoring opportunities at CSUF and elsewhere in the country; 2) provide students with the hands-on experience and skill sets they need to be successful in their chosen career especially in research; and 3) move more CSUF graduates into research-based graduate or professional programs in the U.S., or into the workforce within Orange County and throughout California. Participants in the program receive extensive research mentoring and academic support (see below for details).
Please note that RCP participants must take 2 units of BIOL 280S (RCP Laboratory Skills) class during spring, and 1 unit of BIOL 280R during fall and spring. The one lab unit gained from BIOL 280S will count towards the Biology major UD lab requirement.
Participants will carry out undergraduate research with a faculty member in the Departments of Biological Science, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Psychology, or other departments undertaking biomedicine- or science-related research (e.g. Health Science, Computer Science, or Mathematics). Specific benefits include:
* Recommendation letter from faculty (mentor and/or RCP Director)
* Recognition through a Certificate of Completion (click to see a sample)
* Increase competitiveness for any advanced research scholarship or fellowship program here at CSUF and elsewhere (see below for photos and list of participant accomplishments)
* Enrollment in courses especially designed to prepare students to conduct research and become effective scientists, physician-scientists, or other professionals
* Mentoring from various faculty in the NSM, HSS, or HHD college
* Academic guidance on: enhancing communication skills, as well as analytical and critical thinking skills; information on undergraduate research opportunities, culture of science, career prospects, graduate schools, etc.
* Conference attendance to a local or national scientific meeting, when possible and if funds are available
* Entry point to BIOL 499L (Independent Research) for Biology majors; CHEM 395/495 for Chemistry/Biochemistry majors; entry point to PSYC 498/499 for Psychology majors
Major in Biological Science, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Psychology, Health Science and Science-related fields. Students majoring in Mathematics or Computer Science may be considered.
* Minimum overall GPA of 2.50
* Must be a freshman, sophomore/junior, or new transfer student;however, a senior year student may be considered especially if he or she is interested in applying to the BSCR program
* For Biology students, you must have passed BIOL 171 and/or BIOL 172 (or course equivalent) with a “C+” or better
* For Biochemistry students, you must have passed BIOL 172 (or course equivalent) with a “C+” or better
* For Chemistry students, you must have passed CHEM 120A and/or CHEM120B (or course equivalent) with a “C+” or better
* For Psychology students, you must have passed PSYC 101 (or course equivalent) with a “C+” or better; and you must enroll in PSYC 201/202, or obtain permission from a Psychology instructor to enroll in PSYC 498/499 once the pre-requesites have been fulfilled
* For Health Science or Other Science students, you must have passed at least two Science GE (or major-related course) with a “C+” or better
* Interested in undergraduate research and exploring research as a future career goal (e.g. MS, PhD, MD-PhD, DSc, PhD Psychology, Pharmaceutical Science PhD, DDS-PhD) or as a possible stepping-stone for a professional career (e.g. MD, DO, OD, DDS, etc.)
* US citizen, permanent resident
All students who meet the criteria are encouraged to apply, especially those who are under-represented minorities in the sciences and/or students from a financially disadvantaged background, first generation in college, or from a high school that does not send a high percentage of students to college.
Note to Chemistry/Biochemistry students: you are allowed to do research in a Chemistry or Biochemistry laboratory under BIOL 299L. The RCP program director will coordinate with your research mentor regarding this issue. Otherwise, you could register under CHEM 395 (and later on CHEM 495).
* Prior to applying to the program or upon acceptance to the RCP program, you have to set aside up to 2 units during the fall semester (for BIOL 280R and 299L), and 3 units during the spring semester(for BIOL 280R, 280S, and 299L) when planning your course (see below for details).
* All participants must take BIOL 280R (Introduction to Scientific Research) and BIOL 280S (RCP Laboratory Skills). One lab unit of BIOL 280S count towards the Biology major UD lab requirements. You will also need 1 unit of a research course (e.g. BIOL 299L) once you are accepted into a research laboratory (see below for more details).
>> For participants majoring in Biology or Chem/Biochem, you must enroll in 1 unit of BIOL 299L (Directed Research). Chem/Biochem majors who wish to take CHEM 395 instead of BIOL 299L may be permitted. Psychology majors wishing to enrol in BIOL 299L but doing their research work in the Psychology department, may do so.
>> For Psychology majors who have taken PSYC 201/202, you must enroll in 1 unit of PSYC 498 (Directed Research). You may concurrently take PSYC 202 with PSYC 498, or get a Psychology instructor’s permission to take PSYC 498 alone without having taken PSYC 202
* Participate in activities and presentations with fellow RCP program participants, and complete all assignments
* You cannot defer acceptance to the program. Students who defer or withdraw from the RCP program may re-apply in the following semester, but your previous (accepted) status does not carry forward, and it is not a guarantee for re-acceptance.
* Failure to register on-time for one of the required courses (BIOL 280R, BIOL 280S, and/or a research course such as BIOL 299L) means automatic withdrawal from the program.
* Acceptance in the second semester is not guaranteed unless you obtain a grade of “B” (or better) in BIOL 280R and “C+” (or better) in BIOL 280S. You must get a “credit” or (at least a C+) in BIOL 299L/499L, or PSYC 498/499, or CHEM 395/495 after your first semester in the program.
Reminder for Applicants
* BIOL 280R meets every Friday in MH-287 (fall and spring). BIOL 280S is only offered in the spring. BIOL 280S is specifically designed to enhance basic skills in cell and molecular biology techniques. If you are a Biology major, the lab unit obtained from this class will count towards the Biology major UD lab requirement. For non-Bio majors, the units will count towards your university degree unit requirements
* You can not be accepted into the RCP program if you are not able to enroll in BIOL 280R and/or BIOL 280S for whatever reason.
* If you cannot commit to the RCP program, but you are very interested in doing research, please contact a faculty member about joining his or her research laboratory.
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS (for FALL 2017 Cohort)
Download the application form (available here by clicking on the link) --> RCP Application Form.
Fill out the form and answer two essays. Note that when answering/filling in the box on the application form, you must place the cursor on the box and "right click" until you see a window. Click on "checked" as an option on the window.
Save a copy of your TDA as PDF, and submit with your application in Doc/Docx or PDF format.
The application form and TDA must be submitted via email on the due date: Monday May 8th 2017.
Send the application materials to Dr. Laura Arce at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scroll down for photos and participant accomplishments
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What's next after the RCP program? Students who successfully completed the program are strongly encouraged to apply to other fellowships, and a good number of former RCP students have been accepted into the following research scholarships or fellowships:
1) MARC: The Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program is sponsored by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its goal is to prepare students underrepresented in the biomedical sciences for success in a PhD program and research career. Students in this program are typically in their late Sophomore or early Junior year.
2) SCERP: The Southern California Ecosystems Research Program (SCERP) is an NSF-funded program that prepares students for careers in environmental industry, government agencies, and graduate programs in Biology or Environmental Science. Students in this program are typically in their late Sophomore or early Junior year.
3) MHIRT: The Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) Program is an NIH-sponsored program that provides minority students with the opportunity to carry out research during the summer under the direction of world-renowned biochemists and molecular biologists at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, York, and London in Great Britain, the Chiang Mai University in Thailand, and Institutes of Basic and Clinical Research in Argentina.
4) HHMI: The Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Program is a variety of research, supportive studies, and workshops for studens who have exceptional potential for, and a serious commitment to pursue biomedical research as a scientist (PhD) or physician-scientist (MD-PhD). Students in this program are typically in their late Sophomore or early Junior year.
5) BSCR: The Bridges to Stem Cell Research is a one-year program that provides students with research experience in Molecular and Cell Biology in the areas of stem cell and regenerative medicine. Students are immersed in various cell biology techniques while at CSUF, and then the following year, they will undertake an internship in one of four participating research institutions (USC, UCI, CHOC, UCR). Students in this program are typically in their Junior or early Senior year.
6) LSAMP: The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation helps minority students participate in research during academic and summer months.
7) BURST: Scholarship for students who are biology majors and are actively participating in research.
7) McNair Scholarship: Scholarship for students who wish to become academic researchers as a career.
RCP (BIOL 280R) Students AY 2009-2010
From left to right: (standing) Carrie, Denise, Emily, Gabrielle, and Macarena; (sitting) Pierre, Michael, Manuel, Luigi, and Andy. (Not shown: Stephanie G.)
Student Accomplishments AY 2009-2010
* Gabrielle Donnelly was accepted into the summer research (2010) program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was also accepted into the HHMI two-year research scholarship program here at CSUF.
* Emily Nguyen was accepted into the SCERP research fellowship and McNair scholarship programs (2010-11).
* Carrie De Jesus was accepted into the SCERP research fellowship program (2010-11).
* Macarena Aloi was accepted into the MARC Fellowship program (2010-12).
* Michael Hadley was accepted into the BSCR research fellowship program (2010-11).
* Pierre Samson was accepted into the LSAMP research program (Summer 2010). He was also accepted into the BSCR research fellowship program for the 2011-12 cohort.
* Luigi Basilio was accepted into the LSAMP research program (Summer 2011). He was also awarded the Alzheimer's Association Young Investigator Award in 2011; the CSUPERB-Howell Research Scholarship in 2012; and he received both the FDC and ASI grants for 2012.
RCP (BIOL 280R) Students AY 2010-2011
From left to right: (standing) Ary, Christina, Van, Matt, Tyler, Sylvia, Sean, Bonnie, and Simona; (sitting) Danny, Vinod, Michelle, and Cindy. (Not shown: Reza, Carlyn, and Stephanie D.)
Student Accomplishments AY 2010-2011
* Carlyn Lee presented her research work at the annual CSUPERB meeting in January 2011.
* Tyler Routledge presented his research work at the annual CSUPERB meeting in January 2011. Tyler also received an ASI grant in 2011.
* Christina Adams was accepted into the MARC research fellowship program (2011-2013). She presented her research work at the annual CSUPERB meeting in January 2011, and the NSM ICC Symposium in April 2011. She was given the Gen Chem Award during the NSM awards reception in May 2011.
* Cindy Gonzalez was awarded the FDC Faculty-Student Collaborative Research Grant in Fall 2010. She also received the American Arachnological Society Travel grant in 2011.
* Simona Bor was awarded the HHMI Fellowship program (2011-13). She was also given the award for Achievement in Organic Chemistry
* Reza Ghasemian was accepted into the BSCR research fellowship program (2011-12).
* Vinod Valluri was nominated and became a finalist for the CSUPERB-Nagel Undergraduate Research competition (2012).
* Van and Vinod were both co-authors of a paper published in Acta Histochemica in 2012. Van was awarded the MARC Fellowship (2012-14).
* Stephanie Dreikorn was accepted into the BSCR research fellowship program (2011-12).
* Danny Nguyen was accepted into the BSCR research fellowship program (2013-14) and the MHIRT Summer Research (2012).
RCP (BIOL 280R) Students AY 2011-2012
From left to right: (standing) Alex, Frank, Jeremy, Janise, Nicole, and Sofia; (sitting) Gurpreet, and Kat.
RCP Student Accomplishments AY 2011-2012
* Nicole Tronske was accepted into SCERP (2012-14). She presented her research at the SoCal Academy of Sciences conference, Occidental College, 4 May 2012. She also received the Carson Scholarship 2012.
* Frank Ospino was accepted to the BSCR program (2012-13). He presented his research at the Geobiology Symposium, UC Riverside, 7 April 2012. He also received an ASI grant.
* Sofia Laguna was accepted to the McNair Scholarship program (2012-13).
* Kat Chua was accepted into the MARC research fellowship program (2012-14), and the MHIRT Summer Research (2012).
* Jeremy Nguyen received the FDC Faculty-Student Collaborative grant 2012.
RCP (BIOL 280R) Students AY 2012-2013
From left to right: (standing) Michael, Leo, Chloe, Samantha, Iliana, and Amber; (sitting) Louis, Ashley, Vy, and Tom.
RCP Student Accomplishments AY 2012-2013
* Iliana Orellana received the FDC Faculty-Student Collaborative grant 2012.
* Samantha Moya received the FDC Faculty-Student Collaborative grant 2012.
* Vy Nguyen was accepted into the SCERP (2012-14). She also received the FDC Faculty-Student Collaborative grant 2012.
* Louis Needleman was accepted into the MARC research fellowship program (2012-14).
* Leo Islas was awarded the HHMI Felowship 2013-15, and the LSAMP summer research (2012). He also received the ASI grant (2012-13).
* Chloe Thomas was accepted into the BSCR research fellowship program (2013-14).
* Ashley Chui was awarded the HHMI Fellowship (2013-15). She won the CSUPERB-Nagel competition in January 2015.
* Michael Ko was awarded the MARC Fellowship (2013-15).
* Thomas Parker was awarded the BURST scholarship (2014).
RCP (BIOL 280R) Students AY 2012-2013/2013-2014
From left to right: Jasmin, Carolina, Alyssa, Tan, Ashley, Catalina, and Brianna. (Not shown: Rebecca, Karen, and Joshua).
RCP Student Accomplishments AY 2013-2014
* Rebeca Varias was awarded the MARC Fellowship (2013-15).
* Karen Balcazar was awarded the HHMI Fellowship (2013-15).
* Joshua Silva was awarded the MARC Fellowship (2013-15).
* Carolina Mendoza was awarded the Rosenberg Scholarship (2014). Accepted into the MARC Program (2015-16).
* Alyssa Bormann was accepted in the McNair Scholarship and awarded the MARC Fellowship (2013-15).
RCP (BIOL 280R) Students AY 2013-2014
From left to right (front): Andy, Lissette, and Danielle. From left to right (back): Ryan, Jessica, Leanne, and Travis.
RCP Student Accomplishments AY 2014-2015
* Leanne Hildebrand was accepted to the BSCR research fellowship program (2015-16).
* Travis was given the Biochemistry Award (May 2015).
RCP (BIOL 280R) Students AY 2014-2015
From left to right: Chase, Criselda and Carina.
RCP Student Accomplishments AY 2014-2015
* Criselda was accepted to MHIRT (summer 2015).
* Carina was accepted into the two-year HHMI Undergraduate Research Fellowship (2015-17).
RCP (BIOL 280R) Students AY 2015-2016
From left to right: Andrew, Michael, Stacy, Nathan, and Eric.
RCP Student Accomplishments AY 2015-2016
* Nathan was accepted into SCERP research scholarship (2015-16).