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Application Elements

Use this list to gather the required documents that you will need in order to submit a complete application.

The BUILD, MARC U*STAR, and RISE programs use a single application that is submitted online. The application form requires you to type in information as well as upload your application elements. You should have these completed prior to starting your online application. Please read all the information below carefully and contact us if you have any questions.


Online Recommendation Form

A complete application requires two online Recommendation Forms to be submitted on your behalf. The Recommendation Form is only accepted online and a formal letter of recommendation (LOR) is optional but encouraged. To initiate the process, complete the online form and each recommender you list will receive their link to submit the online Recommendation Form and upload a LOR. 

Recommendations from professors are preferred. At least one must be from a CSULB professor (if you are a current CSULB student) or a professor from your current institution (if not a current CSULB student). The other can come from someone that has overseen you in a supervisory role. At least one faculty member should be from a STEM and/or health science-related discipline (e.g., engineering and behavioral, biological, clinical, health, physical and social sciences). *If you are already in a research program/lab or have a commitment to a specific research mentor, one of these letters should be from that faculty member.

BUILD, MARC U*STAR, and RISE are CSU Long Beach programs funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for undergraduate students interested in health-related research. The mission of each of the programs is to enhance diversity in the biomedical and behavioral research workforce in the U.S. These programs are designed to prepare you to enter a research-focused graduate degree program with the ultimate goal of pursuing a health-related research career. With these goals in mind, you should select recommenders who have good knowledge of your academic and/or research potential and are able to articulate why you should be selected to join one of the programs.

Recommendation: Steps

  1. Submit contact information for your recommenders. (Link will be provided once the application opens.)
  2. Complete the FERPA waiver information (your decision will be sent to each recommender). 
  3. Enter both of your recommenders' names and email addresses. Ensure that you enter your recommenders' names and email addresses correctly so that they each receive the automated email instructing them how to proceed with submitting their recommendation for you online.
  4. After your recommender has submitted their online form you will receive an automated email notification.

Recommendation: Program Specifics

  • If you have selected RISE as a preferred program, one of the recommendation forms must be from a mentor who has agreed to accept you into their research program.
  • If you are applying for the one-year BUILD Fellows program, one of the recommendation forms must be from your current faculty research mentor who will also continue to train you while you are in BUILD.

Recommendation: Tips

  • Inform your recommenders ahead of time that you will be listing them as a reference. 
  • Submit their contact information early so your recommenders have enough time to submit. Keep in mind the application due date. 
  • Let them know that they will receive an email with a link to complete the online Recommendation Form (~7 questions) and also have the option to upload a formal letter of recommendation (please combine all pages to 1 document).
  • Let them know that the email will have "BUILD, MARC, RISE" as the sender (coming from Qualtrics). Additionally, they can look for the subject: BUILD, MARC, RISE - recommendation request. *It may go to their spam/junk email so send them a reminder email once you officially submit your application. 
  • If you have issues or want to check on status, we are happy to help! Reach out to Nicole at

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should introduce yourself to the application committee. Keep it to 500-1000 words and 2-4 pages, double spaced. Download the FilePersonal Statement Template (DOCX) here to help you get started, review writing tips, formatting, and submission instructions.

Research Interest Statement

Your Research Interest Statement should explain why you are interested in health-related research. Keep it to 500-1000 words and 2-4 pages, double spaced. Download the FileResearch Interest Statement (DOCX) here for topics to write about, formatting and submission instructions.

Expected Graduation Date Form

The Expected Graduation Date Form must be completed with your major advisor if you are a current CSULB student. The form requires your major advisor’s signature (electronic signatures are ok). Plan ahead and schedule a meeting with your major advisor as soon as possible (should be completed prior to the application deadline). Do not complete this form if you are transferring into CSULB in Fall 2021. Download the FileExpected Graduation Date Form (DOCX) here and have it ready to upload to your application.

Notice of Informed Consent

You are applying to participate in a research training program (BUILD, MARC, or RISE) that is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These programs are a part of a national study on undergraduate research training. The purpose of this study is to understand what works (or doesn’t work) for training undergraduate students so that we can develop best practices for undergraduate research training.  By completing this application, please know that you are enrolling in this national study and the information you provide on the application may be used for this study. You can read the PDF iconNotice of Informed Consent here (PDF). You will be asked to consent to this study in the application form (you will not need to upload this form). The Notice of Informed Consent describes the national study, how your information may be used, potential benefits and risks associated with participating in the study, and your rights as a research participant.

  • If you are 18 years old or older, you will submit your authorization within the online application (no additional form to submit).
  • If you are 17 years old or younger (as of February 26, 2021), you will need to upload your completed PDF iconParental Consent & Student Assent Forms (PDF).

Unofficial College Transcript(s)

You will be requested to upload a PDF of your unofficial transcript(s) to the application. If you have multiple transcripts, please combine into 1 PDF and upload. Your transcript must show all courses, units, and grades from all post-secondary institutions.

CSULB students can access unofficial transcripts in their MyCSULB account or visit the Student Academic Records page. Former CSULB students, go here. You may need to disable the pop-up blocker on your browser to access your records. We have created an Accessing Your CSULB GPA Guide. You will be asked to enter it within the application form.

Degree Plan

To help us determine your appropriate entry point into the programs, you will be asked to upload a list of courses you will have left to complete after entering the program. This can be a PDF or Word document with a list of courses per semester that you plan on taking. Keep in mind, you must be a full-time student (have at least 12 units/semester) beginning the Fall after you are accepted to be part of these programs.

CSULB students should accomplish this by uploading a copy of their current "Degree Planner," available from their MyCSULB account. For help with finding your degree planner please go here.

  • For BUILD, additional research curriculum courses are required. Please review the Research Curriculum web page for course listings. BUILD students are required to take one Research Curriculum course per year and many of these courses satisfy the GE/Capstone requirement.
  • RISE required courses: Scientific Research Communication (RSCH 361) and Advanced Biomedical Research Methods (RSCH 496A)

 *If you do not have a CSULB degree planner, please create, and upload a list of courses you will need to take at CSULB to complete your major degree.

Financial Aid Award 

If you are eligible to receive financial aid, you will be asked to upload a copy (i.e. a screenshot, Word document, or PDF is acceptable) of your most current financial aid award. For CSULB students, this can be accessed from your MyCSULB account. For a guide on how to access this, go to the MyCSULB Financial Aid Information page. Look under the section called "View Your Financial Aid & Scholarship Awards" for a step by step guide.

Online Application

Once you have the above documents complete you are ready to begin the online application! You must submit your complete online application (including uploading elements listed above) by the 2022 deadline.


If you have questions about your application, please feel free to contact us at