Responsibilities of RUSH Program Participants

Tenure in the Cal State L.A. RUSH Scholars Program

Academic Progress

Research Participation

Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series

Special Workshops and Seminars

Academic and Career Advisement

Tutoring

Writing Support Program

Priority Registration

Registration Fees

Travel to Professional Meetings

Payment of Research Salary

RUSH Program Evaluation

Scientific Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research

Useful Forms

 


MBRS-RISE Programs

MARC-U*STAR Programs

Bridges to the Future Programs

 

Information for Current RUSH Scholars

Responsibilities of RUSH Program Participants
  • It is the responsibility of RUSH Scholars to succeed academically and make a strong effort in the research laboratory.
  • It is the responsibility of RUSH Faculty Research Directors to provide scientific leadership to make the RUSH Scholar laboratory research experience meaningful and productive. They are also committed to serving as academic and career advisor to RUSH Scholars.
  • It is the responsibility of the RUSH Program Administration to provide resources and leadership to maximize RUSH Scholar efforts in establishing a strong foundation at the University through completion of the Freshman year with high achievement in academics and training in biomedical research.
 
Tenure in the Cal State L.A. RUSH Scholars Program

It is the intent to support RUSH Scholars throughout the four years of the undergraduate experience through a variety of mechanisms. The RUSH Scholars Program is the Freshman component of the MBRS-RISE Undergraduate Scholars Program. Assuming you make good progress in academics and training in research, beyond the freshman year you will be supported by MBRS-RISE Undergraduate Scholars Program for the remainder of your undergraduate career, or by the MARC U*STAR Honors Program during the junior and senior years. Overall, a student's tenure in the combined RUSH-MBRS RISE or RUSH-MBRS RISE- MARC U*STAR programs to completion of the B.S. degree is a maximum of 48 months.

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Academic Progress

There are two very important objectives of the RUSH program: 1) your academic progress in the Freshman year, and 2) the progress of the research project in which you participate. The expectation is that by participation in a research group performing contemporary biomedical research, your academic achievements and knowledge base will be enhanced. The goal of the RUSH is to increase the pool of talented minority individuals who will eventually take leadership positions in biomedical research and related disciplines. To this end, your academic success as a participant in the program is essential: strong performance in your undergraduate major program is necessary for admission to a strong Ph.D. program. Students are reminded that admission to graduate programs generally requires a 3.00 minimum, and considerably higher for the more competitive programs. You may be interested in reading the document Some Hints on Achieving Academic Success.

The National Institutes of Health requires that RUSH Scholars be enrolled full-time at Cal State LA, and that the Scholar make satisfactory progress towards graduation. Scholars whose GPA drops below 3.00 will be placed on probation and given two academic quarters to raise it above that level. If at that time the GPA is not above 3.00, the student will be disqualified from the Program.

Be sure that you take exams required by the University, such as the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE), in a timely fashion. The RUSH program is bound by University regulations, and if you are not allowed to register any given quarter because you have not completed the requirement by the University-set deadline, your continuation in RUSH or any of the MBRS programs is also in jeopardy.

If you plan on taking more than 16 units, you must get a memo from Dr. Gutierrez, Dr. Fratiello, or Ms. Anderson requesting permission from the University Registrar and the School Dean for an overload prior to your registration date.

Your academic progress is monitored by quarterly reports which are made available by the Registrar to the Program Directors by computer link through the OASIS system.

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Research Participation

The RUSH program is funded by a research and education grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency whose primary mission is the creation of new, original knowledge within the biomedical natural and behavioral sciences. There are some 25 Cal State LA research laboratories involved in the RUSH program. It is expected that you will participate in research full-time (40 hours per week) during the summer when you have no class commitments, and 10-15 hours per week during the academic year. You need to communicate with your research director so that his/her expectations for your participation in research are clear.

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Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series

The program hosts, in cooperation with the Cal State LA Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program, the Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series, which is held weekly (Friday at 1:10 PM in Bio Sci 144) during the academic year and occasionally during the summer. The goal of the seminar series is to expose RUSH, MBRS and MARC students, and the Cal State LA scientific community as a whole, to a wide range of biomedical scientists representing various disciplines, with the intent of broadening their scientific perspective. The presenters, which have included former Cal State LA MARC and MBRS students, are leaders in their scientific disciplines. They are frequently minority scientists, and provide exposure to a range of academic and industrial biomedical scientists. Also integrated into the series are presentations by more advanced undergraduates and graduate students. A schedule of the seminars for the current term are available online at Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series (this seminar schedule site also includes biographical information about the seminar speaker, an abstract of the presentation, and recent references you may want to read as background for the seminar). These seminars are an integral part of the RUSH program and attendance is mandatory.

In addition we encourage your attendance, as your schedule and other commitments allow, the seminar series hosted by your major department (Chemistry & Biochemistry on Tuesdays at 4:30 PM in Physical Sciences 306; Biology & Microbiology on Tuesdays at noon in Bio Sci 144). All seminars present an opportunity for you to interact with a practicing scientist or a more advanced student. Take advantage of these opportunities.

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Special Workshops and Seminars

Throughout the Freshman year and summer, the RUSH Program will host a variety of workshops, seminars, and short courses designed to enhance your background in the sciences, and better prepare you for a research career. These will be scheduled to be complementary to your academic course load.

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Academic and Career Advisement

Your RUSH research director has agreed to serve also as academic and career advisor. A good advisor will be an ally in helping make your way through your academic program with high achievement within a reasonable length of time, and with most of your humor and sanity intact. You should see your official academic advisor in your department at least once a quarter. Ideally this individual will be your RUSH research director. However, if you feel you need additional advice beyond what one faculty member provides, seek out other advisors.

As soon as possible, but within five weeks of joining the RUSH program, you must submit to the RUSH program office a quarter-by-quarter MBRS-RISE Undergraduate Scholar Program Plan (signed by your advisor) which outlines the courses you plan to take from the time you enter RUSH to graduation. This, of course, may change with time. Any decision concerning your academic program for any quarter must be made only after consultation with your advisor.

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Tutoring

We view tutoring as a valuable performance enhancement tool. Use tutors to help you get better understanding of the subject matter, and consequently of enhanced academic achievement. Be sure to use your teaching faculty as a resource through their office hours. Also take advantage of the (generally free) tutoring provided by the Learning Resources Center, the Chemistry & Biochemistry Club, the Biology Club, the Department of Physics, and others. More advanced members of your research group may also be good tutors in courses they have already completed successfully. Enlist their help.

The RUSH program has a limited fund for tutors beyond the sources above. If you need the assistance of a tutor, we can help defray the cost. We have located some tutors and maintain a list in PS 628. You may, however, find your own tutor. We can pay up to $10.00 per hour for tutoring; beyond that you must pay the difference. If you are interested in taking advantage of this, please see Lisa Bautista (PS 628) before your tutoring starts, so that arrangements to pay your tutor can be made. If you have any questions, see Dr. Anthony Fratiello, Tutoring Coordinator (PS 620, x2326; afratie@calstatela.edu).

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Writing Support Program

The ability to write well is among the most valuable skills one can develop in support of a successful career, invaluable for scientific work. It is through the written word that we communicate ideas in grant proposals, report progress, and publish completed studies. We have secured the services of two graduate students in the English department to work with RUSH, MBRS-RISE and MARC students to develop writing skills. The writing specialists are Hugh Bonar ( hbonar@calstatela.edu) and Erica Hylton (ehylton@calstatela.edu). They have office space in Physical Sciences 512. Contact them to begin work on improving your writing. They will not write for you, but they will critique your writing and work with you so you learn to write better. Be sure to give yourself enough lead time so that you may go through several drafts before the final document is turned in to a professor (such as a class paper) or research director (such as a research report).

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Priority Registration

The University Registrar has granted RUSH students priority registration. Your name and Student Identification number (SID) have been sent to the Registrar. Please take advantage of your priority registration status so that you enroll in the classes you need and make good progress towards graduation. The priority registration periods during the current academic year are available at Priority Registration Periods 1999-2000.

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Registration Fees

Your registration fees are paid for the three academic quarters of your Freshman year. Please see Lisa Bautista, program administrative assistant, in PS 628 if you have any questions regarding the payment of fees.

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Travel to Professional Meetings

A significant advantage of the program is the availability of funds to pay for your travel expenses to professional meetings to present research results and to interact with other investigators in your research area. The decision of which meeting(s) to attend must be made in consultation with your research director, and it is at his/her initiative that Lisa Bautista, Program Administrative Assistant, will arrange for transportation, lodging, payment of registration fees, and securing a per-diem advance for your meals and incidentals. Ms. Bautista handles the travel arrangements for all students in the program (and faculty if they so request). Since meetings are announced months in advance, be sure that your travel arrangements are made as early as possible so we may get the best rates on airfare and hotels. The funds we have available are limited, so the more wisely we use them, the more students can travel. Discuss with your faculty research director your interest in attending a scientific meeting and if they approve have him/her complete and send to Lisa Bautista a travel request form (available online at MBRS Travel Request Form) at least one month in advance, or earlier if the meeting has an earlier registration deadline. Several weeks in advance of your approved travel, you will want to talk to Ms. Bautista to confirm that your reservations and meeting registration are in order prior to travel.

Besides air transportation and lodging, MBRS-RISE provides for meals ($32/day), incidental costs ($5/day after the first 24 hours), and ground transportation (variable) for each complete day (7 a.m. - 6 p.m.) you are away from home. Partial travel day amounts are prorated.

Travel to meetings during the summer or between quarters is preferred to travel during an academic quarter. There is an opportunity cost: if you are traveling, you are not on campus keeping up with your classes. In any event, you are responsible for high academic achievement. Because of the time demands, travel during an academic quarter by any student with less than a GPA of 3.0 is discouraged.

The RUSH program office will, on request, contact your instructors to let them know you will miss some classes during the period of your trip. This information is also collected on your MBRS Travel Request Form. The letters will be generated and distributed to your instructors two weeks before you travel.

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Payment of Research Salary

RUSH Scholars receive a salary of $6,200 per year for their work in the research laboratory. Students participate full time (up to 40 hours per week) during the summer when they have no class commitments, and 10-15 hours per week during the academic year.

The University Auxiliary Services (UAS), the accounting enterprise which handles all fiscal transactions for grants, has established a biweekly schedule for payment of salary for your work in the MBRS program. You should fill out and give your research director a time sheet (available online at UAS Payroll Timesheet), which she/he will sign, certifying the number of hours you have worked. You must then deliver the time sheet to UAS Contract and Grants Administration, located in Administration 307, not later than 12 noon of the day it is due. Alternatively, you may take your completed and signed timesheet to the MBRS-RISE Program Office in PS 628 by 11:30 AM of the due date and we will deliver it to UAS for you. Please consult a UAS time sheet schedule for due dates -- your laboratory likely has one posted. This schedule of due dates is also available online at UAS Pay Period Schedule.

Your research director is the only one who can legitimately certify that the salary to be paid is for work actually done. In exceptional cases (e.g. the student's research director is off-campus), the Program Director (Prof. Carlos Gutierrez) or Associate Program Director (Prof. Anthony Fratiello) can sign a time sheet so that it may be processed by UAS. When someone other than your PI signs your time sheet, UAS is instructed to hold the paycheck until your PI authorizes its release by countersigning a copy of that time sheet.

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RUSH Program Evaluation

The Research Undergraduate Science Honors program for new freshman students is evaluated by the Program Evaluation and Research Collaborative (PERC). The goal here is to use the results of on-going evaluation to improve RUSH Program effectiveness. Your cooperation with the external evaluators is appreciated.

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Scientific Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research

Scientific research is based on trust and honesty, as is all scholarship. You are expected to exercise the most ethical conduct in your academics and research. The notions of scientific integrity and ethical conduct of research are fundamental to the establishment of a research career. The Cal State MBRS-RISE Program provides a workshop for student participants where the topics of experimental design and the philosophy and ethics of research are presented. MBRS-RISE. Scholars receive a copy of On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct In Research published by the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPuP) of the National Academy of Science as background for this workshop.

In addition, throughout the year special seminars will be presented in the Biomedical Sciences Seminar Series devoted to issues dealing with the responsible conduct of research and ethical issues. Finally, we expect that the continual informal conversations between the faculty mentor and the student regarding integrity and ethics will reinforce the material presented in the workshop and in the seminars.

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Useful Forms

The following forms, lists, and schedules may be useful to you. Any other forms you may need are available in the Program office in PS 628.

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If we can be of assistance in furthering your academic or research goals, do not hesitate to approach your research director, or the program directors or coordinator (Drs. Carlos Gutierrez and Anthony Fratiello, or Ms. Vicki Kubo Anderson) ), or Ms. Lisa Bautista, Administrative Assistant. We'll try to help as much as we can and are able.

 


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