Public Health & Medicine Research Program Training

The University of Maryland School of Public Health Summer Training and Research (STAR) program is designed to provide traditionally under-represented undergraduate students with 2 consecutive summers of a 10-week research training and career development program to enhance their potential to apply for and complete graduate degrees in biomedical and behavioral science relevant to preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.

The Specific Objectives of the UM STAR Program are to:

  • Enhance research skills and experience necessary to be competitive graduate school applicants in cardiovascular and related disease research areas
  • Enhance awareness of the process, practice, and ethics underlying scientific research
  • Prepare trainees for graduate school and a research career    
  • Provide quality mentoring
  • Increase knowledge of landmark and breakthrough research on the causes and prevention of cardiovascular and related diseases
  • Have Fun!

Application Information

The goal of the UM STAR program is that all trainees will be supported for two consecutive summers in the program. We very strongly believe that 2 consecutive summers in the UM STAR program will significantly enhance the trainee’s experience and maximize their potential for successfully completing an advanced graduate degree in a biomedical or behavioral discipline related to the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular or related diseases. Trainees must apply for the second year of training.

Eligibility criteria:


  • Citizen or permanent resident of the US;
    • Enrolled full-time at a 4-year college or university;
    • Currently a sophomores or junior
    • Have not already completed a Bachelor’s degree;
    • 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average;
    • Come from under-represented minority groups, disadvantaged backgrounds, and/or have a disability
      • Under-represented minority: African American or black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American or Pacific Islander
      • Disadvantaged background: Family with annual income below established low-income thresholds. Must qualify for Federal disadvantage assistance or have received Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program, or received scholarships from the US DHHS under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need
      • Disability: Physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
    • Desire to pursue a PhD in biomedical or behavioral sciences;
    • Willing to commit to the program for 2 consecutive summers.

    To apply to the UM STAR program the candidate must submit:

    • a letter of application
      • must address:
        • why they selected the UM STAR program
        • their long-term career goals, especially with regard to graduate school and pursuing a PhD degree
        • which three STAR program faculty mentors they have selected and why
    • official undergraduate transcript
    • letters of reference from two university faculty members who are familiar with the applicant with one of these letters from a faculty member who has had the applicant in a behavioral, life, or biological sciences class.

    Each candidate’s application materials will be reviewed by the UM STAR Admissions Committee based on the following criteria:

    • the candidate’s desire to pursue a PhD degree
    • the candidate’s letter of application
    • undergraduate GPA, especially in science-based courses
    • letters of reference
    • a rising sophomore or a junior
    • the diversity they add to the applicant pool
    • the mentors they have selected

    Click here to download the application form and apply

    Yearly Schedule for UM STAR Program 



    March 1

    Deadline for submitting completed applications for UM STAR program


    UM STAR Admissions Committee meets twice to develop final ranked list of applicants, identify mentors, match applicants with mentors

    April 1

    Letters of admission sent to top applicants

    May 1

    UM STAR applicant signed acceptance letters must be received


    Initial contacts between mentors and trainees to develop trainee’s summer research project


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