Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Seeking student rock STARs: Gain new skills this summer at NIA

Arlene Jackson
Associate Training Director,
Office of the Scientific Director (OSD)

If you’re a highly motivated student seeking real-world biomedical research skills, it’s time to apply for the NIA Intramural Research Program’s Summer Training in Aging Research (STAR) Program. Over the program’s 30-year history, NIA scientists have mentored more than 1,350 summer interns, many of whom have gone on to have robust careers in aging research.

STAR, part of the wider NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) in Biomedical Research, attracts a diverse cohort of applicants for eight-week, paid internships with the NIA Intramural Research Program located in Baltimore and/or the NIA and NIH Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias labs and facilities in Bethesda, Maryland. STAR is open to high school, college, medical school, and graduate students.

STAR can be a great experience, whether or not you’re sure you want a career in research. Through this program, NIA researchers teach scientific and lab techniques that connect to multiple biological fields. The STAR curriculum also features scientific seminars, research poster presentation skills, and NIA staff career mentorship, including help preparing professional (medical, dental, public health, etc.) and graduate school applications. Some participants may even have the opportunity to coauthor a peer-reviewed journal article.

Last summer, 52 students participated in STAR through a hybrid program of onsite and virtual internships. The 2023 program is currently scheduled to be held in person.

Praise from previous STAR students

The STAR experience can all add up to a valuable step in your career development. But don’t take my word for it, let’s hear from some summer 2022 participants:

  • “My experience at NIA has blossomed not only my scientific intellect but also my communication with others, mental wellness, and self-confidence.” — Sarah Zoeteman, Florida Gulf Coast University
  • “Working at NIA has been a wonderful opportunity to confirm what I already enjoy about science, while also introducing me to new ideas and research skills that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life.” — Daniel Gai, Washington University in St. Louis

Participation criteria, how to apply

Apply online through the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education website. You can also find written (PDF, 168K) and video application tips. After students submit their online applications, they must contact me to ensure they are placed in the NIA applicant pool for consideration.

To participate in STAR, students must be enrolled at least half-time in an accredited U.S. high school, college, or university, and must be at least 17 years old by June 15 of the internship year. Application deadlines are:

  • Feb. 1 for high school students
  • March 1 for college, medical school, and graduate students

If you have questions about these summer programs, or are a past STAR participant, please share a comment below!


Submitted by Jinying Zhao on January 12, 2023

For high school students who will be 17 years of age on June 15, 2023, are they also required to live within 40 miles of the NIH campus?

Yes, ALL high school students are required to live within 40 miles of the campus where they will intern.

This requirement does not apply to applicants who are 18 and older.

For additional information, please visit the NIH OITE 2023 High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) FAQS website:

Submitted by Karen Mahamadou on January 12, 2023

I am a master's graduate and also a senior citizen working with a 92 year old. Would I be eligible for an internship?

Submitted by on January 13, 2023

In reply to by Karen Mahamadou

Sorry, you must be a current college student. The 2023 Summer Internship Program is for students who:

  • - are 17 years of age or older on June 15, 2023
  • - are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, AND
  • - are in college (including community college) or graduate/professional (i.e., medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, veterinary or other clinical disciplines) school at the time of application*,
  • - OR are high school graduates at the time of application and have been accepted into an accredited college or university programs.

*Individuals who are U.S. permanent residents must be attending or have been accepted into institutions in the U.S.

For additional information, please visit the NIH OITE Summer Internship Program (SIP) FAQS website:

Submitted by Jacqueline Sandoval on January 21, 2023

I am currently a graduate student, but I graduate from my program this upcoming may. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes, you are eligible to participate in NIH SIP, and this is a common question.

Individuals are eligible to participate in the NIH Summer Internship Program if they are enrolled either the semester before or the semester after the summer.  Since acceptances may not be received by the deadline for SIP application, we consider the application to college, graduate school, or professional school the same as being enrolled for the fall.

For more details, visit the NIH OITE Summer Internship Program (SIP) FAQS website:

Add new comment

Your e-mail address will not be posted.

Plain text

  • Allowed HTML tags: <p> <br>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

An official website of the National Institutes of Health