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Seeking summer STARs: Apply by Feb. 16 for student research training at NIA

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

A new year is a great time to plan ahead, but students don’t always think that way. So we need the help of mentors and professors to encourage their students who would like to learn real-world research skills to apply for the NIA Summer Training in Aging Research (STAR) Program.

Through STAR, which is part of the wider NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) in Biomedical Research, NIA offers talented students eight- to 10-week paid internships at our Intramural Research Program in Baltimore, and/or at the NIH Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias in Bethesda, Maryland. STAR is open to high school, college, medical/dental school, and graduate students. This year’s deadline to apply for all students is Feb. 16, 2024.

Over the course of the STAR program’s 30-year history, NIA scientists have mentored more than 1,400 summer interns. Many STAR alumni have gone on to accomplished aging research careers, but it’s not necessary for students to have chosen their career path to benefit. STAR’s lab and scientific skills are relevant to a broad range of biomedical and behavioral science fields.

The STAR curriculum also features tips on poster presentations, scientific seminars, and other mentorship from NIA staff, including help with preparing professional (medical, dental, public health, etc.) and graduate school applications. Some participants may even have an opportunity to co-author a peer-reviewed journal article.

Positive feedback from past participants

The best testimonials for the valuable career experiences come direct from 2023 STAR participants:

  • “The science was amazing and the STAR team was FANTASTIC.” — Spencer Maranto, University of Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • “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.” — Summer Zilisch, Carthage College

Eligibility criteria, how to apply

If you are a mentor to a promising student, please encourage them to consider the STAR program. To participate, students must be enrolled at least half-time in an accredited U.S. high school, college, or university, and must be 17 years old by June 15 of the internship year. To apply, first be sure to check out our application tips. Next, apply online through the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education website. After submission, email me to ensure you’re included in the NIA applicant pool. All applications are due Feb. 16.

If you have a question about the program, or are a past STAR participant with some tips to share for new students, please leave a comment below!


Submitted by Leema Rai on January 17, 2024

Is the application only open for the people in US? I am from India so can I too apply for STAR Program?

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