The MSTAR program provides medical students short-term research training in aging and geriatrics with successful mentors in the field, with the goal of encouraging medical students to consider careers in aging research.
In this program students spend 8-12 weeks:
Since 1989, more than 280 medical students have participated in this program and its precursor, the Medical Student Geriatric Scholars Program. Each year, students present their research at local and national meetings. Several students have won awards at these meetings and many have published their work in medical journals.
How to Apply to the Progam
Applications for the program are due January 31st and applicants learn if they have been accepted to the program by the end of March. Interested students should go the American Federation for Aging Research website to find information on the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program, including a link to obtain an application.
Each student will have a structured research experience. Students will conduct research with a mentor who will assist them in completing a project that can be accomplished in an 8 to 12-week period. At the conclusion of the summer, students will present their research at UCLA and also write a research report. Students are strongly encouraged to present abstracts of their work at national meetings including the American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting.
Students participate in a variety of clinical training experiences with older adults. These may include experiences at outpatient, inpatient, nursing home and other sites.
Students will attend seminars one day per week either in person or via videoconference. The topics include:
Students at UCLA are also encouraged to attend the UCLA Longevity Center (formerly Center on Aging) Annual Research Conference on Aging in June. Research topics ranging from basic biology to public policy are presented at this half-day conference.
Students are encouraged to network with faculty, research staff and each other to promote common interests in aging. Students from all program sites attend a dinner in Los Angeles at the end of the program as well as an event at the American Geriatrics Society annual meeting. Students are also encouraged to maintain contact with the program, their mentors and fellow MSTAR students after the program is completed.
A program director will meet with each student approximately two weeks after beginning the program to check in and make sure their project is progressing and their mentor is providing sufficient support for them. Students will be asked to complete evaluations of the weekly seminars they attend. At the end of the summer, site directors meet individually with students to elicit their opinions about all aspects of the program. We use this information to modify and improve our program annually.
Each year, program awards are given to deserving students and mentors . One student is issued an award for the best student research report. Awards are also issued for best research mentor and best clinical mentor. Many MSTAR students win additional awards for their research at the American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting and other local and national meetings.
The MSTAR Program is possible through generous support from:
National Training Center: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)