The University of Maryland School of Public Health Summer Training and Research (STAR) program is designed to provide traditionally under-represented undergraduate students with two consecutive summers of a 10-week research training and career development program to enhance their potential to apply for and complete PhD degrees in biomedical and behavioral science relevant to preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. UM STAR has been funded for the past years by a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Over 40 UM STAR Trainees have completed the program to date and the Program enrolls 6-8 new Trainees every summer.

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!

Program Co-Directors

James Hagberg, PhD

Professor, Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland School of Public Health

Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine



Kim Nickerson PhD

Assistant Dean for Diversity, University of Maryland, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences


Program Staff

Mr. Ryan Sapp  – Program Coordinator

Mr. Shaun Edmonds - Program Evaluation Specialist