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 a PhD degree in a biomedical or behavioral discipline related to the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular or related diseases.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Citizen or permanent resident of the US;
  • Enrolled full-time at a 4-year college or university;
  • Currently a sophomore 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: First generation college student within the immediate family
    • 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.

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 Personal Statement
  • 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

How to Apply

To apply for UM STAR, please submit:

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. Official Undergraduate Transcript (original)
  3. One-Page Personal Statement (see additional information) a letter of application which must address: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
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation (both from faculty members, with one being a professor who had you in a behavioral, life, or biological science course).

Application materials should be sent to:

Official Transcripts should be sent to: James Hagberg, PhD, Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD 20742-2611. All materials should be sent as originals.

Further questions can be addressed to: James Hagberg, PhD

Your application must be complete by March 21, 2014 for you to be considered in the initial review of applicants. Those with late completed applications will be reviewed periodically after the application deadline if the initial applicant pool does not fill all of our allotted positions.