The University of Maryland School of Public Health Aging Diversity and Professional Development (UM ADAPT) program provides underrepresented or disadvantaged University of Maryland College Park undergraduates with two years of research, ethics, and career development training. To be eligible for this program, you must be an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland College Park. If you are from any other institution, you may be eligible for our otherwise very similar UM STAR Program.

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The overall aim is to increase diversity in the pool of individuals who choose careers in biomedical/behavioral research related to aging. The UM ADAPT Program has been funded by the National Institute on Aging of the NIH since 2014. The Program admits 7-8 new Trainees each year. The UM ADAPT program extends over two consecutive years, including two academic years and two concentrated summer experiences, with distinct activities each year. Housing will also be provided during both summers at no cost to the students. 

Download the ADAPT program flyer.  

The Specific Aims of the UM ADAPT Program are to:

  • Increase knowledge of landmark research on aging and aging-related disciplines
  • Enhance research skills and experience necessary to be competitive graduate school applicants in aging-related disciplines
  • Enhance awareness of the process, practice, and ethics underlying scientific research
  • Prepare trainees for graduate school and a research career in aging-related disciplines  
  • Provide high-quality mentoring

Program Co-Directors

James Hagberg, PhD
Professor, Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland School of Public Health

Professor, Departments 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 (email:



Mr. Shaun Edmonds 

Program Evaluation Specialist