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 an under-represented minority group, disadvantaged background, 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 UM 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).

This material must be submitted on-line at the Big Ten Academic Alliance Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) Application site.
The deadline to complete the online application is Monday, February 10, 2020.

Note: Transcripts and recommendations will be accepted on the on-line site until MARCH 1. Please allow 10 days' processing time once transcripts arrive at the SROP office for the transcript status on SROP applications to be updated.


Further questions can be addressed to James Hagberg, PhD (