University of Michigan Medical Student Training in Aging Research (UM-MSTAR) Program

Supported by: The National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR).

The University of Michigan's Medical Student Training in Aging Research program (UM-MSTAR) is a part of the national MSTAR Program. The overall goal of MSTAR is to provide medical students, early in their training, with an enriching experience in age-related research and geriatrics, under the mentorship of top experts in the field. This program introduces students to research and academic experiences that they might not otherwise have during medical school. This positive introduction has led many physicians-in-training to pursue academic careers in aging, ranging from basic science to clinical research to health services research.

The director of UM-MSTAR is Lillian Min, MD, MSHS, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine.

The application process for UM-MSTAR and its program structure vary depending on the student's location.

1. University of Michigan Students:

Program Structure

  • Full-time appointment with focus on a mentored research project. UM-MSTAR can provide funding for up to three months, but participation must not interfere with or continue beyond the start of classes for the M2 year.
  • Participate in a clinical experience with a geriatrics faculty member.
  • Attendance at a weekly research seminar on aging and geriatrics.
  • Complete the PEERRS Evaluation online (Program for Education and Evaluation in Responsible Research and Scholarship)
  • IRB or UCUCA approval prior to the start of the program if required by your project.
  • mission of a scientific abstract that summarizes your research experience at the end of the summer.
  • Completion of evaluation forms (student and mentor) at the end of the summer.
  • Presentation of your project as a poster at the Fall Student Biomedical Research Forum held in November (your scientific abstract will be published in the program for the forum).
  • Opportunity to present your work at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society the following May.
  • The stipend level is $1,748 per month. The total stipend level will be prorated based on the duration of each individual summer research project. The length of research time is determined by the student in consultation with the research mentor.

University of Michigan students who wish to apply to national MSTAR should go to the AFAR web site and scroll down to the application section. We can assist with local letters of support as required.

2. Wayne State University Students:

The application process is the same as section 1B above. Wayne State University students have an option of staying at WSU with a mentor there. They should contact Dr. Halter directly as well as apply to AFAR. The program structure is similar to that for University of Michigan students except for participation in the Fall Student Forum.

3. Students from Other Schools:

The application process is the same as 1B above through the AFAR web site, where more details are provided regarding eligibility, selection criteria, and the application procedure. Dr. Halter works with AFAR to select students who want to come to the University of Michigan. He also assists students to identify a University of Michigan mentor. The program structure is similar to that for University of Michigan students except for participation in the Fall Student Forum.