Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences


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What is STARS?

The University of California, San Diego Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences (STARS) program is an eight week summer research academy for undergraduate students, recent graduates, and masters students. STARS offers an exciting research internship for students by participating in an ongoing UCSD research project and experience the rigors and challenges of graduate study at a top rated research institution.

Students will:

  • Gain research experience with a faculty mentor's research project
  • Attend a GRE preparation course
  • Attend graduate school preparation workshops
  • Become familiar with National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship process
  • Receive individualized feedback on NSF essay and proposed plan of research
  • Present research at the UCSD Summer Research Conference


Typically, participants are funded by undergraduate research programs at their home institutions.

Students must meet the specific criteria for those programs. Funding is not administered by the UCSD campus. Check with your home campus for additional information, availability of funding, and eligibility requirements. See below for examples of programs that have funded previous participants.

We also welcome the opportunity to collaborate with other programs not currently listed.

Eligible Research Areas

  • Bioengineering    
  • Bioinformatics    
  • Biological Sciences    
  • Biomedical Sciences    
  • Chemical Engineering    
  • Chemistry/Biochemistry    
  • Computational Neurobiology    
  • Computer Science and Engineering    
  • Earth Science    
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering    
  • Marine Biology Research Division    
  • Marine Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Materials Science & Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Molecular Pathology
  • Neurosciences
  • Pharmacology
  • Physics
  • Psychology (selected specializations)
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Structural Engineering

Application Evaluation

Applications will be evaluated based on:

  • GPA
  • relevance of completed courses to research interest
  • Writing skill
  • Compatibility of applicant's research interest with available faculty mentor research projects
  • Interest in pursuing a doctoral program
All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.  Selected applications will be forwarded to academic departments for faculty review and compatibility with faculty mentor research projects.  All applicants will receive timely notification of status.  

Contact Us

Please contact me with any questions about the STARS program.

Elisa Maldonado

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