Medical Student Training in Aging Research Scholarship Program

Deadline: January 31, 2012

What is the MSTAR Program?

The 2012 MSTAR Program provides medical students with an enriching experience in aging-related research and geriatrics, under the mentorship of top experts in the field. This program introduces students to research and academic experiences early in their training that they might not otherwise have during medical school. Positive experiences in the MSTAR program have led many physicians-in-training to pursue academic careers in aging, ranging from basic science to clinical research to health services research. They have joined the growing cadre of physicians and scientists whose specialized knowledge and skills are in great demand as our population ages.

The 2012 program continues and strengthens the original Hartford/AFAR Medical Student Geriatric Scholars Program, established in 1994, which to date has trained 1599 students from more than 100 medical schools.

How is the program structured?

Students participate in an eight- to twelve-week structured research, clinical, and didactic program in geriatrics, appropriate to their level of training and interests. Students may train at a National Training Center supported by the National Institute on Aging or, for a limited number of students, at their own institution. Click here for a complete listing of the participating institutions.

Research projects are offered in basic, clinical, or health services research relevant to older people. Most scholars will do their training and research during the summer months. They will be invited to present a poster at the Annual Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society in Grapevine, Texas, May 2-5, 2013, and participate in a roundtable discussion with prominent aging and geriatrics research scholars.

Who can apply?

Any allopathic or osteopathic medical student in good standing, who will have successfully completed one year of medical school at a U.S. institution by June 2012. Evidence of such likelihood must be provided when the student is notified of receiving the award.

Applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or some other legal verification of such status.) Individuals on temporary or student visas and individuals holding PhD, MD, DVM, or equivalent doctoral degrees in the health sciences are not eligible.

The NIA and other sponsoring organizations have a strong interest in continuing to diversify the research workforce committed to advancing the fields of aging and geriatric research. Therefore, students who are members of ethnic or racial groups underrepresented in these fields, students with disabilities, or students whose background and experience are likely to diversify the research or medical questions being addressed, are encouraged to apply.

Additionally, applicants receiving a stipend or salary support from a federal source are not eligible for this program. Applicants may not hold another award or participate in another program concurrently with the MSTAR program, and must participate in the program full-time for a minimum of 8 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks.

Where is the training program held?

Applicants will compete for up to 130 scholarships, and may conduct their research projects either at an NIA-funded National Training Center (or a Center’s Partner Site) or at a Participating School if it is their home institution. The program may not be conducted at a medical school that does not belong to either category.

For more information, visit: or call: 888-582-2327