StARR Program NIA Track

Our NIA-funded StARR program is designed to support residents interested in clinical or translational research to advance scientific understanding of aging or improve the health and functioning of older populations.

Eligibility and Selection

To be eligible for the UCSF StARR program, residents should:

  • Be currently enrolled in a UCSF residency (Non-UCSF residents are not eligible to join the UCSF StARR program.)
  • Be a US citizen or a permanent US resident
  • Show evidence of interest in clinical or translational research (specific prior research experience in aging health is desirable but not required.)
  • Have a strong interest in conducting research related to an aspect of or aging health
  • Belong to a residency program or department that will co-sponsor their participation, including 20% salary and all benefits during the StARR year

Of note, the departments of Medicine, Surgery, Neurology, Psychiatry, Urology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Anesthesia, and Gynecology have already confirmed co-support their residents selected for StARR.

Scholar selection process

Scholar selection is designed to identify the most promising candidates as well as guide candidates in identifying mentors and developing preliminary research plans before the start of the StARR year. This approach ensures that residents begin the StARR program with at least one committed research mentor and a preliminary research plan already in place..

Residents are encouraged to contact Program Director Dr. Alison Huang for a preliminary informal consultation prior to submitting an application. Following this, promising candidates will pursue a two-stage application process:

Stage 1

During stage 1, during the summer or fall before the proposed StARR year (before November 1 preferred), applicants submit:

  • A one-page cover letter describing their clinical and research background, any prior research training, and current or future research interests
  • A resume or curriculum vitae emphasizing any past research training, experience, or products
  • A brief statement of eligibility/support from the applicant’s residency director (see template)

Preferred format is PDF.

Stage 2

Following review of materials from stage 1, promising applicants will be guided in preparing additional materials by the spring before the start of the StARR year, to ensure they have viable StARR research programs.

An online form will be sent to applicants to complete and attach required documents. All documents must be in PDF format. These include:

  • A letter of support from the proposed primary research mentor confirming interest in and ability to mentor the resident. If an additional secondary mentor or co-mentor has been identified, the applicant should include a brief letter from the co-mentor as well.
  • A 2-3-page research proposal synopsis describing the objectives, methods and expected outcomes of a proposed project (with input from the primary mentor)
  • An NIH-style biosketch summarizing education/training, research goals and any past contributions to science or research support
  • A brief training plan, describing any methodological or career development activities that the resident proposed to pursue during the StARR year

Before appointments are confirmed, stage 2 applications are reviewed by the Program Director and Steering/Advisory Committee, who consider the qualifications of the resident, the experience or resources of the mentor, and the appropriateness of the research plan.