What is START?

START is a research program focused on aging intended for AHS undergraduate students.

A priority for START is to involve students from underrepresented minority backgrounds (e.g. African Americans, Hispanics, first-generation college students).

START takes place over a full academic year. The three pillars of the program are: Hands on Research Experiences, Academic Enrichment, and Community Support.

diagram of 3 pillars holding up roof labeled START

Academic Enrichment

Weekly seminars: During the academic year, START students participate in weekly seminars led by a faculty coordinator and guests with topics related to aging, research, and scientific and career development opportunities.

Conference presentation: Students experience making a presentation in a realistic conference setting. They are trained to prepare an abstract about their lab work, and present a poster or oral presentation at the University Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Hands on Research Experiences

Students participate in laboratory experiences with faculty mentors. During the seminars students learn about research opportunities within the College, meet with faculty mentors and learn about their labs. By the end of the first month in the program, each student is placed in a lab of her/his preference and is guided by a faculty mentor to work on a research project(s) for approximately 5 hours a week.

Community Support

Building community among the START students and the faculty mentors is as important as the formal research training. The program plans meetings and social events throughout the year in a welcoming and supportive environment for friendship and networking opportunities.