The Summer Training as Research Scholars (STaRS) at Boston University (BU) is a growing program designed to attract outstanding undergraduate and early medical school students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical sciences and help ignite in them a passion for biomedical research. It helps these students to see themselves as future scientists and prepares them for entering a career in research. The STaRS Program is centered on mentored experiences on cutting edge research conducted by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) faculty with a particular focus on disease-oriented projects in heart, lung and blood diseases. STaRS integrates fundamental strengths of BUSM, including first class faculty, outstanding research and academic infrastructure and an energetic and diverse campus community. The synergy of these factors creates a positive, success-oriented training program. STaRS encourages and prepares undergraduate students to pursue graduate and other health profession careers. STaRS makes early career medical students acquainted with the important role of health professionals in the biomedical research enterprise, by enhancing their knowledge, interest, and accessibility to the biomedical research world, and increasing their readiness to becoming physician-scientists. In addition to excellent research experiences that foster their technical and critical thinking skills, the program offers career development seminars, workshops and advising designed to build self-confidence, improve communication skills, learn about different career paths within biomedical research, and network with faculty and potential mentors. The learning experience is aimed at increasing the student's ability to self-assess, plan and follow steps necessary to successfully apply to graduate/medical school or advance in their research careers. STaRS is also a valuable programmatic bridge that builds diversity at BUSM and serves as a forum for BUSM faculty, students and administrators of all backgrounds to discuss and appreciate the importance of diversity in science and education. In this renewal application we propose: 1.to continue recruiting and training high quality and culturally sensitive mentors and mentoring teams that understand the potential challenges of their trainees with the goal of providing superb training experiences for students of underrepresented backgrounds in biomedical research; 2. to recruit and train ten undergraduate students and 6 early medical career students from underrepresented backgrounds in the biomedical field for the opportunity to conduct innovative and state-of- the-art research and participate in a personalized training program designed to optimize graduate opportunities for matriculation into PhD, MD and MD/PhD programs or for entering the biomedical research field; 3. to implement a robust performance monitoring and evaluation plan to monitor and assess both the processes and outcomes of the program and demonstrate its effectiveness, quality and long-term impact, and follow the career outcomes of our trainees.
The Summer Training as Research Scholars (STaRS) at Boston University is a 10-week Program designed to attract outstanding undergraduate and early medical school students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical sciences and help ignite in them a passion and curiosity for biomedical research. The program consists of a research component as well as an educational component to prepare the students to apply to and be accepted in graduate and medical programs. The students are mentored in a team approach and the program is regularly evaluated to obtain feedback from students and faculty to sustain continuous program improvement.