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Summer Training Academy for Research Success

Welcome to STARS

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What is STARS?

The University of California, San Diego Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS) program is an eight week summer research academy for community college students, undergraduate students, recent college graduates, and masters students. STARS offers student participants a rigorous research opportunity with esteemed UC San Diego faculty, informative transfer and graduate school preparation workshops, and educational, cultural, and social activities in sunny San Diego.

Students will:

  • Gain hands on research experience with a faculty mentor's research project
  • Attend a GRE preparation course
  • Attend transfer and graduate school preparation workshops
  • Receive instruction on the transfer and graduate school application processes. Students will also receive instruction on graduate school fellowship applications, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research and Ford Fellowships
  • Present research at the UCSD Summer Research Conference


Most participants are funded by the Frontiers of Innovation Scholars Program from the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Office. The STARS program will fully cover the costs of participation including travel, housing, and stipend. 

Additionally, students 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

  • STARS is open to all disciplines.


  • Applicants must be 18 years of age.

  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents. AB 540 or DACA students are eligible.

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
  • Letters of Recommendation
All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status as long as they have meet the eligibility criteria outlined above.  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.