Since 1981, AFAR has provided approximately $132 million to more than 2,800 talented investigators and students. To learn more about each grant, click below or contact the AFAR grant princesses at email@example.com.
Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program
To encourage medical students - particularly budding researchers - to consider a career in academic geriatrics, this program awards short-term scholarships. AFAR has partnered with the NIA and several foundations to continue and strengthen the original Hartford/AFAR Medical Student Geriatric Scholars Program.
Please note: The 2013 awards are closed and applications are no longer being accepted. Please check back in fall 2013 for updated application materials.
Download a copy of our 2013 MSTAR brochure to learn more about this program.
The 2013 MSTAR Program provides medical students with an enriching experience in aging-related research and geriatrics, with 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 2013 program continues and strengthens the original Hartford/AFAR Medical Student Geriatric Scholars Program, established in 1994, which to date has trained 1706 students from more than 100 medical schools.
Students participate in an eight- to twelve-week structured research, clinical, and didactic program in geriatrics, appropriate to their level of training and interests. Research projects are offered in basic, translational, clinical, or health services research relevant to older people. Most scholars will do their training and research during the summer months. They will also be invited to present a poster at the Annual Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society in Orlando, Florida, May 15-17, 2014, and participate in a poster presentation and networking event with prominent aging and geriatrics research scholars.
Applicants will compete for up to 130 scholarships, and students may apply to conduct their MSTAR program in one of two different tracks. The National Training Center (NTC) Track is for students who train at a National Training Center supported by the National Institute on Aging. The Home Institution (HI) Track is for students who conduct the program at their own institution, if their school is one of the MSTAR Participating Schools. (Students who want to stay at their home institution, and whose school is a National Training Center, would use the NTC track, not the HI track.) The program may not be conducted at a medical school that does not belong to either category.
Please note that applicants must have a faculty sponsor/mentor to apply; the sponsor requirements differ between applicants on the NTC Track or the HI Track. Detailed information on the sponsor requirements are available in the application section.
The stipend level is approximately $1,748 per month; actual amounts will vary based on the specific appointment period of individual students. The length of research time is determined by the student in consultation with the research mentor, but a minimum of 8 weeks of time is required and up to 12 weeks of funding may be available (some National Training Centers have predetermined program lengths). Students who elect to participate in the scholarship program at a National Training Center must cover their own travel and living expenses. In some cases, National Training Centers may have funds to assist students with these costs.
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 2013. Evidence of good standing must be provided by the medical school registrar or dean 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 are not eligible. Due to NIA restrictions, individuals holding PhD, MD, DVM, or equivalent doctoral degrees in the health sciences are not eligible to apply to do the MSTAR Program at a National Training Center; however, they may apply to do their research at their home institution if it is a Participating School.
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 geriatrics 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.
Applications are online and can be accessed after using the Eligibility Screening Tool (FAQ can be found here). Once the Eligibility Screening is completed, applicants will be directed to the corresponding application page for their track, which will include the application file and the information sheet. The information sheet details the sponsor/mentor requirements for the appropriate track.
The application must be completed by the student applying for the scholarship. The application consists of background information and a personal statement submitted by the student, as well as supporting documents from the appropriate faculty mentors.
All applications must be received by January 31, 2013. We are currently estimating that applicants will be notified of their application decision on or around March 15, 2013.
Scholars will be chosen on the basis of their academic excellence, interest in geriatrics, and potential for success.
Reporting requirements for students participating in the MSTAR Program on the NTC Track will be determined by the individual site.
Scholarship winners on the HI Track will be required to complete a brief program evaluation form, due immediately upon completion of the program. Additionally, a journal-style research paper is due within three months after completing the program. The student research mentors will be required to provide evaluations of the student's performance, as well as their impressions of the program's impact on the student.
All students will also be invited to present a poster of their research project at the 2014 American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Annual Meeting, in Orlando, Florida. For suggestions on how to prepare a poster for the AGS meeting, please click here.
Former students will also be expected to respond to AFAR's longitudinal survey requests to be used in evaluating the effectiveness of the overall program.
More information about the MSTAR Program
The John A. Hartford Foundation
The MetLife Foundation
The National Institute on Aging
Additional support is provided by:
Nathalie and William Comfort
The Charles A. Dana Foundation
Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.
The Lillian R. Gleitsman Foundation
Margaret L. Wolff
The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA).