MSTAR Program Guidelines
MSTAR Program Guidelines

The 2011 Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program


Major Sponsors:
The John A. Hartford Foundation
The MetLife Foundation
The National Institute on Aging

Administered by: The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA).



  • Commit 8 to 12 consecutive weeks to a research project under the supervision of a research mentor.

  • Attend all organized didactic program sessions.

  • Meet with the program director:
  •           1) two weeks after the start of the program to discuss progress in research project,
              relationship with research mentor, and other possible program issues; and
              2) at the end of the program for an exit interview/program evaluation.

  • Prepare a journal-style research paper (due within 3 months of completion of program) to be submitted to AFAR and the home site faculty sponsor.

  • Prepare an oral or poster presentation to present at the end of the program.

  • Submit an abstract and prepare a poster for the medical student poster session at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) annual meeting.

  • Submit a brief evaluation form to AFAR upon completion of program (a link to the SurveyMonkey form will be sent by email at the end of the program; an example of the form is available for review on the AFAR website).

  • Contact home site faculty sponsor after returning to home institution at completion of program (for traveling students).

  • Assist AFAR in long-term tracking of program scholars by sending change of address and e-mail to AFAR office (

  • Research Mentors (may also be the Home Institution Faculty Sponsor)

  • Design a research project for students that can be accomplished in 8-12 weeks (some final analyses may remain at completion of program) and develop a timeline for project management, to ensure students'completion of project.

  • Contact students in advance of the program to discuss the research project.

  • Send necessary project-specific materials to students in advance so they can prepare for the research project.

  • Meet at least weekly with students throughout course of the program and be available to students at other times.

  • Assist students with preparation of a journal-style research paper and oral or poster presentation.

  • Assist students with preparation of an abstract to submit to the medical student poster session at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) annual meeting and to other meetings the mentor or student may select.

  • Submit a written report/evaluation of students' performance and experience within 90 days of completion of the project.

  • Be available to students and their home site faculty sponsors after the MSTAR program ends, to assist with completion of research project, if necessary.

Home Institution Faculty Sponsors

  • Assist students with application submission.

  • Develop faculty sponsor's plan on how to sustain students' interest in geriatrics after the scholarship program is completed.

  • Arrange regular meetings with students.

  • Assist students with on-going research project, if students are interested in pursuing research, or find an appropriate mentor in students' research area.

  • Assist students with organizing home site enhancement activities such as geriatric grand rounds or lectures, student chapters, home visit programs, etc.




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