STAR U: Frequently Asked Questions

  • I don’t know anything about neuroscience, neuropsychology, or aging research. Can I still apply?
    • Yes, individuals from all backgrounds, majors, and disciplines are encouraged and welcome to apply. We look for interest in gaining research experience in aging and neuroscience, and the applicant’s potential to pursue a career related to brain aging.
  • Who is considered a strong candidate for the STAR U Program?
    • In addition to fulfilling all the basic eligibility requirements, strong candidates clearly express in their personal statement why they are interested in gaining research experience in the neuroscience of aging, and how the program would help them achieve their academic/professional goals.
  • When do I find out if I was selected?
    • If you are invited for a phone interview, you should receive an email from our committee in March. If you are selected for the program, you should receive an email or call in early April.
  • Who can provide a letters of recommendation?
    • Recommendations can come from professors, supervisors, advisors, or any other individual who can speak to your ability to succeed in an intensive research program and your academic/career ambitions in neuroscience/aging research, and/or any other characteristics that make you a good fit for STAR U. Generally speaking, friends and family members are not appropriate letter writers.
  • My university is on the quarter system. Am I still eligible to participate in the program if I am a few days late?
    • Yes, we can make accommodations for students on the quarter system.
  • If I attended more than one college, should I send all my transcripts?
    • Yes
  • What is considered “low-income” for eligibility purposes?
    • Low-income is defined by the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines here.
  • What expenses does STAR U cover?
    • Each student will receive a stipend, round-trip travel, housing, meals, and a transportation card for transit within New York City. All social / professional development activities related to STAR U will be covered.
  • Am I eligible to apply if I am from a U.S. territory?
    • Yes, residents from U.S. Territories are welcomed and encouraged to apply (as long as all other requirements are met).
  • If I am an international student, am I eligible to apply?
    • Unfortunately, we cannot accept international students since we are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Only U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and individuals who are granted DACA status are eligible to apply for the STAR U Program.
  • If I applied last year but was not accepted, what should I do differently if I apply again this year?
    • For second time applicants, make sure your essays address all the essay prompts, specifically, 1) why you want to go into aging research, 2) how STAR U will help you achieve your academic/professional goals, and 3) what your specific goals are for participating in the STAR U aging research program.