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The Summer Training in Academic Research and Scholarship (STARS) Program is a distinguished summer research opportunity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for underrepresented in medicine (URiM)* undergraduate rising juniors and seniors, and first-year medical students with a strong interest in pursuing advanced careers as research scientists, physicians and/or health care professionals. The program recruits students from around the US into an eight-week mentored summer program. Students participate in intensive hands-on training in research methods and practice directly in the labs of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School’s leading researchers.

*Per AAMC guidelines, at BWH, underrepresented in medicine (URiM) includes individuals who self-identify as African American/Black, Alaskan Native, Native American, Hispanic/Latinx and/or Native Hawaiian.

Our Mission

  • To provide URiM medical and undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in basic, clinical & translational research projects under the mentorship of experienced researchers at BWH and HMS.
  • To enhance the research capabilities of URiM medical and undergraduate students.
  • To encourage these scholars to pursue advanced medical and graduate education and training.

Our Goals

To provide students with tools, information and opportunities on their journey to becoming physicians, researchers and public health professionals; as well as role models and teachers in the academic community.

Our History

The BWH STARS Program was founded in 2008 and has brought over 100 students to Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School with the support of the Office for Research Careers(ORC).

Program Features

  • Eight-week research experience. Students work with their lab mentor to submit an abstract of their summer research project and share their research findings during a final research presentation day.
  • Clinical shadowing. Students will shadow clinicians spanning a wide range of disciplines at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
  • Professional  and Career Development Workshops. Students meet regularly with faculty from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) to discuss topics such as MD/PhD programs, clerkships, medical school admissions, health policy, interviewing and presentation skills.
  • Social & Networking Events. Group dinners and barbecues, sight-seeing around Boston, networking events with Harvard Medical Students and more.

Financial Support

  • Transportation to and from Boston. Our team covers the complete cost of travel to and from Boston. This includes your flight/bus to and from Boston Logan Airport as well as your travel from Boston Logan Airport to your housing residence, and vice versa upon departure.
  • Housing. Our program provides housing free of charge for the entire length of the eight-week program. We also provide pots, pans and other utensils for meal preparation.
  • Living stipend. STARS and ORC provides each student a stipend ($5,000 USD for undergraduate students and medical students) for the eight-week program.
  • Select program meals and social activities. Includes light breakfasts and lunches during workshops; food, transportation and tickets for program-specific social activities.

Prepare & Submit Online Application

  • Write your Personal Statement
    Please describe in 400-750 words your educational and professional goals, and how your participation in the BWH STARS Program will assist in meeting your goals. Be sure to articulate your qualifications and reasons for wishing to participate in the program. Please upload your personal statement to the application as a word document or PDF file. Be sure to include your last name as a header on all pages.
  • Send your Unofficial Transcript
    Please have an unofficial transcript sent to:
    First-year medical students only: please have a Letter of Good Standing sent to
  • Request 2 Letters of Recommendations (you must make these requests).
    Recommendation letters must be submitted via Email to

Letter should be emailed as a PDF document and include an official letterhead at the top. Letter must be emailed DIRECTLY by the letter writer.


For any questions please contact