STARS Summer Research Program

The STARS Summer Research Program provides summer term support for undergraduate students who live on campus and participate in laboratory research with Yale faculty members. Students selected for the program work as full-time research assistants who support the research of their mentor and/or faculty advisor.  In addition, enrollment in SCIE 101,  Scientific Research: Process and Presentation, and active participation in weekly journal club sessions are required. These sessions provide STARS scholars the opportunity to discuss their individual lab journals as well as other journal article samples selected for the program. At the conclusion of the summer program, each student will submit his or her research results in a written publishable format and will conduct a formal presentation of their research at a public symposium.

Between coursework and research, the STARS Summer program will do much to establish the analytical and research skills necessary for academic and professional success. Each summer scholar works with their mentor who will supervise the scholar in substantive laboratory research and expose the scholar to academic life in their specific field.  Mentors and summer scholars are encouraged to meet regularly to assess the progress made as well as to discuss other issues such as academic and career development.

Summer scholars must live on campus in one of the residential colleges. The purpose of this arrangement is to foster an exciting and challenging academic environment where summer scholars may come together as a community to exchange ideas and information. The program includes evening activities and occasional weekend trips.

STARS summer scholars are awarded a total stipend of $2,500. The program also covers participants’ room and board, as well as the course tuition.  Students are not allowed to enroll in any other courses or be employed if they are participating in the STARS Summer program.  


In order to be eligible for the STARS Summer Research Program, Yale College students must be enrolled (that is, not withdrawn) both at the time of submitting the fellowship application and at the time of receiving an award. Yale College students who are on a leave of absence are eligible to apply.         

STARS Summer Fellow Responsibilities
  1. All STARS Summer scholars must live on the Yale campus for the duration of the nine week program. 
  2. Work with a mentor in designing a mutually beneficially research project that will further develop the summer fellow’s research and analytical skills;
  3. Write a 6-10 page paper on his/her research project to be presented at the end of the program.  This paper/presentation will be evaluated by the mentor and course instructor.
  4. Present the findings of research projects before all their peers, mentors, and invited guests from the larger Yale community at the STARS Summer Research Program Symposia at the conclusion of the program;
  5. Attend and participate in a weekly discussion regarding scientific issues. Some reading and preparation is required;
  6. Attend class sessions of the summer course, SCIE 101, which meets Monday through Friday from 8:30am - 9:45am.

Approximately thirty students are chosen to participate each summer. 


STARS Summer Research Program, Symposium 2019

STARS Academic Team

The Academic Team is responsible for overseeing the STARS Program in its entirety. During STARS and STARS II, the Team runs workshops and poster presentations every semester. During STARS Summer, the Team runs “SCIE 101 Scientific Research: Process and Presentation” and runs a weekly journal club.

Dr. Kenneth Nelson
  • Academic Director, STARS Program
  • Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.
Dr. Maria Moreno
  • Academic Coordinator, STARS Program
  • Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Dr. Kailas Purushothaman                                               
  • Advisor, STARS Program                                                                      
  • Director of Residential College Science/MathTutoring                                    
  • Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sciences

*Application Information  MUST be submitted via the Yale Student Grants & Fellowships database.

STARS Summer Program dates:  May 27 - July 26, 2024

Summer 2024 deadline for submission: Friday, February 9, 2024 at 3:00pm ET

  • Securing a commitment to conduct summer research in a Yale lab is required before you apply to the STARS Summer Research Program.
  • A letter of recommendation from your Principal Investigator (lab head) is required when you apply to the program. Instructions on what should be included in the letter, here.
  • Include a copy of your transcript, including courses you intend to take in the spring. *Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

  • Students selected for the STARS Summer Research Program will be asked to submit a research plan by TBA 
  • The plan must include the following (additional instructions will be provided with award notices):
  1. Background/Significance of your Research (1/2 – 1 page in length)
  2. Hypothesis (1 sentence)
  3. Research Aims (1/2 page in length)

*Failure to submit your plan by the deadline will result in a forfeit of your spot in the program.

  • The Yale STARS Summer Research Program does not accept applications directly from students enrolled at other universities.

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