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What is START?

  • START is a research program focused on aging and public health intended for AHS undergraduate students;
  • A priority for START is to promote access, equity, and inclusion in research and engage students from a wide variety of backgrounds
  • The program takes place over a full academic year and includes weekly group seminars, research experiences in labs, and conference presentations.
  • The program plans meetings in a welcoming and supportive environment for friendship and networking opportunities

Weekly seminars

During the academic year, START students participate in weekly seminars led by a faculty member, graduate student coordinators, and guests on topics related to aging, public health, health equity, research, and scientific and career development opportunities.

One-on-one mentoring

Students are paired with a graduate student mentor to meet on a biweekly basis to discuss research progress, challenges, and next steps.

Research in labs

Students participate in laboratory experiences with faculty mentors. During the seminars students are exposed to research opportunities within the College, meet with faculty mentors, and learn about their labs. By the end of the first month in the program, each student is placed in a lab of their preference and is guided by a faculty mentor to work on a research project(s) for approximately 5 hours a week.

Conference presentation

Students experience making a presentation in a realistic conference setting. They are trained to prepare an abstract about their research project and present a poster or oral presentation at the University of Illinois Undergraduate Research Symposium.