Promoting Equity, Diversity, and Academic Success Through Aging Research (UWM STAR) – Sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA)

The UWM STAR program is funded by the National Institute on Aging to support educational activities and mentored research experiences that encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research. This will increase diversity in the field of aging research and grow the pool of public health workers in Milwaukee who understand the unique needs of its BIPOC and low-income communities. This program is designed to provide opportunities primarily for BIPOC undergraduate students, but also for low-income and first-generation college students, to become engaged in aging and health disparities research.

The program will begin in Fall 2024 and include an expected time commitment of about 10-12 hours/week during the academic year, with an optional summer research component the following summer (25 hours/week). Students accepted into the program will be supported through graduation, provided they continue to participate in program events.

UWM Undergraduates from the following groups with interests in aging and health disparities are especially encouraged to apply:

Program Elements:

  • 6 hours/week of mentored research with program faculty in the first year, and 9 hours/week of mentored research in subsequent years.
  • 1 credit STAR seminar in the first year (one hour/week). This will include creating individual development plans, discussing research-related topics, increasing scientific literacy, preparing for presentations, and providing support for challenges encountered.
  • Taking one course with a focus on aging/health disparities during the year
  • Talks by distinguished aging researchers (twice a semester)
  • Social events and cohort-building activities
  • Presentation opportunities
  • Peer mentoring
  • Community service opportunities
  • Interactions with aging and diversity organizations
  • Preparation for graduate study and campus visits


  • Funding of up to $3000/academic year and $4000 in the summer for participation in a mentored research experience
  • Funding of up to $1500/year to present research
  • Funding of up to $1200/year for materials and supplies
  • Research and curricular experience in aging and/or health disparities
  • Mentorship, programming and social networks to foster student success
  • Preparation for graduate and professional studies


Applications are due JUNE 15, 2024.

Questions can be directed to Kyla Esguerra, Deputy Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, at

Current Participants:

Explore more about our current STAR program participants.