Illuminating Your Future in Health Care

About Our Program

The Summer Training in Academic Research and Scholarship (STARS) Program is a distinguished summer research opportunity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) 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 team

Monik Jiménez, ScD, SM, FAHA

Program Director

Dr. Jiménez is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Epidemiologist in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. As a 2019 Richard Nesson Fellow, she has been funded to examine factors that impact cardiovascular health of patients who have experienced incarceration. In addition to her research, she works diligently to promote careers in research among students from historically oppressed backgrounds and support their retention across career trajectory.

Leila Aruri

Senior Program Coordinator

Leila is the Senior Program Coordinator for the STARS Program at the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, where she works with STARS students throughout the summer program to manage clinical shadowing and lab placements, networking events, social activities and more. She is passionate about social justice, health equity and diversifying the health care workforce.

Our Mission

  1.  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. 
  2. To enhance the research capabilities of URiM medical and undergraduate students. 
  3. To encourage these scholars to pursue advanced medical and graduate education and training. 

Our Goal

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. 

Erik + Dr. Joel Katz (1)
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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 during this time.

Applying to STARS

Program features, financial support and application guidelines.
*Applications for the 2022 BWH STARS Program will open in November of 2021. Please check back on our website for the application and related information.


  • 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 have two half-days to 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. We also provide students with a $75 USD subway pass for transportation while in Boston.
  • 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 provides each student a stipend ($3,200 USD for undergraduate students; $5,000 USD for 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.

Important Dates & Deadlines | 2021

  • Applications Open: November 10, 2020
  • Applications Close: Monday, February 1, 2021
  • Decisions Announced: March 2021 
  • Program Dates: June 14 – August 6, 2021 

All 2021 BWH STARS Required Supporting Materials must be received by our office by: February 1, 2021 at 11:59pm EST.

How to Apply: Prepare & Submit Online Application 

            Write your answers to the Essay Questions – 

  • 1.) Write your Personal Statement – Please describe in at least 400 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. 
  • 2.) Choose a Photo (2in x 2in) – jpg less than 1MB.
  • 3.) Choose 2 Letter of Recommendation Writers and collect their contact information.
  • 4.) Official Transcript sent to
  • 5.) First-year medical students only* Letter of Good Standing sent to
  • 5.) Complete online application and upload your photo.
  • 6.) Wait for application confirmation screen.

Request your Required Supporting Materials and confirm they are to be received by our office by the application deadline.

  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (you must make these requests).
  • Official Transcript.
  • Letter of Good Standing (*First-year medical students only). 

Acceptable Methods of Submission for Required Supporting Materials:

1.) Email: (Letters of Recommendation may be emailed ONLY by the letter writer).

2.) Mail to: 

Brigham and Women’s Hospital 
Center for Diversity & Inclusion
Attn: BWH STARS Program
Thorn 13 Suite 1304
20 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115


how much is the research stipend ?

The research stipend for the eight-week program is $3,200 USD for undergraduate students and $5,000 USD for first-year medical students. You will receive the first half of the stipend in the amount of $1,600 USD/$2,500 USD at the beginning of the eight-week program, and the second half at the end of the program.

where are we housed during the program ?

STARS students are housed at the MassArt School of Design Artists’ Residence for the eight-week program. The Artists’ Residence is apartment-style housing with individual rooms and a shared kitchen area. The Artists’ Residence is walking distance to Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, making it easy to get to and from lab each day. 

how do i arrange my travel for the program ?

Our team books your travel internally and 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 at MassArt Artists’ Residence, and vice versa upon departure.

Contact Us

Questions about our program or the application process? Give us a call at (617) 732 – 6909 or email our team at


Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
Phone: (617) 732 - 6909


Brigham and Women's Hospital
Center for Diversity & Inclusion
Thorn 13 Suite 1304
20 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115-6054