Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program

The UCLA DGSOM STAR program is designed for highly qualified applicants committed to careers in academic medicine, and offers tailored career development pathways combining clinical training and doctoral/ postdoctoral research training via one of the following tracks:

Basic/Translational Science (PhD): Fellows receive graduate training in any of the multiple basic science departments within the UCLA School of Medicine, School of Engineering, College of Letters and Sciences, or at the California Institute of Technology.

Health Services/Outcomes (PhD): Fellows receive graduate training at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health or the Pardee Rand Graduate School.

Post-Doctoral Research Training: A 2-3 year post-doctoral fellowship is offered for those who begin their fellowship with MD/PhD degrees.

These competitive programs are designed for highly qualified applicants committed to careers in academic medicine, as evidenced by a sustained interest in research, a track record of publications, and support from research mentors. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply for the STAR program at the time of applying for the pulmonary fellowship program.

The benefits of the STAR program include:

  1. Fully funded advanced formal training in the form of a PhD or postdoctoral fellowship
  2. Protected research time during fellowship with a path to transition to junior faculty
  3. The STAR curriculum including seminars in grant writing, career development, etc…
  4. Special monetary support available for medical school loan interest payments and attendance at scientific conferences.
  5. High success rates in obtaining NIH K or equivalent career development award funding and in continuing in career research positions. The STAR program has an impressive track record with 80% of STAR graduates continuing in research positions, either in academia or industry.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply for the program at the time of application to the PCCM clinical fellowship. Please note that the UCLA STAR program actively seeks underrepresented minority candidates for the advancement of UCLA’s mission of combating disparities in academic medicine. STAR fellowship and coursework generally begins the fall quarter of the 2nd year of fellowship, with graduation from the STAR fellowship in an average of 4 years. Fellows will graduate from the PCCM fellowship when they are within 1 year of graduation from the STAR program. For some fellows, this will result in an extra 1-2 years of fellowship training, with the extended time dedicated largely to research with minimal clinical obligations. For other STAR fellows whose research progresses quickly, they will graduate within 3 years.

For more information, please visit this page: https://medschool.ucla.edu/star