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P-STAR Program

2016 Psychiatry Summer Training and Research (P-STAR) Program

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Psychiatry Summer Training and Research (P-STAR) program.

Apply here | Deadline: it has been extended to February14, 2016 11:59pm (EST)


The Psychiatry Summer Training and Research (P-STAR) program offers undergraduates interested in Behavioral and Biological Sciences the opportunity to work for ten weeks under the guidance of faculty members at Johns Hopkins Medicine. To provide in-depth exposure to Translational Psychiatry, particularly in regard to schizophrenia and related brain disorders, P-STAR students work in both laboratory settings and have clinical exposure. Students will gain these hands-on experiences in academic research mainly in laboratory settings alongside leading principal investigators. Students will have the opportunity to observe some clinical settings, such as clinical teaching rounds on hospital inpatient units. P-STAR students will also participate in research seminars, weekly-journal clubs, and personal lunchtime discussions with doctors involved in cutting-edge research.  [Activity Details]

Our P-STAR program is one of a kind, allowing students to experience both basic neuroscience research as well as clinical psychiatry. Program participants will be expected to present their research findings at a poster presentation for the Career Academic and Research Experiences for Students (C.A.R.E.S.) Symposium. [2012] [2013] [2014]

Participating investigators are Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., Dimitrios Avramopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Atsushi Kamiya, M.D., Ph.D., Mikhail Pletnikov, M.D., Ph.D., Robert Yolken, M.D., Ph.D. [Research Projects]

Our program is designed to expose undergraduate students to a broad range of research and psychiatric care. Highly competitive applicants will be considered for this program. Students should be able to demonstrate academic achievement, relevant career objectives and personal motivation for research.


Our program is funded by the NIH (P50 Silvio O. Conte Center grant: Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., Director), and offers students a $4,000 stipend for participation. Please note, the stipend is not exempt from tax withholding. Travel costs may be subsidized on a case-by-case basis. Housing information is available for interested students.

Program Dates

May 31, 2016 - August 5, 2016. Students are bound to a ten week commitment, and are expected to participate full time, 40 hours per week, for the duration of the program.

Application Procedure

Join our 2016 P-STAR class!  Applications are now open.

[Apply here]    Deadline:  February 7, 2016, 11:59pm (EST)


  • Rising college sophomores, juniors and seniors with an interest in Brain Sciences.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen, or a permanent resident.
  • Must be 18 years of age as of May 31, 2016.
  • Must have proof of health insurance available.

Selection Criteria

  • Application Form: Online submission of contact information and 2 essays.  Visit the online application for more information.
  • Official Transcript: Electronic transcripts must be sent directly from your school to via the Transcript Ordering Service.  If your school does not provide an electronic transaction service, please have the registrar mail your transcript to the following address by February 14 (extended):

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Attn: P-STAR Committee
    600 North Wolfe Street / Meyer 3-166
    Baltimore, Maryland 21287-7364
  • Recommendation Letters: Two letters of recommendation are required from a faculty member, employer, or mentor. Letters of recommendation should be sent directly from the recommender to by February 14, 2016 at 11:59pm (EST). Any recommendation letter received past the application deadline will not be taken into account by the Selection Committee.
    --- Please have your recommenders format the e-mail with the following subject line "P-STAR Program Recommendation for Applicant Name".
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae: Please send your resume/curriculum vitae to
    --- Please format your e-mail with the following subject line "P-STAR Program Resume - Applicant Name".
  • Please note, an application is not considered complete until an application form, two recommendation letters, a resume and official transcripts have been received. Once all documents have been reviewed by the Selection Committee you will be contacted accordingly to set up an Onsite or Phone/Skype interview

Other Information

  • Dress Code:  For activities that involve patient contact, P-STAR students will be required to dress in professional business casual attire. For example, men will be expected to wear dress pants with a collared or polo shirt and women will be expected to wear appropriate skirts or dress pants with a work-suitable blouse or top.

    For all other activities and working in the lab, casual attire with closed toe shoes is acceptable.
  • Check Payments: P-STAR students will be paid semi-monthly on the 15th of the month and on the last day of the month. The first payment will be in the form of a check.  All payments following can be received via direct deposit if a student chooses to set up this option.
All applicants will be notified via e-mail by mid-March of application decisions.

Questions or comments about P-STAR? Please e-mail