Contacting Your Research Mentor
Contact your research mentor as soon as possible after being notified of your acceptance into the program. These early discussions and emails are critical to get to know your mentor, their research and establish the critical framework necessary for your research project.

Familiarization with the Project
Be proactive in contacting and continuing communications with your mentor. Your familiarization with your area of research and project before you arrive is highly recommended to maximize your time and working relationship with your mentor and their research team. Your mentor will likely provide you with some information and readings to help you grasp the research or research area in a more comprehensive way. These reading may also include research methods if you are unfamiliar with the research methods you will be using. It is highly recommended by both MSTAR mentors and past students to prepare in advance of your arrival. This will not only help you hit the ground running with your research but it will also impact your ability to communicate more effectively with your mentor and their research team.

Creating a Research Plan & Calendar
As a requirement of the UNC MSTAR Program you will create a with your mentor and by the time you arrive on campus you should have a minimum of a rough draft. It is strongly advised to have a completed research plan and calendar in place by the time of your arrival. Based on your research plan, didactic sessions and clinical experiences you will develop your working calendar. Both your research plan and your calendar will be reviewed with Dr. Ellen Roberts within the first week of your arrival at UNC.

Background Check
You will be emailed paperwork so the UNC MSTAR program can initiate a required background check. You will be emailed a link to filled out information online and electronically sign between 60 and 90 days before your start date. The background check website has a checklist which only you can monitor for completion to prevent time consuming delays. If a background check is delayed, that in turn will delay: being assigned a university identification number, completing training modules, receiving appropriate UNC identification, beginning research, having access to needed data systems, receiving a paycheck, and more.

CITI, OSHA, and Ethics Training Modules
While we understand you may have taken similar training modules for your home institution, you are required to complete the CITI, OSHA, and Ethics training modules before you can begin your work in your area of research at UNC. After admission into the program the program coordinator will inform you which training modules are needed for CITI, UNC OSHA, Ethics and you will be sent the links. Upon completion of each of these online training sessions you will receive a certificate of completion that must be emailed to for the University and program records.

NC TraCS Free Online Training
The North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute at UNC-CH is one of 60 medical research institutions working together as a national consortium to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. NC TraCS offers free online research training modules that students in past years have found helpful.