Skip to main content

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 readings 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 plan with your mentor. By the time you arrive on campus, you should have a rough draft (at minimum). As a requirement of the UNC MSTAR Program, you will create an Individual Development Plan with your mentor. It is strongly advised to have a plan and timeline (calendar) in place by the start of your internship.

Background Check

You will be emailed paperwork so the UNC MSTAR program can initiate a required background check. Firstly, you receive a link via email to fill out information online and then sign electronically. It is important that this be done right away. For your information, the background check website has a checklist which only you can monitor for completion to prevent time consuming delays. Delays affecting your background check status may include:

  • being assigned a university identification number
  • ability to complete training modules
  • being added to your mentors IRB
  • beginning research
  • having access to needed data systems
  • receiving a paycheck

CITI and OSHA Training Modules

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