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Contacting Your Research Mentor

After being notified of your acceptance into the program, then contact your research mentor as soon as possible. These early discussions and emails are critical for getting to know your mentor and their research. It is also necessary to establish the critical framework necessary for your research project early on in UNC MSTAR preparation. Browse the tabs below for more details about MSTAR preparation.

Be proactive in contacting and continuing communications with your mentor. Familiarization with your area of research and project before you arrive is highly recommended. This will help 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.

Both MSTAR mentors and past students highly recommend advanced preparation before your arrival. Primarily, this helps you hit the ground running with your research. On top of that, it will also impact your ability to communicate more effectively with your mentor and their research team.

One major UNC MSTAR Program requirement is creating 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 preparation, you will create an Individual Development Plan with your mentor. Furthermore, we strongly advise you to have a plan and timeline (calendar) in place by the start of your internship.

The UNC MSTAR program requires a background check for each student. You will receive a link via email to complete the form online and sign electronically. It is important to do this right away. In addition, the background check website has a checklist which only you can monitor for completion. This checklist also helps prevent time-consuming delays which may affect your background check status. Delays may include:

assignment of 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

Before beginning your research work at UNC, MSTAR requires students to complete the CITI and OSHA training modules. While you may have previously complete similar training modules for your home institution, the UNC MSTAR program also requires these modules.

After admission into the program, the coordinator then informs you which training modules you need for CITI and UNC OSHA (you receive links to these modules). Upon completion of each online training session, you received a certificate of completion. In turn, you must then email this certificate to the program coordinator for the University and program records.

The North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute at UNC-CH is one of 60 medical research institutions in a national consortium. All of these institutions work to improve the way all institutions conduct biomedical research across the country. NC TraCS offers free online research training modules that past students have found helpful.