2010 STAR Fellow Kaitlyn Fietchner working on fiberoptics at Dryden Flight Research Center



Research Lab Sites

At the core of every STAR Fellow's experience are the outstanding Research Mentors and laboratory staff at our Lab Site Partner facilities. Without them, this program simply wouldn't be possible. We thank them for their involvement and ask every applicant to carefully research participating lab sites prior to applying. Many sites work on a wide diversity of projects. For example, NASA Ames Research Center does fundamental biological, chemical, geological, mathematical, aeronautical, psychological, and physics projects even if they all ultimately relate to air and space science.

STAR Applicants are asked to indicate top lab preferences, but also for which sites they would NOT like to be considered. STAR aims to match your experience and interests with an appropriate project, but you may wish to exclude one or more sites because of its location or other logistical considerations. Please take the time to learn about the kinds of research opportunities that have been available at each site. It will certainly help if you are invited to an interview! Applicant preferences guide the selection process, but they do not guarantee placement at any particular site. STAR Fellows participate in cutting-edge projects which address active research questions at each site. Because research moves at such a fast pace, it is usually not possible to know what those projects are in advance! You must be open to research opportunities in broad fields related to each facilities' work and be willing to gain new skills as you pursue projects guided by research mentors, post docs, and lab staff. It's guaranteed to be a challenge.

BEFORE submitting your application, we recommend that you:

  1. Visit each lab site’s brief description on this site (links on the left) and continue your research at the webpages of those sites that interest you. Pay particular attention to any special challenges (e.g. housing, transportation, etc.) each lab site may present.
  2. Review last year's STAR Fellow research posters at your top sites on the Cal Poly Digital Commons
  3. Our partner lab site listing changes reguarly. While many research mentors host STAR Fellows every year, we cannot guarantee their involvement in advance. We may even add new sites after the applications open as projects become available. Keep an eye on this website before the application deadline closes and contact us if your preferences change.
  4. Because STAR matches your interests with available projects it is in your best interests to apply early to remain in the applicant pool the longest. You may be contacted for an interview or offer from any lab site that you did not exclude.