Pre-STAR Briefing Information

Welcome to the 2018 STAR Program!   

For all new STAR students, we hope that you have a great summer with an outstanding research experience.  For those of you who are returning STAR students – welcome back and hopefully, now that you've had some initial research experience, this summer will only be more enriching and enlightening.

This year, the STAR orientation will take place on Saturday, May 5th, 2018. Please review the agenda for the 2018 STAR Orientation.

Students are expected to conduct research full time for a 10 week period within these dates: Monday, June 4th - Friday, August 10th, 2018. Any time off must be agreed upon with your mentor. In the past, we have discovered working on a research project for the first time can be a bit overwhelming, and everyone benefits from some guidance to help them get started. Therefore, we suggest a few PRE-STAR tips that might help you to get things in motion before your actual STAR summer begins:

1Meet with your mentor early to discuss your project, goals, expectations, laboratory environment and possible Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) classes that might be needed. Getting an IACUC protocol approved can take a long time, so talk to your mentor early. With your mentor, prepare a time-line of your project to “keep on track”.  There should be a designated time set up between you and your mentor weekly to discuss what is going right, and most importantly, what might be going wrong.   Learn all safety regulations and protocols, and who to go to for questions or concerns. 

2.  STAR students interested in working in one of the research laboratories in San Diego should contact either Dr. Peter Ernst ( or Dr. Christina Sigurdson ( to identify the best match and to discuss logistics for housing.  Booking dorms early is a necessity. 

3.  Lab Introductions:  Make sure that you are introduced to everyone especially key personnel in the laboratory, department and/or center.  It is helpful if your mentor designates a grad student or post-doc to work with you, especially when your mentor is away.  Make sure that you know who you will be working with for specific aspects of your project (learning techniques, etc.) Ask to be involved in weekly lab meetings and any lab seminars or writing sessions – the more you are exposed to in this short time, the better.

4.  Ordering Supplies:  Find out from your mentor who you should go to for ordering supplies or materials and get things ordered early! Physically, go through the lab, look in drawers, cabinets, ect. so that you are aware of where supplies are kept. 

5. If the student is going to work with BSL 2+ agents or biohazardous materials, the student and mentor are responsible for proper training, i.e. by taking online courses offered via UCD EHS for laboratory and research safety training. These classes can be viewed at

6. For students travelling internationally for their research projects, award recipients must register their trip, attend a mandatory safety training conducted by the SVM Office for Global Programs, make a travel clinic appointment, sign the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine International Travel Agreement, verify insurance and complete a full page of emergency contacts, at home and abroad, as a stipulation of the award.

7.  Minimum Required Online Safety Training:

Required: Animal Care and Use 101

Required: UC Laboratory Safety Fundamentals

If you are not currently employed by the University or have not yet taken this class, first contact today and they will confirm users who have accounts and/or set up accounts for new users.  Please call Jessica Davis at 530-752-9997 if you have any questions.

Faculty/Staff/Paid Student Employees

To access the e-course follow these instructions:

Go to, put in your Kerberos passphrase
Enter “Animal” into search field in top right
Choose “eCourse: Animal Care and Use 101” or “eCourse UC Laboratory Safety Fundamentals”
Click “Select”
Click “Start”

Temporary Affiliates (TAF) and Non-Paid Students

NOTE: In order to access the e-course you will need to contact Staff Development and Professional Services at to activate your account. 
Once your account has been activated, follow these instructions to access the e-course:

Log in at
Enter “Animal” into search field in top right
Choose “eCourse: Animal Care and Use 101” or “eCourse UC Laboratory Safety Fundamentals”
Click “Select”
Click “Start”

8Have fun – enjoy!  Most importantly, while learning and working in your lab, remember there will be frustrations and a few disappointments as well as days that everything will go right.  These are all normal and part of the world of research, so remember to enjoy it all!