STAR Certified Research Scholar

After impactfully training 50 scholars from 15 countries in 2022, we are offering the STAR Certified Scholar Training program in early 2023.

Deadline for application is February 11, 2023. Seats are limited and selection will be competitive, so apply early and with some substance.

The STAR Certified Research Scholar program was recently featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education article, “Key to a Diverse Pool of Doctoral Students? ‘Relevant’ Research”

Read article > | View PDF >

Program Overview

STAR Scholars Network was established to connect, support, and promote academic researchers across borders, helping them to advance knowledge for global social good. This training is designed to provide STAR members interested in taking leadership roles locally and transnationally with hands-on experience for exploring the organization’s overarching vision, as they flesh out their own professional development plans for the years ahead. The program will help you to practically answer: How can I make my research, teaching, and community engagement work more socially driven, transnationally connected, academically rigorous, and ethically sound? Apply and join a global community of scholars to learn about, practice, and advance a values-driven mission of scholarship for yourself and for your community.

Program Goals

The program is designed with the following specific objectives, which correspond to the four modules/dimensions of the program and reflect what it means to be/become a trained “STAR scholar”:

  1. Social-mission driven scholar: Participating scholars study about and develop their (intellectual/disciplinary) research agenda, thoughtfully foregrounding that agenda’s social impact and social justice objectives; materials and activities we provide encourage scholars to address unequal knowledge production and apply knowledge to counter social inequities and exclusions in light of local/global hegemonies, ethical irresponsibility of our neoliberal era, and the alarming ecological crises faced by the world;
  2. Transnationally connected leader: Participants update and improve publication and presentation skills, both in English (for international publication) and other regional/ national/ local languages, further enhancing their ability to identify and engage diverse stakeholders in different genres and modes of presentation/engagement;
  3. Academically driven educator: Participants identify and improve areas of continued pedagogical effectiveness, foregrounding a research-integrated and social-impact oriented teaching mission and seeking to multiply its impact by fostering inquiry-driven learning, whether they are university professors or educate a different demographic;
  4. Researcher with ethics & integrity: Participants develop a training program each of their own, for training at least a dozen peers each within a year, cascading the program’s impact and advancing the values inherent in the previous three modules and milestones (intellectual mission shaped by ethical integrity, inquiry-driven education, and commitment to advance and apply knowledge for social/global good).


Scholars who successfully complete this training will:

  • Receive certificates as “Certified STAR Scholars” 
  • Get preference for Country Director position in the future
  • Be mentors in the Millennium Scholars mentorship program
  • Become qualified to join and lead STAR programs, including this one
  • Receive support to implement their own training program at their institution 

Program Design

This is a module-based, self-driven professional development program that engages researchers and other scholars across the disciplines and professions (NOT an instructor-led course or an expert-driven training). After an orientation to the program, you will complete four modules representing the four program goals below. Each module includes “watch, read, and do” tasks and those who present satisfactory work with a task-submission survey will be invited to follow-up “exchange workshop” to complete the module. Each module needs roughly 4-6 hours to complete, and the follow-up exchange workshops are opportunities for you to present your experience and exchange your plans with other scholars. Facilitators select reading materials, provide custom-made videos including relevant experts (in place of lectures at the events), design tasks and assess your work, and help you to complete the milestones (modules work + work to submit + workshop).

Program Intro in video:


Completing the Training Program

STEP 1: APPLY: Complete a brief form here. It asks you to provide basic information about yourself, plus some writing and a recommendation (or a small fee) to convey your commitment to complete the program and support others. 

STEP 2: COMPLETE THE 4 MODULES: If you’re selected, we’ll provide you instructions by email to complete the first module, which includes a few tasks and a survey/quiz link to share your progress with facilitators. Applicants who receive 70% or above in the tasks will be invited to the follow-up “exchange” workshop (plus a link to the next module). You’ll present your experience and exchange feedback with other participants at the interactive workshop, completing your first milestone. Those who score below 70% will not be invited. Those who go on to complete the second, third, and fourth modules will be invited to the fifth and final meeting, a “Celebration and Certificates” session. The fourth exchange workshop will serve as a rehearsal to the celebratory session.

STEP 3: ATTEND ALL THE WORKSHOPS: As indicated above, the four workshops are designed to give participants an opportunity to present their ideas and exchange feedback with other scholars. You will have already listened to experts in video and read relevant materials, so these workshops won’t feature any experts. Technically, you won’t disqualify to move from one module to another if you miss one of these workshops but please plan ahead and try not to miss any of them, because this is where you get to work with other like-minded scholars from around the world (without these meetings, the training would be a rather isolating experience online).

STEP 4: RECEIVE THE CERTIFICATE: Those who complete all four modules and submit their final presentation–which should be a training program outline that draws on one or more of the four modules completed–will be invited to the final celebratory session, which is also designed partly as a conference with concurrent presentations (before certificates are given).


COMMITMENT: Please only apply if the timing of this program will allow you to commit 4-8 hours a week for about 6 weeks and present your best work. Also, if your time will barely allow you to “complete” the training but not develop and implement a training for others in the near future, please encourage others in your network who can commit to both personal and community goals envisioned by the program. All deadlines, dates, and terms of commitment are specified in the application form.

ORIGINALITY & INTEGRITY: Engaging in any activity that undermines originality/integrity undermines the goals of the program, so we will exclude any participants who do so.

Program Coordinators | Hosts:

Please email your questions to coordinators:

  • Shyam Sharma, SUNY Stony Brook University, USA
  • Nela Navarro, Rutgers University, USA
  • Phuong Quyen, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • Mahboubeh Rakshandehroo, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan
  • Nasrin Pervin, North South University, Bangladesh 
  • Pratusha Nasrin, Bodoland University, India

Reflections from 2022 Training

Participant voices:

Apply Now!

(the earlier you apply the better)