Science, Technology, Arts, and Research Scholars (STARS)

Science, Technology, Arts and Research Scholars (STARS) encourages interest in scientific research careers by pairing outstanding high school students with Converse faculty for long-term, in-depth science and technology projects. High school students are individually mentored in one of the Converse laboratories in biology, biochemistry, psychology and computer science.

In addition to mentored research projects, STARS have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in workshops that cover topics like writing research proposals and designing experiments
  • Receive training in areas including responsible conduct of research, laboratory safety and professional public presentation skills
  • Report their findings at local, regional and national meetings at the high school and college level

“This research opportunity has been an incredible experience. It has allowed me to be part of competitions, experience different types of projects and has exposed me to a broader range of scientific careers.” – Avi Borad, Spartanburg Day School

Converse STARS have won awards including:

  • Innovision Award for High School Mentorship Program
  • Piedmont III Region Science Fair, Overall Winner
  • Piedmont III Region Science Fair, Converse College Outstanding Young Women in Science Award
  • Piedmont III Region Science Fair, University of South Carolina Scholarship
  • South Carolina Junior Academy of Science, Best Oral Presentation Award
  • South Carolina Junior Academy of Science, Second Place among all South Carolina State Winners
  • South Carolina Upstate Research Symposium, Best Poster Award
  • South Carolina Upstate Research Symposium, Best Paper Award

Program Options

High school students may apply to participate in the STARS five-week summer research program on the Converse campus.


Sophomores, juniors and seniors from Spartanburg County high schools are eligible to apply. Students who complete AP courses in biology and chemistry will receive special consideration. We encourage applications from traditionally underrepresented groups in science careers, such as first-generation college students, women, and students with disabilities. The goal of the program is to give students the opportunity to explore research careers in the sciences by acquainting them with the resources of a University. Students must be able to provide their own transportation.

“The STARS program allows me to work in a real lab, alongside undergraduate and graduate students, as well as college professors.” – Alexander Giep, participant and high school student

Application Procedure

Applications for this competitive program are accepted for summer sessions. Applicants are not guaranteed a project will be available and will need to list more than one area of interest. Each applicant must submit three references and participate in an interview with a Converse faculty mentor. For questions please contact Dr. Neval Erturk.