START - STEM Transfer and Research Training


The Initial Ideas for the START Project

The START project was created to bring a friendlier, more transfer-receptive resource hub for students at CSUN. After looking up existing resources at CSUN, our idea shifted to providing research resources for CSUN transfer students with the focus on creating a transfer receptive culture. With the transition to providing research resources, the name STEM Transfer and Research Training (START) was established.

The START Office’s main goal is to build a transfer receptive culture, promote research opportunities, and offer information regarding graduate programs in the four colleges: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Health and Human Development, Math and Science, and Engineering and Computer Science. However, all transfer students are welcome to participate in our activities and utilize all these resources.


BUILD PODER, The HERE Center, and the START Office

Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research (PODER) is a large undergraduate biomedical research training program established in 2014 and funded by a $41 million, ten-year grant from the National Institutes of Health.

BUILD PODER laid out the framework, and the Health Equity Research and Education (HERE) Center was established to sustain and apply the best practices of BUILD PODER into the future with a particular emphasis on academic-community partnered research.

As part of BUILD PODER’s and the HERE Center’s shared goals to support students in research and professional development, the START Office was established. The Badge Project is the main component of the START Office where transfer students can have a place to grow and belong through workshops and community-building activities.

Our Vision

The START office envisions a community for interdisciplinary collaborations between faculty and students, include students from underrepresented groups, such as African American, Latinx, women, individuals with disabilities, and undocumented students, who will contribute to a diverse and prepared workforce in the STEM field.

We intend to build a transfer receptive culture through peer mentorship, workshops, annual research events, and recognition ceremonies.


We look forward to having more transfer students come aboard! With the START Office, transfer students will be able to experience the following:

  • Personalized support from trained peer mentors
  • Opportunities for transfer students to network with each other and the larger CSUN community
  • Peer mentorship opportunities among CSUN transfer students and interested or incoming community college students
  • Expanding awareness of majors and careers in the STEM field
  • Strengthening of research skills through workshops and trainings
  • Connect students with paid and/or voluntary research opportunities
  • Assistance in applying for summer research opportunities
  • CSUN department resources specific to students’ major
  • Enhance students’ professional development through conferences
  • Graduate program resources, including application assistance