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Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)


We are optimistic that NIH will fund our new PREP program and anticipate official approval by February 2015.  We plan to begin accepting applcations in February 2015, with a deadline of March 15, 2015.  Finalists would matriculate in June 2015. 

Please visit this link for information on other PREP programs:

PREP provides:

Mentored Research Experience in Top Labs at Johns Hopkins

Annual Salary and Benefits (insurance and tuition remission)

Preparation for Graduate School Application and Interview

Support for Attending Scientific Meetings

Who Should Apply

  • U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Seniors about to graduate, or students who have recently attained a bachelor’s degree in a biomedical science (e.g., biochemistry, chemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, microbiology, etc)

Applicants should have recently earned or will soon earn their Baccalaureate degree and have a keen interest in entering a PhD or MD/PhD program.  In reviewing a candidate’s application, we consider a variety of criteria that demonstrate whether the candidate exhibits potential and motivation towards research with the expectation to matriculate in a PhD or MD/PhD program. 

Potential PREP Scholars must have at least a B average in science coursework and an overall grade point average of 2.7 or higher.  Exceptions may be made for those students with previous research experience and a strong interest in PhD-level research.   

The interview/matching process. 
Upon acceptance to the PREP program, you will receive a list of available mentors to choose from.  If the research areas of our available mentors are not a good match, we work with the PREP scholar to find a suitable laboratory.  The incoming PREP scholar will meet with potential mentors and choose among the offers for the one best suited to their needs.  The mentor-match process typically takes from three to six weeks.  Matriculation into the program can be completed soon after the mentor-match process is complete. 

PREP participants become an employee of the Johns Hopkins University with a competitive starting salary and a full benefit package. 

The School of Medicine has many positions for Research Technologists (the level at which PREP scholars will be incorporated into the University).  Our Human Resource Department has requested that those not accepted in the program be referred as potential job applicants for other University positions.

Mentor Information:
Mentors are selected based on history of training undergraduate, graduate and underrepresented minority and/or underserved students, and on appropriate projects put forward by prospective mentors.

The basic criteria for inclusion as a mentor are:

  • lab director with grant support
  • faculty member in one or more graduate training programs
  • history of mentoring graduate and undergraduate students 
  • participation as a mentor in the SIP program (preferred but not required)

Faculty who wish to participate will be asked to submit a plan for training, including:

  • the proposed research problem
  • the likelihood that it could result in a publication including the PREP scholar
  • a description of lab activities in which the PREP scholar will participate, such as lab meetings, department seminars and journal clubs
  • an NIH “Biosketch and Other Support” form
  • a summary of the number and level of previous trainees

In addition, prospective mentors will be asked to commit to participation in journal clubs and the annual poster presentation. 

Individual orientation sessions to determine needs and set academic goals for PREP scholars.  The following issues will be addressed at the outset of the program:

  • What additional course work is required? Identify specific courses in the various Hopkins undergraduate and graduate programs that are needed to offset weak areas of the undergraduate transcript.
  • Should the scholar pursue a Masters degree?  At what speed?  (Note: the University supports tuition for only two courses per year.  Additional tuition support is available. (Most PREP scholars will be discouraged from starting this program until they have been in the laboratory for three months).
  • Does the individual do well on standardized tests?
  • What other issues specific to the individual must be addressed to assure that the individual PREP scholar has an optimal experience?

Responsible conduct of research.  The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is committed to educating all pre- and postdoctoral trainees in the responsible conduct of research.  The current program consists of three major components: review of ethnical guidelines, instruction in data management, and case studies in small discussion groups.  All PREP scholars will attend this course. 

An honor code emphasizing scientific and academic integrity has been instituted by the Graduates Student Association and the Dean of Student Affairs.  The code is signed by each student at the outset of graduate study, and will be a condition of participation in the PREP program, as well. 

Funds are available for scholars to attend one meeting per year.  Ideally, this should be a meeting at which they are presenting their own research, especially for those in residence for two years.  Following each trip to a meeting, PREP scholars will present a meeting summary providing highlights of the scientific presentations. 

Progress of the PREP scholars will be evaluated on an ongoing basis by the Program Director and the Admissions Committee. 

The ultimate measure of effectiveness is the percentage of PREP scholars who are admitted to and compete successfully in graduate programs.  A variety of methods will be used to provide ongoing feedback.  We ask for two reports a year from each mentor and student.  The sixth and eighteen month reports (if the scholar apprentices for two years) will correspond to the assessment used to report graduate student progress.  The twelfth month review will correspond to the annual review performed for employees, requiring input from both parties.  The final “evaluation” will be a letter of recommendation for graduate school.

Course work will provide an important source of information.  As all formal course work will be done within the University, we will communicate directly with faculty directors of those courses to obtain results of each examination.  Tutoring is available to all enrolled students who encounter difficulty in the graduate courses.  Scholars will be required to pass all courses (i.e., receive a grade of B or better) in order to qualify for the additional tuition benefits from the PREP program.  As required, undergraduate course work will be recommended to support the extremely high demands of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine graduate courses.

PREP scholars participate in the annual Graduate Student Association poster session.  The PREP scholar and mentor will receive a copy of the poster session judges’ evaluation.

Other mid-term accomplishments include publications including the PREP scholar as an author, presentations at meetings, and involvement in lab and departmental level journal clubs and research seminars.


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