Postbac Research Education Program (PREP)

Students working in lab

At the University of Michigan Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP), our goal is to recruit students who discover an interest in experimental science late in their undergraduate career, or after graduation.

Students in our program may have less experience than other applicants to graduate programs. Other students may have strong research experience, but other gaps in their academic background would weaken their application to Ph.D. programs.

PREP is a 1-year program that gives you the opportunity to complete additional coursework, gain valuable experience working in faculty labs, and learn from our committed faculty mentors.

The program is designed to help participants strengthen their candidacy for admission to the nation's strongest biomedical sciences Ph.D. programs. PREP is part of the training efforts of the NIH's Diversity in the Biomedical Workforce initiative and is supported by the NIH Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity.

Program Details

We accept up to 10 participants into the program, which starts July 1 of each year. During the first month of the program, PREP directors will help students match with a faculty mentor whose lab is doing research of interest to them. More than 150 U-M faculty members are available to mentor PREP students for their 1-year research experience, including guidance in the graduate school application process.

PREP participants receive a salary of $23,000, plus health benefits and dental insurance.

Beyond their work on research projects, PREP participants have opportunities to participate in activities designed to enhance their preparation for graduate school, such as:

  • A preparation course for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  • Social events.
  • Seminars and journal clubs.
  • Opportunities to enhance their studies with an undergraduate or graduate course in the fall or winter term.
  • Opportunities to present research projects and discuss graduate school and career advice with faculty mentors.
  • Career development events for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
  • Help with applying to graduate school.


Kate F. Barald, Ph.D., Program Director
Cell & Developmental Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience

David R. Engelke, Ph.D., Associate Program Director
Biological Chemistry, Cellular & Molecular Biology

Ben Allen, Ph.D., Associate Program Director
Cell & Developmental Biology, Cellular & Molecular Biology

Jeannie L. Hernandez, Ph.D., Assistant Program Director

Yvonne Valdez, MPA, Program Coordinator

More Information

Learn more about other PREP programs throughout the country →