The goal of the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) is to provide experiences that will increase the likelihood of success in applying to and competing in a research-based graduate program by under-represented minorities. The core experience that we seek to give the PREP scholar is an individually-mentored introduction to research as a scientific apprentice. Further development, including formal coursework, technical laboratory training, public speaking and test-taking skills, are tailored to each PREP Scholar. ? ? In the first award period, we succeeded in establishing the Program, informing the community about it, and growing a competitive applicant pool. We developed a mentor network including the School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and optimized Program functions and administrative procedures. We saw eleven scholars complete the program. All have gone on to post-graduate education, three in PhD programs (Johns Hopkins, Cornell and University of Pennsylvania), two in MD/PhD programs (Johns Hopkins and University of California at San Diego), two in MPH programs (Johns Hopkins and Harvard University), one in an MD program (North Carolina State University) and three in masters programs. ? ? In this renewal, we request expansion from ten to twelve candidate slots (6 per year); the University will match the two new slots thereby expanding the Program from 10 to 14 students. Seven candidates per year will be admitted (two supported by University-contributed funds) as apprentice scientists working in laboratories headed by qualified mentors. Mentors are selected based on history of training undergraduates, graduate students and underrepresented minorities, and on availability of appropriate, funded projects that they propose. The interviewing and hiring process proceeds essentially as for a technician, i.e., interested mentors will conduct interviews and offer an available position (or not), and the applicant will choose among the offers for the one best suited to their needs. This aspect of the PREP experience is the same as that of the dozens of recent graduates hired as technicians at the Institution every year. The experience of applying for a job, presenting oneself positively in interviews, and dealing with some inevitable rejections is a useful part of the PREP program. ? ? Success of the program is determined by the number of students applying/accepted for post-graduate education. Progress of the Scholars and of the Program is monitored by annual mentor reports; grades in formal course work; GRE scores; a biannual research symposium; publications; and an annual poster presentation by each scholar. ? ? Hopkins-PREP fills a crucial niche in University efforts to increase diversity that extend from the grade school level through senior faculty. ? ? ?
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