A Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) will be created at the University of Michigan to increase the ability of underrepresented minority students to be accepted into excellent doctoral (Ph.D.) programs in the biological and biomedical disciplines throughout the country. The University of Michigan has long had a strong history of encouraging undergraduates toward research careers and in recent years has gained national attention through its commitment to recruiting a diverse and talented student population. In the biosciences, there are extensive research opportunities for undergraduates from UM and elsewhere and strong and coordinated bioscience graduate programs that have been successful and recruiting and graduating a diverse student body. However, in our graduate applications and recruiting travels throughout the country we frequently encounter students who, for a variety of reasons, are not yet quite prepared to matriculate and succeed in strong graduate programs, but could be with specific types of further preparation. The creation of a PREP at Michigan would provide promising students from around the country with the needed preparation to both successfully apply to strong graduate programs and to succeed once they matriculate. The described project speaks directly to the objectives of the PREP program announcement from the NIH. Students from several ethnic and racial backgrounds are severely underrepresented in PhD-level research positions that address issues of human health. The Michigan PREP provides students with opportunities to prepare themselves for graduate school in a wide range of different disciplines in the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Engineering (Biomedical), Pharmacy, Kinesiology, and Dentistry.
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