This is a revised application for an innovative new Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Each year this program will select six recent college graduates from backgrounds underrepresented in science that desire PhD research careers and would benefit substantially from a year of intensive research experience and mentoring. Our program will prepare these promising young scientists for entry into rigorous PhD training programs, and long-term success. A new Hopkins-supported two-day event (recruitment and mentor-matching interviews in Baltimore) will match each Scholar with compatible and enthusiastic research Mentors. PREP Scholars will have four core experiences. RESEARCH: Scholars will design, conduct and analyze hypothesis-driven experiments in the mentor's lab, and participate with PhD students and postdocs in weekly lab meetings, journal clubs and departmental research seminars. Scholars will present their research results at two PhD program retreats, a regional PREP conference and one national meeting each year. COMMUNITY: Scholars will meet every month with a dedicated core group of Peer Mentors (underrepresented minority PhD students and postdocs) and PREP Faculty. Nine events will be 'chalk-talk' lunches, where Scholars will give and receive scientific feedback and get to know our PREP community; three more events will be held off-campus (e.g., Orioles, symphony, dinner at faculty home). PROFESSIONAL TRAINING: Scholars will participate alongside PhD students in workshops designed to improve spoken and written communication skills (Presenting your Research; Writing a Paper), learn about PhD career options, and improve their inter-personal skills (Meyers-Briggs Type). PERSONAL GROWTH: The Director and Scholar will create an individual action plan to address any specific weaknesses that must be overcome for long-term PhD career success. Scholars will give and receive early feedback about their research and lab environment via mentored three-way conversations, and further improve their writing skills in two personalized workshops taught by the PREP Director. The outcomes and impact of each program component will be critically evaluated each year by an External Evaluator, and communicated to the Institutional Advisory Board, who will drive yearly program improvements. Outcomes will be discussed with other PREP Directors at regional PREP symposia or national meetings and pooled with data from other PREP programs for publication. Success will be defined as the entry of at least 75% of PREP scholars into rigorous PhD programs nationwide, within two years of starting this PREP. This program is expected to create an inter-generational scientific mentoring community that encourages PhD completion and progression to faculty positions and other PhD careers.
This program will increase the number of diverse students who enter top PhD graduate programs nationwide, tapping a major underrepresented pool of scientific talent needed for continued American leadership in basic biomedical research, and related biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Each year six college graduates from groups under- represented in science (under-represented minorities, URM) will be competitively selected for a year of (a) basic biomedical research training in a Johns Hopkins laboratory, (b) scientific and informal interactions with a core group of faculty and peers to build long-term relationships; (c) professional training to improve skills and learn about PhD career options; and (d) personal growth through mentored strategies to increase entry and long-term success in PhD careers.
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