The University of Chicago Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) is designed to provide research training and enrichment activities to recent college graduates from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences so they will be better prepared to apply, matriculate, and succeed in a Ph.D. program. It is based on the concept that an in-depth mentored research experience, along with enrichment activities which help develop communication and critical analytical skills, is the optimal preparation for graduate studies in the biomedical sciences. The background and research interests of each participant are considered when selecting Mentors for one year of laboratory-based research, with Mentors who have outstanding records of promoting the training, education, and career advancement of biomedical scientists. The research experience is complemented by a multi-tiered skill-enhancement program for improving oral and written communication, critical thinking and analysis, and ethical decision-making. Training in such skills is provided by a year-long PREP Journal Club, numerous workshops, a writing course, an ethics course, academic courses, and other skill-building activities. Although the Program is highly structured and logically organized, it is flexible in that an Individual Development Plan (IDP) serves as the roadmap for each Scholar's course over their tenure in the University of Chicago PREP. The Program and its components are assessed at specific intervals throughout the year, including both internal and external evaluations. The ultimate success will be measured by the matriculation of Scholars into Ph.D. programs, their completion of Ph.D. programs, and their long-term successes as biomedical scientists.

Public Health Relevance

The long-range goal of the University of Chicago Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) is to help diversify the scientific workforce. The PREP provides mentored research experience in a biomedical laboratory and academic enhancements in the form of skill-building workshops and courses. The aim is to prepare members of groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences for admission to Ph.D. programs at competitive research institutions. To assess the success of this endeavor, the participants'progress will be followed throughout their graduate programs and subsequent career path.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Education Projects (R25)
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National Institute of General Medical Sciences Initial Review Group (BRT)
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Bender, Michael T
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University of Chicago
Schools of Medicine
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