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Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)

An experience in basic and translational research for recent college graduates

Many talented underrepresented students approach college graduation not quite ready to start graduate training. Some students discover research late in their college careers and need more research experience to compete for top Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. programs.

The focus of the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) is to help meet the critical need for diverse investigators in basic and translational research.

This objective is achieved by providing:

  • An intense mentored research experience in basic science or translational research in the top laboratories at Mayo Clinic
  • Special seminars and selected graduate-level courses to expand each student's knowledge base so he or she can begin to apply basic science knowledge to biomedical research
  • Mentoring and guidance to assist with successful continuation into a Ph.D. or an M.D.-Ph.D. program to succeed in a basic or translational biomedical research career



  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
  • Underrepresented students who have earned a bachelor's degree within the past three years, or seniors about to graduate in a biomedical science discipline who are planning to pursue a Ph.D. degree in biomedical science. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine considers underrepresented individuals as those belonging to these groups:
    • Black/African-American
    • Hispanic or Latino
    • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Native Hawaiian or U.S. Pacific Islander
    • Members of other racial and ethnic groups considered to be underrepresented in medicine and biomedical research (eligibility based on a disadvantaged background)
  • Students who are willing to make a full-time, personal commitment to the program similar to that of a first-year graduate student.

Program details

  • Ten research assistantships are available on an annual basis, usually for a period of one year (a second year of support may be available)
  • A salary of $25,000 a year
  • Full eligibility for Mayo Clinic's benefit package, including low-cost, comprehensive medical coverage
  • A dynamic mentored research experience in a supportive environment characterized by outstanding research resources, a cooperative approach to research and an atmosphere with the highest level of mutual respect among all students and staff
  • A curriculum that includes seminars, workshops and courses
  • Extensive mentoring on career choices and applying to graduate school
  • Careful matching between student and mentor research and career interests
  • GRE preparation course
  • The option to enroll in a limited number of Ph.D.-level graduate courses at Mayo Graduate School


The curriculum is designed for students to begin in early June. However, other starting dates may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How to apply

The application deadline is May 1, 2016, for matriculation in the summer of 2016. Applications received at other times are considered on a space-available basis.

Apply online now.

Selection criteria and process

All materials submitted with the application play a role in the selection process. As students come from very diverse backgrounds and have many different future interests, none of the application elements dominate in the selection process. The Selection Committee looks for individuals who show the greatest promise of succeeding in disease-oriented basic and translational research careers.

Processing and review of completed applications begins during the first week in February. Appointment offers are made on a rolling basis. Applicants should expect to receive a status notification within six weeks after submitting the application.


  • Dennis C. Mays, Ph.D.
    • Program Manager-Diversity Grants
    • College of Medicine Office for Diversity
    • Mayo Clinic
      200 First St. SW
      Rochester, MN 55905
    • Phone: 507-266-8911
    • Email:

Supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

  • Oct 27, 2015
  • ART785411