Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistantship

Post-baccalaureate research assistant Annika Beck

Post-baccalaureate research assistant Annika Beck

The Biomedical Ethics Research Program sponsors several post-baccalaureate research assistantships for students interested in empirical bioethics scholarship. The position is ideal for students interested in a gap year between their undergraduate and graduate training programs. Our post-baccalaureate trainees have matriculated to top medical and law schools throughout the country.

The post-baccalaureate research assistantship is a paid position that's part of the Graduate Research Education Program (GREP), which provides students throughout Mayo Clinic with an opportunity to conduct research in a mentored environment for 1 to 2 years. Trainees are expected to dedicate 40 hours a week to their research projects and related activities.

Post-baccalaureate trainees contribute to projects at multiple stages in the research process. They develop research skills that include empirical research methods, study design and data collection, such as semistructured interviews, surveys and focus groups. Trainees also gain skills in qualitative and quantitative data analysis and scholarly writing. They develop a basic understanding of the field of bioethics. And they establish professional relationships with peers, colleagues and mentors in their areas of interest — connections that can last beyond their time at Mayo Clinic.

The post-baccalaureate program offers direct mentorship from faculty affiliated with the Biomedical Ethics Research Program. By working closely with experienced bioethics researchers, trainees develop critical thinking and analysis skills at all stages of the research process. Through the use of individualized personal development programs and biweekly check-ins, trainees improve their capabilities and set meaningful goals for their time at Mayo Clinic and beyond.

Enrichment opportunities

Students in the post-baccalaureate research assistantship program have numerous enrichment opportunities:

  • Graduate school classes. Post-baccalaureate trainees are eligible to enroll in any Mayo Clinic graduate school course free of tuition. Previous trainees have taken courses on bioethics, research methodologies, statistics, human anatomy and health disparities.
  • Shadowing. Trainees can shadow physicians, clinical ethics consultants and other health professionals depending on their areas of interest.
  • Professional development. The post-baccalaureate research assistantship also offers networking opportunities to connect students with professionals in their areas of interest.
  • Community. The post-baccalaureate program emphasizes a collegial and collaborative working environment. Department activities include regular staff and lab meetings, lunchtime lectures, and community engagement events that provide opportunities to meet and discuss with peers and colleagues in both formal and informal settings.


To be eligible for the post-baccalaureate research assistantship, students must have completed a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA before the position start date and must plan to pursue medical, law or graduate school admission. Students must have authorization to work and remain in the United States without Mayo Clinic visa sponsorship. All students must pass a background check and a post-offer placement assessment prior to their start date.

Successful applicants must be:

  • Committed to pursuing a career in which they engage in topics in biomedical ethics.
  • Able to work independently.
  • Proficient in written and verbal communication.
  • Competent in identifying relevant peer-reviewed publications on specialized research topics.
  • Highly motivated to learn new research methods.

Application process

To apply, visit the Mayo Clinic jobs website. Search for job posting 189594BR and follow the directions in the job posting.

Up to three candidates will be selected for 2023.

One position is open now, and applications are being reviewed as they're received.

The other two positions start in mid- to late summer of 2023, with an application deadline of 11:59 p.m. CST on Feb. 7, 2023.

Candidates must attach these documents to their online application:

  • Cover letter describing career goals and how biomedical ethics research relates to those goals.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that includes your major, relevant coursework, honors and related experiences.
  • A five- to 10-page writing sample, such as a course paper, preferably on a topic in biomedical ethics.
  • Current, unofficial college transcript.
  • Two letters of recommendation from research mentors or undergraduate professors addressed to program director Richard Sharp, Ph.D., and emailed by them to


For more information or if you have specific questions, call our education staff at 507-538-1433 or email us. Many of our current trainees are available to discuss details about their experiences in the program.


Why should I study and research biomedical ethics at Mayo Clinic?

Mayo Clinic is frequently ranked as one of the top hospitals in the U.S. Students have the opportunity to collaborate with physicians and scholars who are nationally and internationally recognized and to gain hands-on experience with clinically relevant research at a major academic medical center.

What does a typical day of work look like?

Post-baccalaureate trainees engage in a variety of research tasks every day. They draft moderator guides, develop survey questions, conduct qualitative interviews, complete literature reviews and contribute to bioethics scholarship through written and oral presentation of research, among other activities. They can enhance their knowledge of biomedical ethics through Grand Rounds, journal clubs and relevant guest lectures. Trainees also may have the opportunity to participate in community engagement projects.

How many hours will I be expected to work a week?

Post-baccalaureate trainees are expected to dedicate 40 hours a week to research activities. Overtime is possible during particularly busy weeks. Additional activities not related to a student's project, such as shadowing, are not included within paid working hours.

How will I be compensated for my work?

Post-baccalaureate trainees are full-time employees and are paid on an hourly basis. Trainees employed for more than a year are eligible for paid vacation and other benefits granted to Mayo employees. Trainees working for less than a year are not benefit-eligible. Learn more about benefits at Mayo Clinic.

What are the housing options?

Rochester has many options for housing, including near and around the downtown area. Previous trainees have successfully secured affordable accommodations within walking distance to campus.

How will I get to work?

Most post-baccalaureate trainees live near the office and either walk or bike to work. Rochester also has reliable public transportation. While a car may be helpful, it's not necessary.

The medical school interview season can be demanding. Can I take time off for interviews?

Yes. The post-baccalaureate research assistantship is flexible and understanding of interview schedules for graduate, law and medical schools.

Do students have the opportunity to publish or present their research?

Usually. Many of our students have been listed as authors on publications and have presented at national conferences. All students give internal presentations to our program. The opportunity to contribute to a peer-reviewed publication depends on many factors, including the availability of publishable research findings, the trainee's individual goals for the program, and the length of stay at Mayo Clinic.