The University of California Santa Cruz Post-Baccalaureate Research Program (PREP) aims to provide individuals from underrepresented groups who have recently obtained their baccalaureate degrees with intensive research experience. This will strengthen their candidacy for admission to the nation’s strongest Ph.D. programs and prepare them to earn Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences. PREP participants work as research postbaccalaureates at 9 person-months (75% full-time) effort, with the other 3 person-months (25% full-time effort) devoted to further skills development.

Program Director

Amount & use
  • ~$38,000 annual salary (75% time status as a Junior Specialist for 12 months)
  • Health and dental benefits
  • Funds to travel to national/scientific conference
  • GRE preparation course
  • Program support for graduate school applications
  • Professional development workshops
  • Holistic mentoring from STEM Diversity staff
  • Must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment.
  • Participants must have a baccalaureate degree in a biomedically relevant science from an accredited college or university awarded no more than 36 months before applying to PREP, and must not be currently enrolled in a degree program. Parental, medical, or other well-justified leave for personal or family situations is not included in the 3-year eligibility limit, nor is national service (e.g., Peace Corps, or service in the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserves).
  • All individuals selected as participants should intend to apply to research-focused biomedical doctoral degree programs (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D.) during or immediately following completion of the PREP program.
The annual PREP application is due on the Last Friday of February.
Selection criteria
Applications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of staff and faculty. Selected candidates will be invited for an interview with staff and current scholars. Applicants will be evaluated based on a holistic review process of their applications, research interests, education/career goals, and aspirations.

How to apply

Click here to access the application

Application components:

You will need to upload the following documents with this online application – due the last Friday of February

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Unofficial Transcripts from each college or university that you attended (if you are selected, we will require official transcripts to be sent before the official start date)


  • Two letters of recommendation – due the first Friday of March
    • Your letter writers will receive an automated email request once you submit the online application
    • Recommenders should highlight the applicant’s potential for contributing to biomedical-related sciences, the applicant’s academic/personal potential, and statements about how the applicant will benefit from participating in the NIH-PREP program.
We accept scholars on a rolling admissions basis and will keep the application link active until we fill all six positions.
For questions and additional information about the application process, please contact our office at 831-459-4770 or send an email to