The objective of the University of California Santa Cruz Post-Baccalaureate Research Program (PREP) is 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 scholars will be appointed for 9 months (max 24 months).

Program Director

Amount & use
  • $26,000 annual salary (75% time status as a Junior Specialist for 9 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
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Graduated or in the process of graduating with a baccalaureate degree in a biomedically-relevant science or engineering discipline, from an accredited U.S. college or university, no more than 36 months prior to applying to PREP, and are not currently enrolled in a graduate degree program.
  • Must belong to groups considered underrepresented in the biomedical sciences as defined by the NIH to include individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (socially, culturally, economically, or educationally). Applications are especially encouraged from students who are African American/Black; Hispanic/Latino American; Native American Indian/Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
  • Will apply to a Ph.D. program in a biomedically relevant science in the fall of their first year in PREP.
The annual PREP application is due on the second Friday of March.
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 interest, education/career goals, and aspirations.

How to apply

Grant renewal in progress. There will be no NIH PREP program at UCSC in 2023-2024.

Only completed applications will be reviewed. Please make sure you submit your online application and supplemental documents on time.

Application components:

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

  • 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)

Your letter writers will send their letters separately by email to – due 3rd Friday of March.

  • Two letters of recommendation (sent directly from the recommenders to, there will NOT be an automated system request.
  • 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