Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)

PREP Class of 2023 - 2024
PREP Class of 2023- 2024

The application is open from December 1 through April 30

Post-baccalaureate Research Education Programs are funded by the NIH at selected universities around the United States with the goal of increasing diversity in the biomedical research workforce, which in turn will be better equipped to address and reduce health disparities.

MUSC PREP provides a one-year intensive research and professional development program for individuals with a keen interest in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.* in the biomedical sciences. Participants will engage in full-time activities to ready themselves for graduate school and a career in scientific research. Individuals accepted into the program will be full-time employees of the Medical University of South Carolina and receive salary support for 12 months.

This program is designed to enhance the success of participants as they apply to Ph.D. programs and beyond in their research careers. Please note that successful completion of this program is in no way a guarantee of an interview or acceptance into a Ph.D. program at MUSC or anywhere else.

PREP is designed to support students in the field of biomedical research. This program is not a fit for those interested in going to professional school (MD, PA, dentistry, etc).

*For students interested in the MD/PhD pathway, we will request your current MCAT score as part of your admission decision to PREP.

PREP Provides


  • Hands-on introduction to benchwork techniques summer course
  • Hypothesis-driven laboratory research project with experienced, dedicated mentors

Professional Development

  • Individualized professional development plans and personalized coaching sessions
  • Workshops and numerous presentation opportunities to improve scientific communication skills
  • Travel to national scientific conferences
  • Preparation for the GRE, graduate school applications, and interviews
  • Graduate-level coursework and research ethics training


  • Inclusion in a diverse, vibrant community of biomedical scientists at all levels of training
  • Monthly research meetings with current Ph.D. students from underrepresented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Career exploration and networking with Ph.D.'s in traditional and nontraditional career paths

Financial Considerations

  • $32,000 annual salary
  • Tuition
  • Travel allowance
  • Reimbursement for health insurance up to $2,000
  • Relocation support

New NIH Eligibility

  • U.S. Citizens or permanent residents with a keen interest in entering a Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D. program from populations underrepresented in the Biomedical Sciences. This includes Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:
    • Were or are currently homeless
    • Were or currently are in the foster care system
    • Were eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program for two or more years
    • Have had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree
    • Were or currently eligible for Pell Grant
    • Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
    • Grew up in one of the following areas: US rural areas or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services designated low-income and health professional shortage areas

For more complete information regarding eligibility, see the link for the full notice:

NIH Eligibility Notice

Meet our past and current PREP Scholars

For More Information

For additional questions about the program, please contact program directors Dr. Paula Traktman, Dr. Kristine DeLeon-Pennell and Bradley Elwood at

The following websites may be of interest:

Estimated costs of living for South Carolina

Individual Development Plans

NIH Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity

Postdoctoral Information

The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

Southern Regional Education Board (has a doctoral scholarship program)

PREP By the Numbers


Matriculated into Ph.D. programs


Retained in their Ph.D. programs


Presented at a national conference during PREP


Had a publication from their PREP research


Working in Health-related fields


Working in Biotech


Working in other fields


First year of PREP at MUSC


PREP scholars graduated with a Ph.D.


Number of current scholars


Scholar pursuing an MD/PhD


Total number of scholars who participated in our program

*4 scholars were supported by non-NIH funding