Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

PREP Curriculum


The Curriculum consists of three components: Academics, Research and Professional Development. PREP Scholars spend three-fourths time as technicians to conduct research at the frontier of biomedical science and one-fourths time in educational activities at a salary of $34,000 per year, plus benefits. The program director works with each scholar to identify a research mentor that best matches each scholar's interests and goals. Scholars participate intellectually in lab research and through directed reading of the scientific literature, lab meetings, journal presentations and discussions, and conferences that relate to their research field.


The academic training of BCM PREP Scholars includes:

  • A foundational knowledge refresher in Molecular and Cellular Biology. There is an opportunity to take a graduate level course.
  • BCM PREP Director's course provides an introduction to reading and evaluating the scientific literature, develop critical thinking skills and scientific communication skills in round table discussions and presentations, formulate a new research direction or next step of experimentation that goes beyond the research findings.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research
  • A required training that complies with the recommendations of the National Institutes of Health for instruction in areas of authorship, research ethics regarding humans and animals, rigor and reproducibility and collaboration.

Research Areas

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has seven interdisciplinary Ph.D. graduate programs that integrate related research across basic science and clinical departments and academic centers. Because our faculty members have the freedom to elect to join programs based on their research interests rather than being locked into a department structure, you will interact with faculty who bring diverse research backgrounds and perspectives to your chosen field of study. 

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Students complete up to three (3) laboratory research rotations of their choice within the first six weeks of the program before selecting a research mentor and home lab of their interest.

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Professional Development

These sessions mentor students on career development, graduate school applications and interviews, and conference poster and oral research presentations.

  • Graduate application workshops – guided workshops to assist in developing and organizing a competitive application and preparation for interviews.
  • Entering Research workshop – scholars learn skills in communication and research survival training delivered by the certified facilitators of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). 
  • Faculty and peer mentorship – scholars receive faculty and peer mentoring to inspire and motivate participants to strive for excellence as they become members of the scientific community. 
  • National Research Conference – scholars have an opportunity to prepare for and attend ABCRMS, one of the largest communities of researchers and educators who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 
  • Special Interest Groups – scholars are welcome to join and participate in the IMSD sponsored student organizations which include the Association for Graduate Student Diversity, Black Scientist Collective, Hispanic Men/Women in Science, SACNAS and Spectrum (LGBTQ+). 
  • Optional NSF-GRFP application workshop – this competitive graduate research fellowship program supports outstanding students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based doctoral degrees. 
  • Graduate Program Visits – scholars attend a variety of graduate program recruiting seminars and panel discussions including at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.