Post-baccalaureate Research Education Programs (PREP) and how they can help you decide what to do next.

If you are a student interested in going to medical school or getting a PhD in biomedical science, but you are not too sure about yourself, not sure where to start, or maybe you need to improve your academic standing, consider applying to one of the 41 Post baccalaureate Research Education program (PREP) that are offered in over 20 different states across the country.

I started my pursuits with one semester of lab experience. During that experience, the only thing I learned was PCR. When I started my experience as a PREP student, I knew nothing about molecular biology. On the first day on the job, I was brought in to speak with the professor I was to work with. He oversaw a virology lab. He asked me, “what do you know about viruses?” He cut me off seven seconds into my explanation, gave me a book and told me to come back once I have read the assigned chapters. I came in knowing nothing, and I left knowing how to succeed.

The PREP programs are designed to go for 1-2 years where you live on your own, work along side faculty and graduate student either helping on a project or on an independent project.  They facilitate your test preparation, help you apply to schools and mentor you on anything else that might be going on in your life. The PREP program offered me an opportunity to experience the life of a graduate student before becoming one. I found this to be useful because it a was chance to see what is out there, take it in, and evaluate how it fits into my long-term goals.

See the link below to find out which ones are in your area and who you need to contact to apply.

https://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/PREP/Pages/PartInstPREP.aspx#IL

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