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Center On Health Disparities

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Postbaccalaureate Research Program (VCU PREP)

Program Description

The VCU Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (VCU PREP) is a one-year biomedical research training program for recent college graduates in groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. The program is designed for those with the goal of completing a PhD in the biomedical sciences. The program provides scholars with a year-long, paid, mentored research experience and the opportunity to develop technical and critical-thinking skills. PREP Scholars have the opportunity to take a GRE preparation course and graduate level courses. The program provides individual and formal advice on selection of PhD programs, preparation of graduate school applications, and preparation for PhD program interviews.

PREP scholars receive a competitive salary in the amount of $29,120 for the year. At the end of the program, they will have the skills necessary to successfully compete for admission into a biomedical PhD program at VCU or another institution. 

Program Successes

Almost 90% of former VCU PREP trainees have furthered their education by continuing on to graduate school. Many have chosen to join VCU PhD programs, and others have gone on to programs at Cornell, University of North Carolina, University of New Mexico, University of California Los Angeles, University of Illinois Chicago, etc.



Eligible applicants must have graduated from college before the start of program on July 1. Students must be interested in pursuing a PhD or an MD/PhD. Applicants must have graduated in the last three years to be considered eligible. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or non-citizen nationals. Proof of citizenship or resident status will be required before the start of the program.


Application Process

Scholars should apply using the online application and will need to complete a personal statement, provide three letters of recommendation from faculty members, and submit transcripts from all universities previously attended. Unofficial transcripts may be submitted to apply to the program, but official transcripts are required before the start of the program. 
The application opens November 15th and the extended deadline is March 20th at 11:59 P.M.

  • Submit supplemental documents (letters of recommendation and unofficial transcripts) via email to
  • All applications and supplemental documents must be submitted by the extended deadline of March 20th. 

Qualified candidates are granted telephone interviews prior to acceptance.

For questions about VCU PREP, please contact

VCU-PREP program flyer - accepting applications from 11.15.20 to 3.15.21 - email - apply at [View Image]

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