PREP Program

NOTICE: NEW Post-Baccalaureate Research Experience (PREP) Pilot Program

What is the PREP Stepping Stone Pilot Program?
About 10 years ago, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences-NIH, instituted a new
program, PREP, which is an acronym for Post-baccalaureate Research Experience Program. It pays
students as research technicians, who for one reason or another did not apply to a graduate program
on time or did not get into one, but they want to. The PREP Program of the NIH pays them a good
technician salary and provides tuition remission, as they are expected to not only do research as a
tech, but to also take graduate courses, with the intention of (re-)applying to a doctoral program within
a year, or at maximum, two years. PREP provides one, and a maximum of two, years of support.
Our good friend and colleague at the NIH, Dr. Shiva Singh, who is now the Branch Chief of the
Diversity Programs of the Training and Workforce Development and Diversity Division (TWD) of
NIGMS, recommended that at RU-N we apply for a PREP grant, but before applying we should obtain
pilot data that would demonstrate student, faculty and institutional commitment to the program.
Chancellor Cantor and Dean Farmbry have agreed to fund development of a PREP pilot program,
Dean Farmbry recommending the term, “Stepping Stone”.

PREP Stepping Stone Pilot Program components:

Support for students: There is now support for 5 students @ $15,000/yr plus tuition remission for no
more than two courses per semester.
Eligibility requirements: U.S. citizen or green card holder (NIH requirement), demonstrated prior
research talent and experience, 3 letters of recommendation attesting to the student’s potential for
doctoral study, graduate school application.
Administration of the program: Professor Roger Lalancette has agreed to be the Director of the pilot
program, and Ms. Wendy Birbano, currently the Program Coordinator of our MBRS Program, has
agreed to assist in the administration of the program. Professor Barry Komisaruk has agreed to
assist in the subsequent preparation of a PREP grant application to the NIGMS-NIH.
Application procedure: Chairpersons in the behavioral/biomedical-related units of RU-N should, upon
consultation with their faculty and appropriate students, nominate student(s) who they believe are
eligible for, and would benefit from, this PREP pilot program by notifying Prof. Roger Lalancette via
email ( The student(s) should fill in the attached application form and
send or deliver it to Wendy Birbano (, in Smith Hall, room 304.
Deadline for nominations: September 1 for fall and January 1 for spring
Expectation of student performance: Each student will perform research supervised by a faculty
mentor who, after each semester, will report on the student’s potential for succeeding in doctoral
research and coursework. Depending on the student’s GRE status, he/she should take the GRE
preparatory course arranged by Dr. Kinna Perry, and the GRE exam.
Recruitment/participating departments: A student’s entry into the Program could start as early as the
upcoming Fall semester, 2017.
Admission process: A faculty representative from each department to which a student applies will be
invited to serve on the Admission Committee, and the Committee will meet to discuss and prioritize
the applicants for admission.
Evaluation of the program: The Admission Committee will meet at the end of each semester to make
recommendations to the participating departments as to the suitability of each student for their regular
doctoral program, with the expectation of potential acceptance into the unit’s doctoral program