Duke has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a one-year postbaccalaureate program for students interested in pursuing a PhD or MD/PhD in the biomedical sciences and basic sciences. The $1.2 million, five-year grant establishes the Duke Preparing Research Scholars in Biomedical Sciences Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PRIME-PREP), which will provide an immersive paid research experience for students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in science and medicine.
Duke PRIME-PREP will begin in July 2023 with seven scholars. Over 12 months, the scholars will gain lab experience, receive professional development, and have the opportunity to be mentored by Duke researchers from all sciences, both within Duke University School of Medicine and Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. The program will also provide funding for travel to conferences.
Applications for Duke PRIME-PREP are now open. The deadline to apply is Feb. 17. The program is open to students from any university, including Duke. Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree in the biomedical or behavioral sciences within the last 36 months and must belong to underrepresented groups in these sciences as defined by the National Institutes of Health.
The aim of the program is to prepare scholars to apply to graduate programs or medical school. “The main benefit to the students is the program gives them time to pause before going into a PhD or MD/PhD program and gain insight into what's necessary to be successful, to strengthen any skills in areas where there is room for growth and development, and to be connected with research mentors,” said Johnna Frierson, PhD.
Frierson is one of three co-principal investigators of the program who will also serve as mentors. The other co-principal investigators are Gerard Blobe, MD, PhD, and Micah Luftig, PhD.