NIH Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) (R25) Solicitation

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary 

The over-arching goal of this NIGMS R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical workforce. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on research experiences and research experiences and courses for skills development. Applications are encouraged from research-intensive institutions that propose to equip recent baccalaureate science graduates from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences with the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue Ph.D. degrees in these fields. The program provides support for extensive research experiences and well-designed courses for skills development aimed at preparing individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to complete doctoral degrees.  

PREP applications are institutional in nature and should reflect the plans and priorities of the applicant institutions. PREPs should generate carefully designed, individualized student development plans (IDPs) that are compatible with the participants' curricular needs and experience, combined with research projects mentored by faculty members with active extramurally funded research programs. The development plans will typically be designed within the context of a one-year research education program to provide the necessary skills to prepare the participants for rigorous doctoral training programs. Participants should not be appointed for less than a year. NIGMS recognizes that each participant has individual needs and that a one-year program may not be sufficient for some to fully prepare to be competitive for graduate school. A second-year of support is allowable at the discretion of the PREP Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) if within the awarded costs of a particular program. This does not require NIGMS pre-approval, but should be used selectively for those participants who would benefit from a second year in the program. The second-year experience must enhance participants' competitiveness to enter a rigorous doctoral program and not simply allow participants more time to decide if they wish to obtain a graduate degree or to explore other career options. This program will not support individuals earning Master's degrees. Applications may request between five and ten postbaccalaureate positions for each year of the grant for individuals to engage in mentored research experiences and courses for skills development.

As postbaccalaureate scientists, the participants will be involved in independent research projects that will allow them to experience the fulfillment of discovery as scientists. They are expected to learn to develop their own hypotheses and design experiments to test them. The research environment should be supportive and favorable to learning and include opportunities for the participants to interact with graduate student peers, postdoctoral researchers, and other investigators who could contribute to their growth and will allow them to thrive in rigorous doctoral programs. PREP participants will be required to work as research postbaccalaureates at 9 person-months (75% full-time effort) and the other 3 person-months (25% full-time effort) will be for further skills development.

The academic preparations may include courses, workshops, seminars, supplemental instruction, or lectures that will enrich the quantitative and analytical skills of the participants.  The courses to be taken should be appropriate to the requirements for admission to and successful completion of rigorous doctoral programs.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST November 13, 2018

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST January 24, 2019

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (up to 3 pages): Please include the following elements: proposed research education program, program PI/faculty/participants, institutional environment and commitment, recruitment plan to enhance diversity, and evaluation plan. See solicitation for additional details on each of these elements.
  • Project Team (up to 2 pages): PI, program faculty, program participants – include title, institution, department, and project role for each.
  • Budget Overview (Up to 1 page): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


The applicant institution must be a research-intensive institution that has a significant number of faculty mentors with active and extramurally funded (such as R01 or equivalent) research programs to support adequate research and academic training of the participants. It must be an institution with strong Ph.D. degree programs in biomedical sciences that could provide excellent, challenging, and supportive peer groups for the PREP participants to interact and network with and also serve as peer mentors. The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.

The PD(s)/PI(s) must have a regular full-time appointment (i.e., not adjunct, part-time, retired, or emeritus) at the applicant institution. The PD(s)/PI(s) is responsible for ensuring that the PREP participants are placed in highly productive laboratories with faculty mentors who will provide the proper guidance and instruction for the participants. In consultation with the advisory committee, if one is included, the PD(s)/PI(s) should oversee the preparation and development of an IDP for each participant, as well as design program activities that will further enhance the academic preparation and research skills of the participants. The PD(s)/PI(s) should ensure that other institutional programs will complement the PREP activities, and allow sufficient occasion for the participants to interact with Ph.D. candidates as peers.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Only one application per institution is allowed.

Award Information

Award Amount: The total direct costs for each award are limited to $400,000 annually.

Award Duration: The total project period may not exceed 5 years.