UO PREP Biology program

Prep bio timeline starting with the summer bridge program and ending with graduate school

Program to Increase Resilience and Enhance Persistence in Biomedical Sciences

UO PREP Bio is a National Institutes of Health funded, one-year post-baccalaureate program serving scholars from underrepresented groups in health-related sciences including individuals from historically excluded groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds on their journey to advanced biomedical degree programs. PREP Bio emphasizes community building and uses evidence-based methods to support diverse scholars and further their development of technical skills, professional savvy, and persistence.

Through the UO PREP Bio experience, scholars prepare for and apply to PhD programs.  Our goal is to help position these scholars to start their doctoral studies strong, sustain their scientific research, and ultimately leave their mark on the greater field of biomedical research.

bold typeface logo saying PREP BIO with blue and green molecules

Application  Schedule

Applications for the UO PREP Bio 2024-2025 cohort are now closed.

Apply Now

Application Components

Answers to the following questions (5000 characters each)
  • Please explain how you meet the NIH criteria as a member of a group underrepresented in biomedical research science.
  • Please describe how participation in this program could benefit your future educational and career goals.
  • We believe that everyone "brings something to the table" from their own experiences that can be used to benefit and strengthen our communities. Please describe a quality or personality trait you have that you can use to strengthen your community.
Write a personal statement articulating the following (5000 characters)
  • Past research experience 
  • Current scientific interests and career goals 
  • Life experiences that have brought you to apply to UO PREP Bio 
  • Contributions to diversity 
Name and email addresses for 2 references


Application FAQ


  • I did a research internship at U Oregon/I graduated from U Oregon. Can I apply to UO PREP Bio?

    • Yes, we are happy to receive applications from students who have prior connections to the UO. However, to increase their breadth in biomedical research, students with prior UO research experience who are admitted to PREP Bio will be placed in labs other than ones in which they did undergraduate research.
  • I’m not a U Oregon student. Can I apply to UO PREP Bio?

    • Of course!  We welcome applicants from outside the university, provided you meet the eligibility criteria specified by the NIH.
  • What are the criteria for eligibility?

  • I’m a DACA recipient. Am I eligible for your PREP?

    • NIH funding requires that PREP scholars be US citizens or permanent residents. While we endeavor to find funding for all qualified scholars, we do not have funding that allows us to support a DACA recipient. Our understanding is that the following PREP sites do have funding for DACA scholars:
    • Colorado University Anschutz, PIKE-PREP
    • Northwestern, NU PREP
    • Stanford University, REACH Postbaccalaureate Program
    • University of Rochester Medical College, URMC-PREP
    • postbac funded by the American Cancer Society
    • industrial postbac funded by Novartis

What’s next?

  • Do I email my application to you?

    • No, you need to submit it through the application submission platform here.
  • Who are the program faculty?

    • Here is a list of potential faculty mentors for UO PREP Bio
  • It’s March and I just learned about your cool program! Can I still apply?

    • Applications will continue to be accepted, but those received after 29 February will only be considered if positions have not yet been filled.
  • What can I do if I’m not admitted to UO PREP Bio?

    • apply to other postbacc programs.
    • Apply to a master’s program. Master’s programs come in two main flavors: coursework + thesis, and coursework only. Either way, you gain experience and knowledge. If you apply to universities that offer only the MS, you will be first in line for TA and RAships, whereas at many universities that offer both graduate degrees, doctoral students have higher priority for financial support. Dr Stacy Farina from Howard University has created a list of funded MS programs.
    • Volunteer in the lab of a faculty member — perhaps a former research mentor? If you can swing the finances, this can work: we know of a student who volunteered part time in a faculty lab for three months, got a paid position in that lab after that, and was admitted to a PhD program later that year.
    • Search for other options at www.pathwaystoscience.org
  • I have a question not addressed here.

    • Please email us. We’re happy to help you with specifics.

Areas of research

UO PREP Bio scholars will select a faculty research mentor at the UO.  The university offers a range of specialty areas, including:

Evolutionary Biology
Data Science
Biomedical Engineering
Human Physiology
Molecular Biology
Computational Biology

Program FAQ

  • Who is eligible for UO Bio Prep?

    • Eligible applicants are individuals with identities underrepresented in health-related sciences including individuals from historically excluded racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged economic backgrounds. Eligible applicants will have completed their undergraduate degree by June 2024 in biology, chemistry, physiology, data science, or a related field.  The program is designed to support participants who plan to apply and attend a PhD program in STEM. Eligible applicants demonstrate a clear desire to earn a PhD.  In this first year, participation is limited to US citizens and permanent residents.
  • Do I need research experience to join UO Bio Prep?

    • Some research experience is useful to support the scholar’s informed desire to do further research as a PhD student.  That said, we welcome applications from students with limited research experience, particularly those who attended colleges and universities with limited research infrastructure.
  • When does UO Bio Prep start?

    • UO Bio Prep begins with a summer bridge program in June 2024 and the program runs through the academic year, ending May 2025.
  • Where is UO Bio Prep held?

    • UO Bio Prep happens in the beautiful southern Willamette Valley on Kalapuya land in Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is a small community, with just over 170,000 residents. As a college town, it has unique shops, vintage stores, food markets, and tons of restaurants. The Pacific Northwest also has a thriving outdoor scene, and in addition to the beautiful trails and the river path in Eugene, there are countless hikes and opportunities for outdoor adventures nearby. Eugene is an hour from the ocean and two hours from the mountains. Not to be missed is the Eugene Saturday Market, which features local artists, food trucks, and a farmer’s market. The Willamette Valley is also well known for its wineries and breweries.
  • How will this help me move towards a PhD?

    • In UO Bio Prep, your main activity will be scientific research as a member of a research lab.  By practicing research, you’ll develop the necessary experience for competitive PhD program applications.  You’ll also be supported through:
    • Regular supportive meetings with your research faculty mentor and near-peer mentor;
    • Professional development workshops to support your scientific writing, development of graduate school applications, computational skills, and more;
    • Access to extensive advanced coursework to fill in any gaps in knowledge;
    • Cohort and community building at UO and beyond to support sense of belonging in science; and
    • Support in choosing schools and programs to apply to, as well as for the development of your graduate school application package.
  • What is the financial support?

    • Each UO Bio PREP scholar is awarded a stipend of $36,500 for the year, as well as full benefits for medical, dental, vision, and more.  Each scholar will also have 10 weeks of free housing on campus during the summer bridge.


Nadia Singh headshot

Nadia Singh

Primary program director

Dr Singh provides strategic oversight and oversees UO PREP Bio’s design, administration, coordination, and evaluation.

The Singh Lab

Rori Rohlfs headshot

Rori Rohlfs

Supporting program director

Dr Rohlfs brings extensive experience in running large research programs serving students from historically excluded groups.

The Rohlfs Lab

A black lady leading a meeting


Program coordinator

This could be you! We are hiring! Please let us know if you are interested!