THE PREP SCHOLARS PROGRAM is designed to offer specific academic, cultural and social activities. Some of these activities will be completed in one academic quarter (10-12 weeks) and others will continue throughout the academic year. Scholars may also take an academic graduate course each quarter. Throughout the year, Scholars attend workshops, meetings, and cultural events with other PREP Scholars, and are encouraged to attend seminars, research meetings, and a scientific conference with their lab group.
PREP WORKSHOPS cover preparation for the graduate school application: the admissions process, application procedure, institution selection, personal statement development, and interviewing skills. Other workshops cover preparing an individual development plan (IDP), oral presentation skills, dealing with implicit bias, and navigating graduate school, among other topics.
PREP ACTIVITIES include a lab techniques bootcamp, orientation, lab rotations to choose a mentor (if necessary), self-assessments, laboratory research, travel to a national conference such as SACNAS or ABRCMS, graduate courses, and the weekly PREP Journal Club. Scholars also take a writing course and an ethics course, interview for graduate school, and present their research at a final PREP Symposium in June.
PREP SCHOLARS have access to a variety of professional development opportunities at the University of Chicago, including myCHOICE career seminars, a UChicago SACNAS chapter with a local Symposium, and an annual Midwest Regional PREP/IMSD Research Symposium. PREP Scholars interact with IMSD graduate students throughout the year, including those involved in the Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team (GRIT). GRIT is committed to enhancing diversity, inclusion, and equity across the graduate school, and offers events throughout the year aimed at increasing community, support, and networks for students from marginalized backgrounds.
Alexandria Bobe (PREP class of 2012): “Support from the other PREP scholars, grad students, faculty, and PREP staff pointed me in the direction of success.”
Dr. Brandon Hatcher (Prep Alum 2007): “The PREP program gave me the confidence and experience needed to be successful in graduate school. In addition, the skills I learned apply to traditional research settings (i.e., running a laboratory) as well as related scientific fields. I use the skills I learned from PREP daily, and I am grateful for my time in the program.”