Postbaccalaureate Research & Education Program

The program integrates cutting-edge research experiences with coursework directed at improving the depth and breadth of science knowledge and enhancing critical thinking and communication skills. Immersion in Scripps Research's PREP experience, working alongside graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, will provide students with the knowledge and confidence required to take on the challenges of graduate-level research and beyond.

By participating in PREP at Scripps Research, students will:

  1. Improve critical thinking skills;
  2. Develop effective communication skills;
  3. Increase scientific knowledge and the skills to acquire and apply scientific knowledge;
  4. Design experiments and evaluate techniques to conduct the biomedical research;
  5. Develop data analysis and interpretation skills;
  6. Know when to apply research-related ethics and standards;
  7. Develop teambuilding skills; and
  8. Become lifelong learners. 


Program Dates

July 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019

Students will have the option to continue through June 30, 2020 dependent upon need; subject to approval of the mentor and program director.

Upon acceptance to the Postbaccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP) at Scripps Research, students will select a research mentor and laboratory based upon their research interests and background. During the first summer of the program, every student will join their independent research laboratory with the support of our Integrated Research Skills course.

PREP Student Experience

Included below is a representation of a PREP student's typical day during the first summer:

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Attend Integrated Research Skills course, which involves experiences in the classroom and laboratory that integrate:
  • Written and verbal scientific communication;
  • Quantitative data analysis and presentation; and
  • Lab experiences in synthetic biology, molecular genetics, cell biology and structural biology.

1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Mentored independent research


Studying and/or personal activities

Having completed the summer program, PREP students will immerse themselves in their independent research programs in mentors' laboratories, accompanied by courses directed toward increasing research skills and acquiring scientific knowledge.

Below is a typical day during the remainder of the student's academic year:

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Initiate the day's experimental activities in the research laboratory

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Attend a graduate-level course on a topic of the student’s choice, or continue research

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Continue day’s experiments

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Attend a seminar, scientific communication course or laboratory group meeting


Conclude the day’s experiments, study and/or personal activities

Program Tuition

Total tuition for the program is $7,500 per year. All students who submit an application for PREP will also be considered for a scholarship to offset program costs. Scholarships will be awarded to students based on merit and to ensure diversity and inclusion.

Scripps Research does not provide or compensate students for housing or transportation costs. All applicants should be able to make their own arrangements for housing and reliable transprtation to and from Scripps Research.


Sample Lab Projects

Acceptance into the Postbaccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP) at Scripps Research is awarded on a competitive basis to recent college graduates who are United States citizens or permanent residents, or international students who graduated from a U.S. college, with a minimum grade point average of 3.2. International students studying abroad are not eligible.

Applicants who received their undergraduate degree (graduated) less than two years prior to the start of PREP are eligible for the program.

A special emphasis is placed on identifying and recruiting students who are historically underrepresented in the sciences (i.e., African-American, Hispanic, Native Pacific Islander or Native American students, or students who are the first in their family to attend college).

Representatives from Scripps Research participate in recruiting events at several conferences and universities.

The application period for 2018 is now closed. All application materials must be received by May 15. The application will be deactivated at 11:59 p.m. PST on that date. Early submission is highly encouraged.

Application Components

The following materials must be received in order for your application to be considered complete; incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.

  1. Submit an application online. Click the red button in the left column to open the application.
  2. Request transcripts from all colleges or universities attended; the transcripts should be mailed by the school to the Office of Educational Outreach.
  3. Address the following topics in short essays: What area of scientific research most interests you? Please include any Scripps Research faculty members who may be working in your area of interest. What benefits do you hope to gain from the PREP Program?
  4. A minimum of two letters of recommendation from faculty who can assess your potential for research. Since previous laboratory research experience is one of the most important factors considered by the selection committee, at least one of the letters provided must be from a former or current research advisor or research supervisor. Recommenders can submit letters of recommendation one of two ways: via email or by mailing letters directly to the Office of Educational Outreach. Click here for mailing address.

If you have questions regarding your application, please contact the Office of Educational Outreach.