Frequently Asked Questions

There are numerous resources online about how to identify and apply to postbaccalaureate programs like PREP.  One resource we recommend is Científico Latino's Youtube video of a presentation titled Overview of Post-bac/NIH-PREP Programs in the Biosciences. If you have any questions for OHSU PREP, please contact us at We look forward to hearing from you!

The goal of OHSU PREP is to provide individuals who are interested in pursing research-oriented graduate degrees (Ph.D. or Ph.D./M.D.). However, please be aware that OHSU PREP programming is specifically focused on preparation for research careers.

If you are interested in physician-specific postbaccalaureate programs, please visit the programs linked in the non-exhaustive list below.

This program is tailored to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical research workforce (for examples of groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences see the Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity).

In an effort to recruit a diverse pool or postbaccalaureate trainees, we encourage individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds in the biomedical sciences to apply. This includes:

  1. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. 
  2. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.  See NSF data at:
  3. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:
    1. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Definition:;
    2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families (Definition:;
    3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years (Definition:;
    4. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (see;
    5. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants (Definition:;
    6. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child (Definition:
    7. Grew up in one of the following areas: a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer (, or b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas  (qualifying zipcodes are included in the file). Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.
    8. Students from low socioeconomic (SES) status backgrounds have been shown to obtain bachelor’s and advanced degrees at significantly lower rates than students from middle and high SES groups (see, and are subsequently less likely to be represented in biomedical research. For background see Department of Education data at,;;

Literature shows that women from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences, women who are disabled, and women who from disadvantaged backgrounds all face particular challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields. (See, e.g., From the NIH: A Systems Approach to Increasing the Diversity of Biomedical Research Workforce ).

At the postbaccalaureate level, this does not include women. The NIH includes women as one of its underrepresented categories for faculty-level initiatives and programs that support recruitment, appointment, retention or advancement. 

Parental, medical, or other well-justified leave for personal or family situations is not included in the 3-year eligibility limit, nor is national service (e.g., Peace Corps, or service in the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserves). Please contact us before applying. 

July 1, 2024

OHSU PREP does not provide housing to scholars. However, we do provide recommendations on places to live as well as public transportation options. Additionally, in the past we have had incoming scholars find housing with other incoming scholars and with graduate students.

 Below are some places to start a housing search:

  • OHSU Housing Postings a public link to OHSU affiliated housing offers
  • OHSU Chuckslist an internal website for current OHSU affiliates
  • Craigslist is a common forum to post classifieds in the U.S., separated by city and state. Under the "housing" section, you can find apartments and roommates
  • Trulia housing search
  • Zillow housing search
  • Apartment List - housing search  

There are quite a few other NIGMS supported PREP participating institution. Each program has their own focus and it should be noted that they are all not equivalent in research areas. Check out the other ones on the NIGMS PREP website! Additional information can be found on the Society for Developmental Biology's Summary of NIH PREP Programs.