The Science Training for Advancing biomedical Research Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (STAR-PREP) is a 1-year mentored research training program designed to encourage and prepare recent baccalaureate graduates coming from underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences for successful entry into a top-notch graduate program. The program is intended for students who are interested in obtaining additional skills to prepare them for entry into a PhD programs. The program is not for students who are interested in applying to MD programs.

STAR-PREP is supported by an NIH PREP R25 grant through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. It is administered by The University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) and the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) at the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) campus. The program also receives support from the Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS) at the UMB campus.

STAR-PREP scholars receive:

  • A competitive salary 
  • Health benefits
  • Tuition remission for courses deemed necessary to enhance preparedness for graduate school
  • Ability to take graduate courses at the University of Maryland Baltimore campus or undergraduate courses at other University of Maryland Universities.
  • The program will also pay for some travel expenses for scholars to attend or present at scientific conferences
  • Additional funding from GPILS will pay for a GRE test prep course
  • A 50% fee reduction waiver from ETS for the general GRE and/or subject GRE test‌


UMB STAR-PREP is intended for recent baccalaureate graduates who have a strong desire to pursue a research doctorate.

Please ensure that you meet all of the following criteria before applying:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Must belong to a group that is underrepresented in biomedical research.  Per NIH guidelines, the following are the racial/ethnic groups currently underrepresented in biomedical sciences: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.  Students with a disability and students from educationally, culturally, socially, and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds are also eligible to apply.
  • Must have a baccalaureate degree in a biomedically related science obtained within the last 3 years or will be receiving a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S college or university before entry into the program.
  • Strong interest in pursuing a PhD within two years of admission into PREP.
  • There is no cutoff GPA at this time, however applicants must show academic evidence of a commitment to science. Prior research experience will be viewed favorably.
  • Must not be enrolled in any graduate program for the duration of PREP’s 12-month period.


All application material including letters of recommendation, CV/resume, transcripts, photo, and essays are due by 01/31/2024 to be included in the regular review.
10/30/2023 01/31/2024
Have more questions?
Tierra Johnson
(410) 706-8097