Applying to Tufts PREP

Scholar working in lab

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) offers one-year research apprenticeships for recent college graduates who are interested in pursuing research careers in the biomedical sciences. This program, Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP), is designed for individuals who are curious about biological phenomena, enjoy their science and mathematics classes and have a passionate interest in making discoveries. Apprentices spend 75% of their time as research assistants investigating a scientific problem under faculty guidance. The remainder of their time is devoted to classes, workshops, and individualized study that can range from professional development and GRE preparation to advanced graduate courses. Salary plus benefits are provided.

Program Eligibility

The PREP is funded by a federal grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by GSBS  and is designed to increase the training possibilities for those currently under-represented in biomedical science research as defined by the NIH. Currently, these include, but are not limited to, African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and people with disabilities. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in a biomedically relevant science from an accredited college or university awarded no more than 36 months prior to applying to a PREP. In addition, applicants must be US citizens or US permanent residents.

Application Deadline

The application period closes on March 1. Applications arriving after the due date will be considered by the admissions committee only if positions remain available. Opportunities are very limited and early inquiries are encouraged. Occasionally applications are accepted at times other than the normal period. Inquire with the PREP directly to determine if any positions are available. Admission is based on the application, references and interviews.

Selection Criteria

The goal of the PREP is to prepare trainees for leadership in biomedical research and for entry into PhD or MD/PhD programs that will lead to these careers. Successful applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to pursue this type of training. Commitment will be assessed based on the personal statement and past research experience. Prior participation in research activity during undergraduate training or as a part of a work experience is desirable, but not required. Letters of recommendation that specifically address an applicant's commitment to research are also very important. Successful applicants should have undergraduate academic preparation that relates to biomedical sciences and have performed in these courses at a level that indicates their ability to succeed in graduate school. Applications from candidates with a primary interest in careers involving health care delivery are not encouraged.


The PREP interviews applicants when possible but cannot cover any of the costs of travel to Tufts. Virtual interviews are common practice and applicants to the program who are in the Boston area are invited to visit our campus and discuss the PREP with faculty leadership.

Required Application Documents

  • Application Form
  • Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts

Information on the each of these components is provided below.

  • The application form can be accessed on the GSBS online application portal.

  • Please upload a personal statement to the online application written in separate segments (with the exception of segment 1, each segment should not exceed 250 words) addressing the following topics:

    1. Describe your research experiences, including the question you were working on, the approaches utilized, major findings and conclusions. Explain why they addressed a significant scientific problem, worthy of study and what you learned from each of these research experiences. (Do not exceed 750 words)
    2. Describe an instance in which you provided leadership to other people. This might have happened during school, or in a laboratory, in sports or on vacation or anywhere at any time – your choice.
    3. If you are successful in obtaining graduate research training, what job do you expect to hold twenty years from now? Explain why you currently think this will be right for you.
    4. Why are you applying to PREP rather than graduate school or medical school, now? What is the most important area of training you expect to obtain from PREP?
    5. How have you contributed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the past? How do you see yourself contributing to these efforts as part of the Tufts GSBS community and later in your career?
    6. If you feel that you have overcome particular difficulties in achieving an education, please describe these circumstances.
    7. Please, let us know about any other factors that you haven’t communicated elsewhere that we should consider in evaluating your application.
  • In the online application under Recommendations on the left hand navigation, applicants are required to list the names and information of three persons who are willing to write letters of recommendation appraising their potential to succeed in the PREP. Your recommenders will be sent an email providing instructions and a link to the online recommendation system and a second email confirming his/her letter of recommendation has been submitted. You will also receive a confirmation email each time a recommender submits his/her letter for you. All letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online system.

    If you have had previous research experience, one or more of your letters should come from your research advisor(s). The remaining letter(s) may come from a faculty member, employer, director of your MARC or MBRS program or another appropriate person.

  • Please upload a scanned copy or digital facsimile of your transcript from all colleges and universities you have attended. You may upload those pages as single- or multi-page PDF or each page as a JPEG or TIFF image file. Your scanned document may be large and may take several minutes to upload depending on the speed of your connection.

    Information on Scanning Transcripts

    • If your transcript has a social security number on it, black it out before scanning
    • Upload the transcript key on the back of your transcript(s). Only one is necessary per transcript.
    • Upload transcripts as pdf, .doc, .jpg, or .tiff
    • Scanned documents must be clearly legible
    • Transcript(s) must have the student's name and college/university name to be accepted

    International School Transcripts

    For all transcripts that are not in English, a translated copy must accompany the original. If the issuing university is unable to provide an English translation, please submit the transcript to a verifying institution. Verifying institutions include an education ministry, a translation service, or an accreditation service such as the Worldwide Education Service or the International Education Research Foundation. The translated copy of the transcript should be notarized and submitted along with the original transcript in a sealed envelope by the verifying body. Also, please be sure to follow the scanning instructions above.

    Official Transcripts

    If you are offered admission, you will be required to submit official hard copies of your transcripts in signed and sealed envelopes through the mail or electronically via Safe Script or The National Clearing House. Transcripts should be mailed directly from the institution to the GSBS Dean’s Office, at the address listed below (under "Contact Information"). All official transcripts must be received before being allowed to matriculate at our school.

Contact Information

Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program
Tufts University School of Medicine
M&V 501
136 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617-636-6836