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Accepting applications for fall 2013
We shall carry out
interviews for our applicants for fall 2013 in March. If
you have applied please check that your letters of
recommendation and personal statement have been sent.
The USC PREP has now been
refunded by the National Institutes of Health until
2015. Please read about PREP below. We welcome
applications from qualified minority students and plan
to admit four or five USC-PREP scholars in the fall of
USC-PREP Scholars complete their doctoral degrees and
take up prestigious post-doctoral positions
The USC-PREP started in 2006
and around 75% of our PREP Scholars have entered
graduate school to pursue a PhD degree. The first PREP
Scholar to complete his doctoral degree was Dr Alvin McKelvy (pictured above). Alvin worked on pain with Dr
Sarah Sweitzer at the School of Medicine, Department of
Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience and is now a
post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University Medical
School. The second PREP Scholar to gain a PhD degree was
Dr Obiamaka Obianyo who worked with Dr Paul Thompson on
the synthesis of anti-cancer drugs in the USC Department
of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Obie is now at the The
Scripps Research Institute, Palm Beach, Florida
WELCOME TO THE POST - BACCALAUREATE RESEARCH EDUCATION
PROGRAM FOR MINORITY STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH
Minority students tend to be under-represented in biomedical
programs. For example, approximately
30% of the population of South Carolina is African American
but fewer than 10% of the applicants to the Biomedical
Sciences Ph.D. programs at the University of South Carolina
School of Medicine and the USC Department of
Biological Sciences Ph.D. program are African Americans.
are a variety of reasons for this:
A lack of information about biomedical
A lack of experience in laboratory work
The potential applicant’s perception that
his/her educational qualifications (i.e. GRE scores and GPA) are not
good enough for admission.
Financial considerations: Many minority
students feel the need to enter the workplace immediately after gaining
a baccalaureate degree because of high levels of debt. Often they are
unaware of the availability of graduate fellowships.
remedy the under-representation of minorities in scientist training
programs, the National Institutes of Health have created the
POST-BACCALAUREATE RESEARCH EDUCATION PROGRAM
(PREP). The University of South Carolina School of Medicine and the
University of South Carolina Department of Biology together with faculty
in other science departments started a PREP program in January 2005.
PREP program seeks to increase the level of qualified minority
applicants to our graduate programs by offering minority students the
opportunity to work in biomedical research laboratories while preparing
for Graduate School.
Specifically, we have created a program that will permit minority students
who have an interest in graduate school in biomedicine to:
Spend up to two years working as an employee in a federally-funded
biomedical research laboratory to learn the nature of research in
general and specific biomedical techniques in particular. The PREP
scholar will receive research and academic guidance from faculty mentors
as well as advanced graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. As a
result, the Scholar will have the opportunity to demonstrate his/her
aptitude for research and determine whether biomedical research is the
right career choice. In addition, the PREP scholar will earn a salary
for two years that is high enough to help him/her pay off some debt.
Take graduate level biomedical courses to demonstrate an ability to
handle the intellectual requirements of graduate education. This should
also give the PREP scholars a good start in their future formal graduate
education since graduate credits obtained as PREP scholars will be
Correct deficiencies in their undergraduate education through tutorials
or appropriate coursework.
Learn about the ethics and responsibilities of biomedical research.
Have an opportunity to present their research at local and national
meetings and ultimately publish it in peer-reviewed journals.
ultimate goal of the program is to prepare the PREP scholars for
acceptance into a doctoral program in some area of biomedical research.
PREP Scholars Program is housed primarily in the Department of
Biological Sciences and the School of Medicine but faculty from the
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and
the School of Pharmacy will participate as well. This program will
be developed in association with several nearby historically black
colleges and universities that are located in South and North Carolina.
PREP Scholars are recruited from all regions of the United States.
Please use the Future
Student menu at the top of the page to learn more about
applying and about the program in detail
You may always return to
the home page by clicking on the PREP logo at the top