Science Training for Advancing Biomedical Research Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (STAR-PREP) is a one-year mentored research training program.
The Science Training for Advancing Biomedical Research Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (STAR-PREP) is a one-year mentored research training program. It is designed to encourage and build skills that prepare recent science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) baccalaureate graduates coming from underrepresented (UR) groups in the biomedical sciences, for successful matriculation into top-notch graduate programs.
In addition to rigorous classroom and lab experiences, STAR-PREP provides a sense of belonging to these young scientists. Through their experience, students come to feel like they are a part of the University. In just five years, STAR-PREP has helped 95 percent of the scholars completing the program to ascend to PhD, MD-PhD, MD-MS and MD programs. Seventy-eight percent of the alumni have risen to rigorous PhD and MD-PhD degree tracks. Several PREP scholars have been accepted to and enrolled in PhD programs at UMB.
STAR-PREP is supported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) PREP R25 grant through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Whereas the NIH funds are restricted, another vital source of funding is a $20,000 annual donation from the University of Maryland Graduate School. Through this generous funding provided by the Graduate School, these talented UR students are provided critical support for programmatic enrichment and for non-grant-covered items such as application and exam fees and peer program mentoring and networking resources and opportunities.
“We are excited to play a role in the matriculation of these brilliant minds as they pursue a promising career in the biomedical sciences," said Kyle Locke, MS, chief development officer. "Thanks to the power of philanthropy, we are able to provide an opportunity for our underrepresented students to reach new heights while supporting mentorship and diversity in the health care workforce."
Funding like this delivers on the tremendous impact that mentoring in research programs can have on the outcome of a scholar’s life trajectory and scientific career, and it meets urgent needs and calls for increased diversity in health care and the biomedical workforce. STAR-PREP is part of a continuum of pipeline programs that provide a holistic community-focused, individual-focused support network.