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Intermountain Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (IM-PREP)

Intermountain Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program

About the Program

The InterMountain Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (IM-PREP) is a one-year NIH-funded post-baccalaureate training program at the University of Utah. IM-PREP provides mentored research and professional development to students from diverse underrepresented backgrounds who wish to pursue advanced doctoral degrees in scientific research. 

IM-PREP will provide scholars with critical thinking and research experience that will enable persistence in high-quality graduate programs and beyond in academic and non-academic biomedical career tracks.

Key activities will include:

  1. holistic, culturally competent mentored experiences to undertake hypothesis-driven research;
  2. scientific coursework and professional workshops that enhance strong oral and written communication skills, and instill successful strategies for applying to graduate school;
  3. an innovative, inclusive support system that develops and implements Individual Development Plans and enhances their self-confidence, self-efficacy, and authentic scientific identity through peer support, cultural STEM communities and diverse role-models.
student in lab

Program requirements

  • A passion for the biomedical sciences.
  • BA or BS in a STEM field, awarded no more than 36 months prior to applying and by June, 2024.
  • Interest in pursuing an advanced research degree.
  • Prior lab experience is not required.


  • $35,000/yr
  • Relocation benefit of $1,000
  • Travel allowance to attend a scientific conference


United States citizens or permanent residents with a BS or BA degree in a STEM field. Selection preference will be given to members of communities traditionally underrepresented in STEM as defined by the NIH. Degree must be conferred prior to the program start date.

Key Dates

January 15, 2024
Applications Open

March 20, 2024
Application Deadline

March 28 - April 5, 2024
Virtual Interviews

June 3rd, 2024
Program Begins

May 31st, 2025
Program Ends

How to Apply

Applications should include the following materials:

  1. Completed online application form with the following documents in the form of a single pdf

         Cover Letter


         Personal Statement (500 words max)
         Explain your background and how your interests in STEM developed.

         Statement of relevant coursework or past research experience (500 words max)
         Describe key courses you’ve taken or research experiences you’ve had and explain how they have prepared you for research work.

         Statement of Career Goals and Research Interests (250 words max)
         Explain your long-term career goals and where you see your research heading in the future.

         Unofficial College Transcripts

  2. Two letters of recommendation emailed to
    Each letter should state the APPLICANT’S name in the subject line.

Watch the recording of the virtual Open House/Info Session

2024 IM-PREP Informational Open House

IM-PREP Faculty

IM-PREP Program Faculty consists of 43 full-time faculty members and represent a diverse spectrum of research disciplines from 14 departments and 5 different Colleges or Schools: School of MedicineCollege of ScienceCollege of EngineeringCollege of Pharmacy, and College of Health.  Follow the links below to learn more about their research programs.

Name Department Research
Babst, Markus School of Biological Sciences Protein Trafficking
Bandarian, Vahe Chemistry biosynthesis, enzymes, modified transfer RNA base, queuosine, ubiquitous RNA modification
Barrios, Amy Medicinal Chemistry Metals in Medicine, Probes of Tyrosine Phosphorylation, Functional Profiling of the Microbiome
Bass, Brenda Biochemistry Double-Stranded RNA (dsRNA), RNA Editing, RNA Interference, DICER
Beaudin, Anna Microbiology and Immunology Fetal hematopoiesis, blood production, immune function, disease susceptibility
Caron, Sophie School of Biological Sciences Drosophila melanogaster, mushroom body, multisensory integration, sensory systems, connectomics, learning and memory
Chow, Clement Human Genetics Genetic variation, ER stress, Disease modifiers
Deans, Michael Neurobiology Developmental neurobiology, retina, inner ear, planar polarity
Dorsky, Rich Neurobiology Developmental Neurobiology
Douglass, Adam Neurobiology Neuronal Function, optical methods
Drummond, Micah Microbiology and Immunology Aging, Muscle, Inflammation, Exercise, Nutrition, Metabolism, Translational Research
Ducker, Greg Biochemistry Cancer Metabolism, Mass Spectrometry, Antimetabolites, Chemical Biology, Mitochondria, Tetrahydrofolates
Edgar, Bruce Oncological Sciences Cell growth and proliferation, Drosophila melanogaster, Stem Cells
Elde, Nels Human Genetics Evolutionary Cell Biology, Virology, Microbiology, Genetics, Genome Science, experimental evolution
Evavold, Brian Microbiology and Immunology T cell antigen recognition
Fairfax, Keke Microbiology and Immunology B cells, macrophages, schistosomiasis, maternal infection, pathogenesis
Franzini, Raphael Medicinal Chemistry Drug development, chemical probes, imaging agents
Funai, Katsu Nutrition and Integrative Physiology Lipids, mitochondria, bioenergetics, metabolic disease
Ghandehari, Hamid Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery
Hammond, Ming Chemistry Biosensors, RNA, Fluorescence Imaging, Bacterial and Immune Cell Signaling
Hughes, Adam Biochemistry Organelle communication and disease, cell biology, organelle quality control, and nutrient sensing
Hwang, Eileen Opthamology Biochemistry, extracellular matrix structure of the vitreous, pediatric vitreoretinal diseases
Kay, Michael Biochemistry Protein Design, Viral Entry, Synthetic Biology, and Chemical Protein Synthesis
Keefe, Kristen Pharmacology and Toxicology Neuroscience, Neurological and neurophychiatric disorders basal ganglia, Neurobiology
Kwan, Kristen Human Genetics Zebrafish, Eye Development and Morphogenesis
Lamb, Tracey Microbiology and Immunology Malaria Immunopathogenesis
Mulvey, Matthew Microbiology and Immunology Bacterial Pathogenesis
Murtaugh, Charles Human Genetics Pancreas Development, Pancreatic Cancer, Regeneration
Reilly, Chris Pharmacology and Toxicology Pulmonary Toxicology, Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, Drug Discovery
Rog, Ofer School of Biological Sciences Chromosome Biology, Meiosis, Synaptonemal complex, C. elegans, Microscopy
Roh-Johnson, Minna Biochemistry Cell migration, tumor microenvironment, cytoskeleton, zebrafish, mouse
Rothenfluh, Adrian Human Genetics Modeling Addiction and other Neuropsychiatric Illnesses in Drosophila
Rutter, Jared Biochemistry Cancer metabolism, Diabetes & obesity, Metabolic signaling
Schmidt, Eric Medicinal Chemistry Symbiosis, microbiome, metagenomics, synthetic biology, natural products chemistry, biosynthesis
Shen, Peter Biochemistry Protein Homeostasis, Protein Structure, cryo-EM, Image Processing, Protein quality control, Proteopathy, Protein Complexes
Shepherd, Jason Neurobiology Synaptic plasticity, memory and neurological disorders, Memory Formation
Sigala, Paul Biochemistry malaria biochemistry and cell biology, heme metabolism, organelle function and adaptation
Snyder, Eric Oncological Sciences Mouse Models of Cancer
Stanfield, Gillian Human Genetics Cell Division, Cell Migration, Cell Competition
Tantin, Dean Microbiology and Immunology Gene Regulation in Mammals
Vetter, Monica Neurobiology Chromatin modifiers in development, Microglia in retinal development and disease
Wilcox, Karen Pharmacology and Toxicology Anticonvulsant Drugs, inflammation, epilepsy
Williams, Megan Neurobiology Neurobiology, Molecular mechanisms of synapse formation
Yost, Joe Neurobiology Genes & Developmental Mechanisms