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Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program


January 15, 2023
Applications Open

March 27, 2023
Application Deadline

April 15, 2023
Notification of Awards

June 1st, 2023
Program Begins

May 31st, 2024
Program Ends

IM-Prep Logo

The mission of the Intermountain PREP (IM-PREP) is to build a diverse biomedical research workforce reflecting the talent pool of our diverse population. The University of Utah is committed to fortifying, sustaining and amplifying the STEM pipeline that trains and launches a diverse research workforce.

IM-PREP will specifically address the leaks in the pipeline leading from undergraduate to doctoral training of groups underrepresented in STEM. IM-PREP focuses on students from diverse underrepresented backgrounds that demonstrate a strong drive for research and would benefit from additional research-intensive training experiences and professional development, enhancing their successful transition to top-tier doctoral programs, as well as their long-term retention in PhD-based career tracks.

IM-PREP will provide key proposed activities that 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.

Building on institutional momentum and infrastructure at the University of Utah that is dedicated to supporting STEM equity, diversity and inclusion, IM-PREP will provide Scholars with critical thinking and research experience that will enable persistance in high-quality graduate programs and beyond in academic and non-academic biomedical career tracks.

Program requirements

  • A passion for the biomedical sciences.
  • BA or BS in a STEM field, awarded by June, 2023.
  • Interest in pursuing an advanced research degree.
  • Prior lab experience is not required.


  • $33,000/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.

How to Apply

Applications should include the following materials emailed directly to

  1. Two letters of recommendation emailed to the address above: Each letter should state the APPLICANT’S name in the subject line.
  2. A single .pdf file containing all of the following items in one document, emailed to the address above:
    1. Cover Letter
    2. CV/Resume
    3. Personal Statement (500 words max) Explain your background and how your interests in STEM developed.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Unofficial College Transcripts

Program Directors

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
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