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U-M PREP Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to questions you may have about the U-M PREP research education program.


Up to 9 U-M PREP Scholars are chosen each year, along with one Biomedical Engineering aspirant and one MD/PhD aspirant.

  1. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.  In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in NIH programs to enhance diversity. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see the OMB Revisions to the Standards for Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity
  2. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. (see data PDF at 
  3. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:
    1. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (definition);
    2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families (definition);
    3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years (definition);
    4. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (see PDF);
    5. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants (definition);
    6. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child (definition).
    7. Grew up in one of the following areas: a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer, or b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas (qualifying zipcodes are included in the file). Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.

For the 2023-2024 year the U-M PREP scholar salary will be $31,200.

Yes, U-M PREP scholars are eligible for the same benefits as U-M faculty and staff.

Yes, U-M PREP scholars may use up to $1,500 for travel to a domestic scientific meeting or conference where they are presenting.

Apply to U-M PREP! We have one spot for an MD/PhD aspirant.

Starting the program on July 1 gives U-M PREP scholars an advantage in spending more time in their lab, gaining research experience in preparation for graduate applications in the fall. However, we can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, with approval from the program director.

No, your baccalaureate degree must be conferred by July 1 of the year you apply to PREP. If your degree is conferred after this date, you will have to wait until the following year to apply.

Ann Arbor is a unique community where myriad cultures converge to create a distinctive dynamic. It’s a great place to visit, and an even better place to live. The city's reputation for comfortable living is backed by a variety of rankings and housing options. The cost of living in Ann Arbor is usually quite close to the national average. Review the current cost of living in Ann Arbor or use Sperling's Best Places Cost of Living comparison tool to see how much more or less expensive life in A2 will be. For more information about housing in Ann Arbor such as resources to help with your move, neighborhood profiles, and more, visit Our Community.

Yes! There are 40 PREP programs in the country, including at the University of Michigan, and we highly encourage you to apply to as many as you would like. There is no application fee.

Yes, you can use your previous materials from the same year’s application. If you would like to use your PIBS materials, please email [email protected].

There are over 500 affiliated faculty in the Biomedical Sciences whom our scholars can choose to work with. Scholars are welcome to contact prospective mentors at the University of Michigan. We have faculty members in the University of Michigan Medical School, College of Engineering, College of Literature, Sciences, and Arts, and the School of Dentistry. We welcome new mentors as well as new scholars into U-M PREP each year!

Unless your interest is in a cognitive neuroscience PhD program, this is NOT the program for you. We do not accept applications from students who want to pursue any form of clinical or developmental psychology training or certification. We have found that we cannot provide the right mentoring climate (research/coursework) to help people gain admission to these highly selective programs.

Definitely not. We only accept applications from people interested in doctoral studies in the biomedical sciences or in related engineering, chemistry, medicinal chemistry or cognitive neuroscience PhD programs. with or without an accompanying professional clinical degree (e.g. MD/ PhD programs/DDS/PhD or DVM/PhD). There are programs at the University of Michigan and many other universities for those interested in post-baccalaureate pre-med or pre-dentistry programs.