FAQs

FAQs for the PREP@UGA Applicant 

Who is eligible?

Post-baccalaureate students from backgrounds that remain underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. This refers to ethnic and racial minorities and students with mental and physical disabilities.

Is PREP@UGA a good program for me if I’m interested in medical school?

The goal of PREP@UGA is to provide individuals who are interested in pursuing research-oriented graduate degrees (PhD or MD/PhD) with the skills and attributes required for successful careers in science as well as entry into competitive PhD and MD/PhD programs in the US.  

Do I need to focus on Infectious Diseases?

No. In addition to Infectious Diseases, PREP@UGA scholar research opportunities include a broad array of departments: Cellular Biology, Ecology, Environmental Health, Genetics, Institute of Bioinformatics, Microbiology, Pharmacy, and Population Health. The Infectious Diseases department at UGA is top-notch; however, the primary focus of PREP@UGA is training in your area of interest.

Will I be paid? Yes. Scholars will receive $27,200 with access to health insurance for the duration of the one year program. 

What are the application requirements?  Details can be found at: http://research4.wpengine.com/prep/application-requirements/

Is the GRE required?

A GRE score is encouraged to apply to PREP@UGA and a good indicator of your motivation to attend graduate school; however, the GRE is not required. There is a place to report your score on the application. Most scholars want to continue to improve their scores and will participate in an extensive GRE review course at the beginning of the program.  Some scholars will continue with GRE training in the fall and will be required to retake the exam.

When does the program start? PREP@UGA’s next group will start on July 1, 2017.

How long is the program? Appointment of PREP scholars will be for 1 year. In exceptional cases, a longer training period may be possible.

Is it possible to start the program late?  Currently we are not accepting scholars outside of our annual application and enrollment schedule. 

What’s the research training focus of PREP@UGA?

The theme of the PREP@ UGA research training is infectious diseases. This focus allows the Program to draw on the exceptional strength, breadth and diversity of programs that focus on infectious diseases at UGA. This research training focus is intended to engender a sense of cohesiveness for the PREP scholars, enhancing their research training experience and preparing them for a career in biomedical research, which increasingly involves teamwork and collaborative networks. The environment at UGA for infectious diseases research is excellent, as evidenced by the large number of seminars, courses, Research in Progress seminars and journal clubs that are related to pathogens. PREP@UGA scholars will be able and encouraged to participate in many of these activities in addition to their laboratory work and PREP@UGA-specific development activities.

The objective of this program is to provide scholars with a range of expertise that will serve as a foundation for their future career plans. While largely focused in the broad area of infectious diseases, the training provided by PREP@UGA will ensure that scholars gain the skills and insights necessary to pursue successful PhD programs in any area of biomedical research.

What are the program activities?

Scholars will:

  • Be matched to a faculty mentor whose mentoring style and research program align with the needs and aspirations of the scholar
  • Conduct a research project partnered with a current member of the mentor’s laboratory; research activities will consume approximately 75% of the scholar’s fulltime effort.
  • Attend graduate-level intensive reading and Responsible Conduct of Research courses
  • Receive small-group and personalized intensive GRE preparation instruction; GRE will be taken before and after completion of the instruction
  • Attend UGA’s Graduate School fall workshop on admission requirements, discussions on time and stress management, professional development opportunities, the importance of and the how-to’s for publishing as a graduate student, and strategies for success in graduate school.
  • Participate in departmental seminars, lab meetings, journal clubs and other scientific activities interacting with faculty, graduate coordinators and senior graduate students.

What mentoring will I receive?

  • There will be daily interaction with a graduate student or postdoctoral level mentor. There will be weekly meetings with a faculty mentor and monthly meetings with a mentoring team, which will include the graduate student and faculty mentors as well as a faculty co-mentor. The co-mentor will complement the mentoring of the primary faculty mentor and provide an additional resource for scientific and communication skill development.
  • A personal mentor will help introduce PREP scholars to the instruction, research, public service and international missions of infectious disease research in a context meant to be open and non-threatening.
  • The mentoring team will assist scholars with developing a support network, and provide them with a rich and varied community in which all scientific and personal issues and concerns can be discussed and addressed.
  • The mentor will help scholars apply to graduate programs with coaching on personal statements and interviewing techniques. 

What is the IDP?

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are intended to identify the major strengths and weaknesses of each scholar, and provide a logical and cohesive framework with which scholars can develop the skills and attributes required for a successful career in biomedical research. IDPs will be developed by the mentoring team with guidance by the Program Director, and will be based on a detailed assessment of the scholar’s academic and research experiences and skills and the scholar’s career goals. IDPs will be formulated such that each scholar will gain a series of skills and credentials that our faculty believes are essential for success in graduate school and beyond.

When will I apply to grad school?  In the fall of 2017, scholars will apply to competitive graduate programs. This process will be supported by PREP@UGA. Assistance with effective oral and written communication and interviewing skills will be integral to the training experience. 

What are my responsibilities if I am chosen as a PREP@UGA Scholar?

  • I have a bona fide interest in, an intent to participate in, and complete in its entirety PREP@UGA
  • I agree with and will sign the Scholar Mentor Contract
  • I intend to apply to a top PhD or MD/PhD program during the PREP@UGA training period.
  • I pledge to comply with and be responsive to all efforts to track my progress during and after my completion of PREP@UGA.

Where will I live?

There are many affordable, off-campus housing opportunities available in Athens, Georgia. The following resources may help you in searching and locating a place to live:

Transportation on UGA’s campus and in Athens:

UGA Campus Transit

Athens Transit