Faculty member and scholar in the fish rearing room

What we do

Activities in PREP@UCD foster scholars’ continued development as scientists and support the work done in research laboratories. These include both cohort-based activities and programming tailored to individual scholars.

Student and research mentor with microscope


Each PREP@UCD scholar works with an individual team that consists of the research mentor, a separate faculty member who serves as an academic advisor, the PREP program director, and the PREP academic coordinator. The scholar works with this team throughout the year to craft a program of coursework and other activities that fit their needs and interests.

PREP@UCD scholars also work with their mentoring team to construct an individual development plan (IDP) using an online resource with refinements made throughout the year as the scholar’s perspective in biology broadens. The IDP will take into account the student’s undergraduate coursework, disciplinary interests, academic or professional skills, and interest in potential graduate programs. Because this document will be web-based, scholars can take it with them when they complete PREP and continue to refine and modify the IDP as they progress as scientists and professionals.

Science communication

Throughout the year, PREP@UCD scholars develop facility with elevator speeches and chalk talks. They also write a proposal to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, receive feedback on statements of purpose for graduate study, and develop a blog aimed at a general audience.

Developing a scientific network 

2019-2020 cohort at ABRCMS
The 2019-2020 cohort at ABRCMS

Scholars will interact with scientists at varying levels through the UC Davis Molecular and Cell Biology T32 Training program retreat, at ABRCMS, and through a reciprocal visit with the PREP sites at UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley.

Responsible Conduct of Research and Anti-Racism training

All that we do in PREP@UCD builds an ethos of responsible conduct of research and anti-racism. Specific activities include discussions with PREP faculty, lectures from the UC Davis campus-wide RCR program, and workshops offered by the UC Davis Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Grad Pathways Institute.

Enhancing academic foundations

As a cohort, PREP@UCD scholars take a course in science communication in fall quarter. In winter and spring quarters, each scholar selects an upper division or graduate-level course that helps to strengthen their disciplinary background. These courses, offered through the College of Biological SciencesCollege of EngineeringCollege of Letters and SciencesSchool of Medicine, and School of Veterinary Medicine, with tuition and fees paid by PREP@UCD, span the breadth of the biomedical sciences and will enhance the disciplinary backgrounds of PREP scholars.