Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get into PROPEL?

To be a trainee in PROPEL, you must meet all of the eligibility requirements on the For Trainees page. If you would like to meet UCSF faculty who are looking to hire postbaccalaureates from disadvantaged backgrounds, sign up for the UCSF Diversity Supplement Matchmaking Event by December 18, 2020.  If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in joining PROPEL during our pilot year, contact a program founder to inquire about joining.

Is PROPEL only for people who want to go into a basic science PhD or MD/PhD program?

The program is primarily geared towards basic science programs but applicants interested in going to PhD prrograms in epidemiology, global health sciences, or other subject areas within the broad umbrella of biomedical sciences are also welcome.  You do not need to know exactly what program you are interested in applying to ahead of time.

What is the salary range for PROPEL trainees?

PROPEL trainees are typically hired as a Junior Specialist.  The current salary scale for this series can be found here.  The rank and step within this scale can be negotiated based on education level and experience.  Compensation for this title code includes benefits.

What is an NIH Diversity Supplement?

Diversity Supplements are administrative supplements to NIH grants that provide funding for underrepresented minorities and individuals who come from disadvantaged backgrounds to perform research in NIH-funded labs.  The application process is straightforward and the awards can be substantial, enough to provide funding for 1-2 years of salary support for a Junior Specialist and some additional funds for supplies.  For more information, see the UCSF RDO Diversity Supplement Information Page and the NIH Diversity Supplement Program Announcement.  Trainees at UCSF who are funded by a Diversity Supplement and meet the other requirements of PROPEL are strongly encouraged to join PROPEL.

What is the difference between the Diversity Supplement Matchmaking Event and applying to PROPEL?

The matchmaking event is designed to help make matches between trainees who are eligible for an NIH Diversity Supplement and UCSF faculty who have qualifying grants.  Trainees with an interest in pursuing a career in any of the many career paths that start with a research experience at UCSF, including academic research, industry, medicine, epidemiology, etc. are encouraged to apply.  PROPEL is intended specifically for trainees who are interested in going to a biomedical PhD or MD/PhD progrram.  Many trainees who make a match through the Matchmaking Event will qualify for PROPEL.