For Trainees


How will the program benefit my career?

​After completion of the 1 year post-bac program, participating students will be prepared for graduate school admission, successful completion of a research-focused doctoral degree, and careers in the biomedical research workforce, through our offered:

Research Experiences: Hands-on exposure to research and individual mentoring in your field of interest.

Courses for Skills and Career Development: Advanced courses in a specific discipline, research technique or research area, and/or courses or workshops to develop scholarly potential and increase confidence. See our curriculum page for the growing list of courses we offer.

Trainees completing PROPEL and applying to PhD graduate programs at UCSF qualify for an application fee waiver granted by our Graduate Division.



  • Must be working as a research technician (e.g. Junior Specialist or Research Staff Associate) in a UCSF lab.
  • Must have earned an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution. Trainees with Master's degree are also eligible.
  • Highly interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in biomedical science (PhD or MD/PhD). PROPEL is not appropriate for trainees who intend to apply to medical school.  These trainees should consider the UCSF Pre-Med Postbac Program.
  • Able to participate in the program for at least one year.
  • Belong to a racial or ethnic group that is underrepresented in biomedical sciences at UCSF (see here) or come from a disadvantaged background (for full eligibility criteria, see here). 
  • Trainees who have DACA status and belong to underrepresented groups in biomedical sciences at UCSF are eligible to join PROPEL.


How to apply

  • During our pilot year (2020-2021), trainees must first be hired by a UCSF lab in order to join PROPEL.  Trainees who are in a UCSF lab and meet the criteria above should contact a PROPEL Program Founder to inquire about how to join the program.
  • Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for PROPEL and are a US Citizen or Permanent Resident are invited to sign up for the UCSF NIH Diversity Supplement Matchmaking Event, which will take place on January 19, 9am-1pm. Attendees will have a series of short, 15-minute interviews by zoom with UCSF faculty who are looking to fill full-time paid research positions in their labs, to be funded by an NIH Diversity Supplement that the trainee and faculty member apply for together.  Faculty working on a range of topics, including basic science, clinical and translational science, and epidemiology will be at the event.  Registration and more information about the event can be found at the sign-up link below.  The application deadline is December 18th.  Trainees who make a match through the Matchmaking Event and meet the eligibility criteria for PROPEL will be invited to join the program.  

Important dates

  • Deadline for signing up for the UCSF NIH Diversity Supplement Matchmaking Event is December 18th, 2020.
  • The Matchmaking Event will take place on January 19th 2021.

Sign up for the Matchmaking Event here!