For Trainees


What are the benefits of joining PROPEL?

Program goals

​After completion of the 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.

Other benefits

  • On-campus housing:  PROPEL scholars are eligible for UCSF on-campus housing.
  • Graduate program application fee waivers:  PROPEL scholars qualify for a fee waiver for applications to graduate programs at UCSF and other institutions.
  • UCSF Fitness Center membership:  PROPEL scholars qualify for a discounted membership rate at the UCSF Fitness Center



  • Must be working as a full-time research technician (e.g. Junior Specialist or Research Staff Associate) in the lab of a UCSF faculty member.
  • 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.
  • Must commit to participating in program events for at least one academic 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). 
  • Must be a US Citizen, Permanent resident, or DACA recipient.


How to apply

  • Trainees must first be hired by a UCSF lab in order to join PROPEL.  However, applications can be submitted before the start date of the new position. 
  • If you do not already work in a UCSF lab and are interested in applying for research positions, sign up for our UCSF Postbaccalaureate Research Matchmaking Event, in which you can meet UCSF faculty who are interested in hiring research technicians.  The annual event takes place by Zoom each year in January.
  • If you are interested in joining PROPEL and meet the criteria above, please fill out the Scholar's application form and ask your PI to fill out the PROPEL Mentor's Application Form.  There is no application deadline–we are accepting applications on a rolling basis.  Once you have submitted your applications, please inform Jessica Allen by email so we know to look for it.

Scholar's Application Form

PROPEL Mentor's Application Form

You can download both forms here if you would like to review the questions offline before filling out the form online.  However, you must submit your responses using the online form

Important dates

  • July, 2022 exact date and time TBD PROPEL Symposium
  • Mid-July  Start of the 2022 PROPEL academic year
  • January, 2023  UCSF Diversity Supplement Matchmaking Event
    • Participate in this event to apply for research technician jobs at UCSF and the opportunity to join PROPEL in the 2023-24 academic year