This is a 2-year post-baccalaureate program focused on providing hands-on research experience and training activities in Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine to better prepare promising pre-graduate students for advanced educational opportunities. The program is targeted to individuals who are interested in eventually applying to PhD and MD/PhD programs.

Individuals accepted into the program will be designated as full-time, salaried employees and will be eligible for University sponsored benefits, including health insurance and tuition reimbursement. Full benefits details can be found here. A monthly salary of $2,964 will be provided.

Housing is not provided and will be up to the participant to identify. There are numerous neighborhoods around Washington University that have affordable housing options. Additional information about relocating can be found here.

Program Features

Cohort Building

An emphasis will be made to create a community around the cohort of postbaccalaureate scholars. The program will begin in late August with a 2-day orientation session, featuring entrance interviews, cohort-building exercises, and foundational workshops.

Monthly meetings: Postbaccalaureate reserchers will meet monthly as a group. These meetings will alternate between career development workshops and courses, informal discussions among scholars about research projects, and one-on-one and group meetings with the program directors.

Career Development

Sample courses and workshops

Developmental Biology Seminar Series

Diversity and Inclusion: 1.0 – Awareness: Examining Culture, 2.0 – Understanding: Examining Unconscious Bias, 3.0 – Commitment, 4.0 – Action

Ethics in Research – Program for the Ethical and Responsible Conduct of Science and Scholarship (PERCSS)

Rigor and Reproducibility in Science

How to keep a laboratory notebook: Basic principles and best practices for keeping a sound record of ones research efforts and results.

Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Differentiation and Reprogramming Work in Progress Group

Laboratory math: A review of scientific notation and common units of mass and volume.

Preparing a scientific CV: This workshop will guide scholars through two major forms of scientific professional biographies – the NIH-style biosketch and a curriculum vitae (CV). Scholars will be provided with examples of both and be expected to create one of each, with an emphasis on the CV.

Regeneration, Aging, and Development Research Forum: weekly journal club and work in progress presentations by students, postdocs, and staff

Scientific Writing: Scholars will be introduced to the major sections of a research proposal and publications and will be asked to either write a specific aims page and/or an abstract of their project, depending on progress

Optional courses to audit

  • BIOL 5152: Regeneration, Aging, and Development Journal Club (offered fall and spring)
  • BIOL 4071/5352: Developmental Biology (offered spring)

There are many additional workshops and seminars offered on campus that participants are able to participate in (to be arranged directly between the scholar and the mentor). Some examples include:

Because this program is not designed for prospective MD students, there are no programmatically-sponsored clinical shadowing experiences offered.


Researchers and their mentors will work together on an Individual Development Plan (IDP), which will serve as a roadmap for the goals and progress of participants. These will be discussed at Fall and Spring IDP meetings.

Participants will work on a mentored research project in their host lab, with increasing independence over time.

Preparing for Graduate School Applications

Participants will be guided through applications to PhD and MD/PhD programs, with an emphasis on PhD programs. Beginning in August of Year 2 a series of exercises will be offered to assist scholars in selecting appropriate graduate programs and in preparing applications. An opportunity to participate in mock graduate school interviews will also be offered.

While applying to graduate school during the program is not an official requirement, participants will be strongly encouraged to do so.

Participation in this program does not guarantee admission to a Washington University PhD or MD/PhD program.


Participants will be expected to present on their research throughout the course of the program. At the end of Year 1, scholars will present to their colleagues and mentors. At the end of Year 2, researchers will present in a public formal setting. There will also be additional opportunities to present at various work-in-progress groups, lab meetings, and research forums.