Considering graduate school in a health field but not sure where to start?

Join MSU’s new PREP-MT post-baccalaureate program for diverse scholars!

Now recruiting the first cohort of PREP scholars for June 1, 2024 - May 31, 2025.

NOTE: Extension of the positions through the summer can be negotiated with mentors on an individual basis.

Application is due February 29, 2024.



The PREP-MT program is designed to provide a pathway to Ph.D. programs in the life sciences for bachelor’s program graduates by offering a mentored research experience, career development workshops, peer support, and additional coursework. Our program particularly seeks to enhance research participation from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in research careers, in line with MSU’s strategic goal to broaden access for underrepresented populations.
We especially welcome applications from students who are:
  • from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or from non-research-intensive universities, tribal colleges, and community colleges.
  • first-generation college attenders, non-traditional, veterans, and disabled students.
  • from groups who are historically underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), including students who are Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx, Black, Pacific Islander, and/or LGBTQIA+.

Crow Water Quality Project interns sample water and sediments for PFAS and other contaminants, Crow Reservation,  MT. 

Crow Water Quality Project interns sample water and sediments for PFAS and other contaminants, Crow Reservation,  MT.

Program benefits

  • A year of research experience with a dedicated mentor and mentoring team
  • Choice of biomedical research, environmental health, biomedical engineering, Tribal/rural/community health, many other fields
  • Professional development and support in applying to graduate school
  • Career development workshops to prepare you for a PhD program
  • Opt to take up to two graduate classes per semester to strengthen skills
  • One-year, full time research position with salary & benefits
  • Can apply earned credit towards graduate degree at MSU


Research trainees in Microbiology at MSU are culturing gastric organoids from a tissue sample for studying  Helicobacter pylori infection.

Research trainees in Microbiology at MSU are culturing gastric organoids from a tissue sample for studying  Helicobacter pylori infection. 


  • Graduating with a bachelor’s degree between May 2021 and May 2024 in a health-related discipline.
  • GPA of ≥ 3.0, improved GPAs considered.
  • Aspiring to earn a Ph.D.
  • U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
  • This program will not support individuals earning master's degrees or individuals who have previously earned a graduate or professional degree.

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Application deadline: February 29, 2024. 


Inquiries: [email protected] or stop by Lewis Hall, 109 at Montana State University.

Required Application Materials

  • Transcripts (see "How to apply" below)
  • Resume
  • One page personal statement describing motivation and career goals, and 2-3 mentors with whom you are interested in working from the list below.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation from a professor, supervisor, employer, etc. who can speak to your abilities and potential as a researcher. At least one should be from a professor or academic mentor.
  • Residency information (see "How to apply" below)

How to apply

1. Please apply through MSU's graduate school portal, You will need to create a secure login; please check your spam filters as confirmation may route into your junk/spam folders.

2. Once you start the application, note that at the bottom of the first page, you will indicate interest in Non-Degree

3. The next page will open, and you will make your official selection of Non-Degree Graduate, the Summer 2024 term - then press "Select Program":

4. You will move through the application page by page (many pages do not require any materials). If you are a resident in the State of Montana, you will need to supply residency materials, i.e., Montana DL, MT vehicle registration, MT voter card, 2022/23 Montana taxes [first page with residency and financials], etc.

5. If you are not a student of MSU-Bozeman, you will need to have official transcripts sent to our university from your university (you obtained your bachelor's degree); you will see information on where they should be sent on page 2 of the application.

6. Finally, on the last page of the application, there will be a blue box "Click here to enter GSD Number" - which you should press.

7. Another field will open, and you can enter the Fee Code and press submit; if you receive a message that you need to pay for the application - please contact our office: [email protected] and cc [email protected].

8.  Any additional documents can be uploaded at the end of the application - where there is a spot for "Additional Materials".  For letters of recommendation, email those to [email protected].

NOTE: Upon submission of your application, you will receive an automated email that you are accepted into MSU's graduate school as a postbaccalaureate student and does not indicate your acceptance to the PREP-MT program.  You will be notified of acceptance under separate cover.



Check out the mentors available for the Prep MT Program. 

List of Mentors



Research Interests

Read more

Carl Yeoman

Animal and Range Sciences

Microbial Ecology; Bioinformatics

Yeoman research

Alexandra Adams

Sociology and Anthropology

American Indian and rural health

Adams research

Phil Stewart

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Medical biofilms

Stewart research


Stefanie McCalla

Microfluidics, disease diagnostics

McCalla research


Brian Bothner

Chemistry and Biochemistry


Cellular stress response, protein complexes

Bothner research


Martin Lawrence

Virology, structural biology

Lawrence research


Seth Pincus

HIV, Immunotherapy

Pincus Research


Valerie Copie

Cellular metabolomics, NMR spectroscopy

Copie research


Joan Broderick

Bioinorganic chemistry, radicals in biology

Broderick research


Anja Kunze

Electrical Engineering

Neuronal function and modeling

Kunze research


Suzanne Held

Health and Human Development

Community-based participatory research 

Held research


Vanessa Simonds

Health literacy among Native Americans

Simonds research

Mark Schure

Novel interventions for improving mental wellbeing

Schure research


Elizabeth Rink

Sexual and reproductive health, community based participatory research

Rink research


Tim McDermott

Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Microbe-Arsenic Interactions, metabolomics

McDermott research

Mensur Dlakic

Microbiology and Cell Biology

Protein homology, comparative genomics

Dlakic Research


Matt Taylor

Neuroinvasive viruses

Taylor Research


Benfang Lei

Pathogenesis and bacteriology of Streptococcus

Lei research


Blake Wiedenheft

Bacterial immune systems, structural biology, CRISPR

Wiedenheft research


Diane Bimczok

Mucosal immunology, organoid models, dendritic cells

Bimczok research


Douglas Kominsky

Mucosal immunology, epithelial cells

Kominsky research


Edward Schmidt

Gene regulation, redox biology, development

Schmidt research


Mari Eggers

Environmental health, climate impact on health

Eggers research


Michael Franklin

Microbial physiology, biofilm antibiotic resistance

Franklin research


Steve DeLuca

Transcriptional regulation of cell development

DeLuca research


Alyssa Evans

Viral infection and immunity, orthobunyaviruses

Evans research


Aga Rynda-Apple

Respiratory infections and immunology, influenza virus

Apple research


Jovanka Voyich

Neutrophil response to gram-positive bacteria

Voyich research


Seth Walk

Gastrointestinal microbiome

Walk research


Christa Merzdorf 

Early development of the nervous system

Merzdorf research


Ron June

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Biomechanics, mechanobiology in osteoarthritis

June research

Neha John-Henderson


Social disparities in health, psychoneuroimmunology

John-Henderson Research

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This program is funded by the National Institutes of Health R25 Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program, grant  1R25GM152359, "PREP-MT: Providing Research Education for Postbaccalaureate Trainees in Montana", awarded to Drs. Diane Bimczok, Mari Eggers, Vanessa Simonds and Douglas Kominsky.