Frequently Asked Questions about BBPS

What is the Broad Institute?
The Broad Institute is a nonprofit biomedical research enterprise that is empowering a revolution in biomedicine to accelerate the pace at which the world conquers disease. An "experiment" in a collaborative model for doing science, the Broad brings together researchers in biology, chemistry, medicine, computer science, and engineering from Harvard, MIT, and the Harvard-affiliated hospitals. Learn more about us.

 

What is BBPS?
The BBPS program is a two-year post-baccalaureate program administered by the Broad Diversity, Education and Outreach office. BBPS offers participants a comprehensive, structured, and immersive experience that includes full-time groundbreaking research, academic and career guidance, and advanced skills in scientific communication. The program is designed to position participants competitively for top graduate programs.

 

Eligibility and Admissions

Can participants apply to BBPS for one year?
No, participants must participate in the program for the entire two-year duration.

 

Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants must have:

  • US Citizenship or Permanent Residency (Green Card)
  • Completed a four-year university or college degree not more than one year before the start of the program 
  • Majored in the biological, physical, or computer sciences, engineering, or mathematics
  • Attained a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale
  • Significant prior research experience
  • A demonstrated interest in issues around diversifying the sciences
  • Interest in pursuing a graduate degree (M.A./M.S., Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D. only) upon completion of the program

Applicants cannot be currently enrolled in another postbac program or in a graduate program.

The BBPS program is designed to help increase diversity in the sciences. Students from groups that are underrepresented in the sciences are encouraged to apply. These groups include American Indians or Alaska Natives, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinxs, Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 

Would contacting principal investigators (PIs) before applying increase my chances of getting admitted?
No, contacting principal investigators will not have an impact on the application review process.

 

How will I be matched with PIs who are hiring RAs and ACBs?
After you have submitted your RA or ACB application, the Campus Recruiting team will help match you with PIs who are looking for new lab members with your skills. 

 

Are the ACB and RA positions dependent on being in the BBPS program?
The decision from the BBPS program has no effect on your prospects for an RA or ACB role and is completely separate. Candidates need to have a job offer from a Broad research lab in order to be accepted into the BBPS program. However, receiving a job offer does not guarantee admission into BBPS. Unfortunately, BBPS has a limited number of spots and we aren't able to accept all the great candidates who are currently being considered for research jobs. However, the Broad has a plethora of resources, training opportunities, and support outside of the BBPS program to help employees continue their training.

 

When is the application deadline?
The application deadline is typically in mid-January.

 

Whom should I ask to serve as references?
BBPS is a program designed to give students the opportunity to be full-time researchers and prepare for the next step in their careers. As such, references should be mentors, faculty, and/or teachers who can attest to your research skills, commitment to pursuing a research career, and passion for learning in addition to addressing any intellectual and personal traits that make you a great candidate for a postbac program. We don't have specific requirements but recommend choosing a research supervisor to serve as at least one of your references.

 

When will students be notified about selections?
We will notify applicants in March if they are selected for interviews at the Broad. Final decisions will be made in mid to late April.

Note: the interview process for RA and ACB roles happens in parallel with BBPS candidate evaluation. Because candidates may interview with multiple labs, the hiring process may take a bit longer, so notifications from BBPS may go out first. If you are not selected for BBPS, that has no bearing on your potential employment in an RA or ACB position.

 

How can I express interest if the application is not yet available?
Please fill out the BBPS inquiry form to receive an email when the application is available. If you have any questions, please email bbps@broadinstitute.org. 

 

Program

Is graduate coursework a component of the program?
Participants are not required to take graduate courses as part of BBPS. However, those who wish to pursue coursework at area institutions during the program may do so. Participants' primary responsibility will be their full-time RA or ACB job. 

 

Does the program include an MCAT prep course?
No, the program does not include prep for the MCAT. There is an opportunity for students to take a GRE prep course. 

 

When does the program begin?
Postbac scholars typically start their RA or ACB roles in June, July, or August; your hiring manager will determine your start date. BBPS programming begins in August. 

 

Outcomes

What do program alumni do? 
BBPS is designed to support scholars interested in pursuing research careers. 

Of the alumni from the 2016 - 2019 cohorts, all are working in the biomedical research sector. About two-thirds are enrolled in graduate programs and one-third are working as researchers and/or applying for graduate programs.