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 postbaccalaureate 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.

Can participants apply to BBPS for one year?
Participants must participate in the program for the entire two-year duration.


Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants must have:

  • 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
  • Participated in significant prior research experience
  • An 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 also cannot be currently enrolled in another postbac 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 as well as individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Would contacting principal investigators (PIs) before applying increase my chances of getting admitted?
Contacting principal investigators will not have an impact on the application review process.


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. The job interview and hiring process happens at the same time candidates are being evaluated for BBPS but since candidates may talk to multiple labs, the hiring process may take a bit longer thus notifications from BBPS may go out first. 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 and path in STEM careers. 


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.

Does the program include a MCAT prep course?
The program offers intensive GRE preparation, but no prep for MCAT.

When is the application deadline?
The application deadline is typically in mid-January. The 2021 application deadline has passed. 

Whom should I ask for 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/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 this and any postbac/graduate program. We don't have specific requirements but recommend that at least one of your letters be from a research supervisor. 


When will students be notified about selections?
Applicants will be notified in March about whether they will proceed to the next stage for interviews at the Broad. Final decisions will be made in mid to late April.