PostBacc at JAX

Have you recently graduated from college or university but want to gain research experience before applying to an MD-PhD program? Join us for the 2019 PostBaccalaureate @ JAX, a one- to two-year scientific training program on our Bar Harbor, Maine, campus. Postbaccs will conduct an independent research project under the guidance of one of JAX's outstanding scientists, while also taking part in MCAT test prep and patient-centered experiences with local medical professionals. Join us for this exciting step on your path towards the MD-PhD.

 The 2020 PostBacc @ JAX program will recruit postbaccs interested in pursuing PhD training and will take place on our Farmington, Conn., campus. 

postbacc @ JAX


Let the PostBacc @ JAX help you stand out. MD-PhD programs are looking for exceptional candidates who are ready for medical training and laboratory research. PostBacc @ JAX prepares you for both. Postbaccs undertake an independent research project with direct ties to human health and disease - from addiction to obesity, from cancer to fertility. In addition to laboratory research, PostBacc @ JAX helps postbaccs:

  • prepare for the MCAT
  • identify the “right” MD-PhD programs
  • assemble a competitive application
  • practice interviews and presentation skills
  • gain patient-centered experiences with local hospitals

The PostBacc @ JAX program provides an annual stipend of $29,000 to defray cost-of-living expenses and training costs. 

Participants also benefit from:

  • JAX’s reputation as a leader in genetics & genomics research
  • Dedicated, world-class faculty
  • State-of-the-art research resources
  • Comprehensive scientific services
  • Expert PostBacc @ JAX program staff
  • Vibrant postbacc & graduate student community


Bar Harbor, Maine, is a small town on Mount Desert Island, about 3 hours northeast of Portland, Maine. Bar Harbor is a hugely popular destination in spring, summer, and fall, in large part because it is the gateway to Acadia National Park, which occupies the majority of the island. The winters in Bar Harbor are quiet but continue to offer a small number of movie theaters, restaurants, cafés, and shops, and plenty of outdoor opportunities. JAX's Bar Harbor campus is located within a short walk or bike ride from the center of town and the Village Green. JAX has short-term accommodations available for postbaccs on a first-come basis, but spaces are limited. Postbaccs are responsible for finding their own long-term accommodations - either in Bar Harbor or elsewhere in the area. Note that there is limited public transportation on the island, so having a car is strongly recommended. The PostBaccalaureate @ JAX program will provide local information and resources.


The PostBacc @ JAX program is aimed at supporting individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups and disadvantaged backgrounds and those who have a disability that limits major life activities on their path to enrolling in and completing an MD-PhD training program. PostBacc @ JAX applicants must:

  • have completed a Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree no more than 24 months prior to applying, with a strong foundation of courses in the biological sciences, mathematics, and/or computer sciences.
  • articulate why they need additional research experience. The Postbacc at JAX seeks individuals who need additional research experience before pursuing MD-PhD studies. Applicants must describe, in the application, why they did not complete an independent research project as a college student. Or, if they did complete an independent project (REU or similar), applicants must describe why they are seeking additional (or different) biomedical research experience through this postbacc.
  • intend to pursue an MD-PhD program (no exceptions).
  • be (a) a member of a group underrepresented in biomedical research as defined by the NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences, i.e., African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; (b) have a documented disability; or (c) come from a disadvantaged background, defined as:
  • Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds.
  • Individuals who come from an educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that has demonstrably and directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.
  • be US citizens, permanent residents, or international students who can obtain OPT through their university.


Submit the following documents through the online application by March 31, 2019:

  • CV or resumé indicating educational, training, and employment history.
  • Transcripts (unofficial copy is fine) from all colleges or universities attended.
  • A statement describing why you did not participate in a biomedical research experience as an undergraduate and why you would like to participate in postbaccalaureate research (maximum one single-spaced page).
  • A brief description of one or two areas of research you are most interested in.
  • Brief statements in response to each of the following questions (maximum half single-spaced page each):
  • Describe how you have dealt with failure and how you have bounced back from it?
  • Describe how you express your creative side. Creativity can manifest itself in many ways, such as through the arts, but also through innovative thinking and problem-solving.
  • Provide one or more examples of how you have used your unique skills or talents in your personal life, school or work.
  • Names of individuals who can provide letters of reference. Two letters should be from professors or instructors and one should be from a person with whom you have a non-academic relationship, such as a work supervisor, coach, or mentor who can speak to your motivation for and potential to succeed in a biomedical career. NOTE: If your referees have already submitted letters by email, there is no need to re-submit letters through the application system. Please list their name and contact information, as requested, but use the letter request text box to indicate that they do not need to re-submit their letter. If you are unsure if your referee has submitted a letter through email, please contact us.

Referees will receive a request directly from the application system and will be instructed to submit their letter through the same. If your referee does not receive the letter request (which can sometimes get caught by SPAM filters), you can request that they instead submit their letter via email to All letters of reference must be received by April 7, 2019.


The application deadline is March 31, 2019; letters of reference are due by April 7, 2019. Participants will be notified of the status of their application by April 30, 2019. Admitted participants are expected to begin the program in early July.

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If you have questions about the Post-Baccalaureate at JAX, the application process, or want to learn more, contact us at