Ragon Institute Introduces Catherine Othieno Sempa Memorial Post Baccalaureate Scholars Program

Date: March 13, 2024 By: Nick Kolev

A two-year opportunity in medical science research and career development for underrepresented students

About the Program

The Catherine Othieno Sempa* Memorial Post Baccalaureate Scholars Program engages talented college graduates from HBCUs and Puerto Rican universities in a comprehensive and immersive two-year program in immunology research.

The program is designed to diversify the field of academic research by inviting recent college graduates to gain knowledge, expertise, and skills inside and outside the lab.

Program Benefits

Participants will be employed as paid, full-time Research Technicians under the supervision and mentorship of a Ragon Institute Principal Investigator and/or designated Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. Participants will receive a competitive salary and benefits consistent with employment as a Research Technician at the Institute. In addition, participants will engage in academic and professional development activities including:

  • Development of an individualized training plan
  • Training in scientific communication
  • Participation in seminars and workshops
  • Full participation in lab meetings and Ragon affinity groups and committees
  • Graduate school preparation
  • Travel sponsorship to a national conference

Participants will also receive a $3,000 travel allowance.

Program Eligibility

This program is open to individuals from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and students from Puerto Rican Universities. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency and be eligible to work in the US.
  • Completed a college or university degree (of four or more years duration) no more than one year before the start of the program.
  • Majored in biological sciences or biological engineering. Attained a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Previously participated in scientific research.
  • Demonstrated interest in pursuing a graduate degree in a research field (M.S., M.A, Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.).
  • This program is not designed for students primarily interested in clinical practice.

How to Apply

After an initial screening by the Ragon Institute Office of Education and Outreach, applications will be reviewed by a Ragon Institute selection committee, and prospective candidates will be interviewed. Selected candidates will be then matched with labs with open positions for final appointments.

Application Link


Application deadline: April 19, 2024

Start date: June-August 2024

More News

Press Releases

Ragon Study Finds Key Mechanism of Immune Evasion by SARS-CoV-2

Their findings, to be published in Cell next month, reveal how the virus manipulates immune system processes to avoid destruction by natural killer (NK) cells, a type of white blood cell that is crucial for fighting viral infections.

Press Releases

Ragon faculty sheds light on intricate functions of Resident Tissue Macrophages (RTM’s) which extend beyond immune defense

The lab of the Ragon Institute faculty member Hernandez Moura Silva, PhD, recently published a review in Science Immunology regarding resident tissue macrophages (RTMs), shedding light on their multifaceted roles in organ health. 

‘Evolution of an Epidemic’ Returns — Taking Students Across South Africa to Learn the Real-World Impact of HIV and COVID-19

After three years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ragon-MIT course HST.434 returned this January to provide 24 students a once in a lifetime learning experience