Fred Hutch Postbaccalaureate Scholar Program

Developing the Next Generation of Researchers

Fred Hutch Postbaccalaureate Scholar Program equips the next generation of researchers with the skills needed to succeed in the lab and their careers. 

The Fred Hutch Postbaccalaureate Scholar Program is for individuals who would benefit from research experience and training to ensure that they are competitive when applying to graduate school while providing them the tools to ensure their success in the lab.

Scholars enrolled in this flexible two-year program have two interconnected roles: they will work as a Research Technician-PB in a designated laboratory on a scientific project throughout the program, and as a student scholar with a curriculum designed to develop a foundation for further graduate studies and a research career.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2024-2025 cycle will open in February and are expected to be due in April 2024. Individuals from populations underrepresented in the scientific workforce, including historically excluded or minoritized groups, are encouraged to apply. For any questions, please contact

About the Program

The Fred Hutch Postbaccalaureate Scholar Program is a two-year program (renewed annually), with the option for a flexible duration (1-3 years) depending on the circumstances. During their time in the program, Postbaccalaureate Scholars will have two interconnected roles:

Research Technician-PB

In their role as a Research Technician-PB, postbaccalaureate scholars will be paid a starting salary of $50K/year. They will work full-time in a laboratory that they mutually choose with a participating faculty member.  Scholars will be mentored by the principal investigator of the lab, as well as a secondary lab mentor, who will also oversee the research project and provide reasonable expectations about research milestones. In addition, scholars will have a second faculty member who will provide further mentoring two to four times a year.

In collaboration with their faculty mentors, Scholars will develop an Individual Development Plan to help establish training goals. Scholars will participate in near-peer mentoring by Fred Hutch graduate students, post-docs, and staff scientists.  Scholars will also participate in events in their lab, such as group meetings and other relevant research seminars.

To help ensure that all scholars in the program have the necessary skills for success in the laboratory, a two-week training course will be offered every summer to provide fundamental lab techniques. These could include pipetting, DNA cloning and amplification, cell culture, protein purification/analysis, and more. Additionally, the course will provide important lab skills like how to access and read scientific literature, gene, and protein databases as well as principles of data storage and bioinformatics.

Examples of the activities that scholars will learn in this course include: how to keep a lab notebook, how to perform lab math, how to communicate with their lab mentors and professional lab conduct, how to identify, read and evaluate scientific papers of interest, and how to write an individual development plan for their postbaccalaureate career.

Scholars will participate in all mandatory Hutch training classes (ex: bias mitigation), as well as the Biomedical Research Integrity (BRI) summer series.

Student Scholar

In their role as a Student Scholar, postbaccalaureates will receive an annual scholarship of $5K and participate in a curriculum designed to develop a foundation for further graduate studies and careers in research.

Academic and scholarly development activities will include:

1) monthly mentoring meetings covering topics, including how to choose a grad school, how to write a grad school statement, how to talk to a mentor, how to choose a scientific meeting, how to use social media for scientific networking and knowledge, how to prepare for a grad school interview, how to move through the phases of scientific projects, how to structure scientific presentations, how to write scientific manuscripts, how to write fellowships and more.

2) attendance at: one seminar/month with an associated mentored journal club, one additional monthly seminar of interest, and a monthly career options seminar

3) participation in the annual postbaccalaureate scholar symposium.

Postbaccalaureate scholars will also have access to numerous optional training opportunities, such as guidance on graduate fellowship applications, feedback on graduate applications, computational training, career exploration, course auditing, mock grad school interviews, attendance at division retreats, and participation in Fred Hutch summer undergraduate and/or Office of Graduate Education programs. Scholars who stay for more than one year will also have the option of writing a National Science Foundation predoctoral fellowship and be mentored throughout the process.

Expectations for Scholars and Faculty Members

members of the Kugel lab

Expectations for Scholars

Scholars will have two interconnected roles: A full-time Research Technician II-PB position working at the bench on a scientific project, and a Student Scholar role with a curriculum designed to develop a foundation for further graduate studies and a research career.

Learn About the Full Expectations for Program Scholars
Nicholas Lehrbach in lab

Expectations for Faculty Mentors

Faculty mentors will design research projects, oversee scholar training, work with the scholar to complete an individual development plan, participate in the annual postbaccalaureate scholar symposium, provide guidance on grant and graduate school applications, and more.

Learn About the Full Expectations for Faculty Mentors
petri dishes under microscope

Available Projects

The program includes faculty members and research projects in a variety of areas including gene regulation and genomic integrity, biophysics and quantitative biology, cell proliferation and fate, immunology and evolution, neuroscience, and more. Potential scholars should review the available research projects and will need to rank a selection of them by interest when applying for the program.

The 2024-2025 year will be announcing available projects in the beginning of the new year. Please check this page towards the end of January for an updated list of projects. 

Postbac Program Leadership

Dr. James Alvarez

Dr. James Alvarez

Director, Postbac Program, Fred Hutch

Dr. James Alvarez is a cancer cell biologist in the Public Health Sciences Division and the Director of the Fred Hutch Postbaccalaureate Scholar Program.

Kyle Shea

Kyle Shea

Program Manager, Postbac Program, Fred Hutch

Kyle Shea, M.Ed., is the Program Manager for the Fred Hutch Postbaccalaureate Scholar Program.