Why MPFI’s Postbac Program Helps Launch Careers

March 12, 2021
2020-2021 MPFI Postbac Fellows

As new graduates contemplate whether an advanced degree and scientific career is right for them, many are finding that taking a year to build skills and gain lab experience helps bring their goals into focus. One program that provides these opportunities is Max Planck Florida’s Postbaccalaureate (“Postbac”) Program.

MPFI’s postbac program gives recent college graduates the opportunity to develop research skills to excel in graduate school and beyond by spending one to two years immersed in full-time research at MPFI. Program participants also receive valuable scientific enhancement and soft skill workshops on topics ranging from Ph.D. program application preparation to networking and presentation skills. MPFI postbacs count their experience in the program as a valuable foundation for their scientific careers. Here is what some of our past participants have to say about the MPFI Postbac Program.

“MPFI’s Postbac Program allowed me to engage with scientists of all levels—both in the MPFI community and all the speakers who came to visit. These interactions gave me confidence to make a place for myself in any lab. By giving me an introduction to the different kinds of work happening all over the country, the postbac program helped guide me to a lab doing work that I am interested in.”

– Ellie Hozhabri
2015-2016 MPFI Postbac
Currently enrolled in the NYU Neuroscience Ph.D. Program


“The MPFI Postbac Program gave me the confidence to go anywhere and pursue any question. I was able to explore new labs and techniques, and meet world renowned neuroscientists in a world class facility. The skills you learn at MPFI will prepare you to answer any question or succeed at any project.”

– Mariah Calubag
2019-2020 MPFI Postbac
Currently enrolled in the UW-Madison Cellular and Molecular Biology Ph.D. Program

“The MPFI postbac program is the best preparation for the day to day experience of a Ph.D. Mentors help you find the path that makes you excited to work every day. Nothing is impossible at MPFI: incredible resources and a broad network are at your fingertips.”

– Matthew McCann
2016-2018 MPFI Postbac
Currently enrolled in the MPI of Neurobiology IMPRS Ph.D. Program


“My year at Max Planck far exceeded my expectations. I have learned much more than I would have ever imagined. The equipment and resources available at Max Planck are phenomenal, giving students the opportunity to utilize the technology they probably would never be able to access anywhere else.”

– Heather Holman
2018-2019 MPFI Postbac
Currently enrolled in the MUSC M.D./Ph.D. program

As a part of MPFI’s Postbac program, here are some of the benefits you’ll experience:

  • Access to cutting-edge neuroscience research and technology
  • A collaborative and supportive training environment
  • Work full-time on a semi-independent project with guidance/mentorship from world-class scientists
  • Resources and training to develop as independent scientists
  • Complete preparation for Ph.D. program admissions (applications, interviews, etc.)
  • Professional/career development and advanced scientific training
  • Opportunities for outreach and community involvement
  • Networking opportunities with regular seminar speakers and visiting scientists
  • Be a part of an active neuroscience community on the same campus as FAU and Scripps Research