The Brain and Cognitive Sciences Graduate Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology requests renewal of its major training grant. The department is organized to promote interdisciplinary training and research in neuroscience and behavior, approached with the experimental power of modern molecular and cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, and cognitive science, combined with the theoretical strength of computational neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Trainees begin laboratory work through lab rotations in the first two terms and subsequently join a laboratory, working on problems in learning and memory, neural development, vision, motor control or brain disorders and diseases. Required course work can be completed in two to three years, with a two-term sequence of core courses in the first year, a quantitative methods course, and a flexible array of graduate lecture courses and seminar classes. The qualifying exam consists of written and oral components of an interdisciplinary NIH/NSF style grant proposal. Annual research reports and annual committee meetings are required, and mark the student's progress in research through completion of a thesis. Multiple presentations at professional meetings and journal publications are typically expected of a dissertation. Most students continue in research careers, armed with skills that typically span multiple theoretical and experimental approaches comprising molecular/cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, psychophysics, behavior and computation. Trainees will, in general, have strong backgrounds in the natural sciences (e.g., undergraduate majors in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, or electrical engineering). Occasional trainees will already hold a master's degree in another field. Candidates for the graduate program will be chosen by the department Graduate Committee constituted for the purpose of overseeing this program and will be evaluated on the basis of interviews, talent for research as demonstrated by past performance, letters of recommendation, grades, and GRE scores. Funds are requested for five years to support 12 predoctoral trainees per year.
MIT's Integrative Neuronal Systems program provides interdisciplinary training for graduate students pursuing research careers related to the understanding of the human brain and mind. In addition to graduate coursework, students get hands-on laboratory experience using the latest techniques in neuroscience, including neurophysiology, brain imaging, genetics, molecular biology, and computation.
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