This is a competitive renewal of a Jointly Sponsored Neuroscience Training grant that currently funds six slots for pre-thesis Ph.D. students in the Neuroscience Training Program (NSP) at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). The NSP is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. granting degree started in 1986 that has been funded by an NIH training grant since 1993. The 44 training faculty participating in this grant come from six basic science and six clinical departments. The faculty members have a combined funding of $29 M in direct annual grant dollars, and they have an outstanding record of previous training. Our graduates have a strong record as academicians and scientists. The average number of manuscripts published by our graduates during their tenure at UCD was 3 manuscripts. Among the 35 graduate students as of the Fall of this year 65% are women, 14% underrepresented minorities or disabled and 9% are students from rural colleges and universities in the Rocky Mountain Region. The focus of the NSP is on training outstanding neuroscientists and academicians who will make significant contributions to neurobiology, become leaders in the field and impart these qualities to future generations of neuroscientists. In addition, we aim to foster development of students who approach research in a responsible, professional manner. In the last funding period the Curriculum Committee, working in close collaboration with the Director, refined a curriculum designed to attain these goals. The emphasis is on fostering increasing independence, responsible conduct and critical thinking through courses and laboratory rotations in the first year of instruction so that, in the second year and beyond, we have students who think independently and develop, troubleshoot and communicate effectively the results of their own hypothesis-driven projects.
The purpose of this proposal is to train Neuroscience Ph.D. students to become independent investigators. This is an important goal because the study of the brain and the development of therapies for brain disorders are dependent on a well trained workforce of neuroscientists that will work at basic and translational levels.
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