This application requests funds to continue our integrated basic neuroscience training program at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. This training grant (T32 NS07433), currently in its 14th year of funding, has been successful in recruiting and training high quality predoctoral students in neuroscience. Funds are requested to support 8 graduate students in their first or second year in the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, which is a joint center of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University;these 8 students represent the top 20-25% of eligible trainees in these programs. The program described in this application focuses primarily on research training in the laboratories of a large and diverse neuroscience training faculty. Students begin laboratory research immediately upon entering the program, and rotate through at least two laboratories, for one terms each, in their first year. The training faculty, consisting of 77 faculties from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, provides expertise in neuroscience ranging from cellular and molecular to developmental to systems to perception and cognition, and students are exposed to this breadth of neuroscience. In addition to research, students take a series of two intensive one-term core courses in basic neuroscience, at least three elective courses in neuroscience or related areas, a course in statistics, a course in grant writing, and a variety of seminars and journal clubs. Trainees also participate actively in a series of professional development workshops that provide explicit training in such "survival skills" as written and oral communication, obtaining jobs and grants, teaching, and managing a research lab. Training in the responsible scientific conduct is an integral part of the professional development workshops, the core curriculum, and laboratory training. Students are encouraged to consider a wide range of employment opportunities within which to exercise their skills in research, and seminars are held to permit them to become familiar with employment both within and outside of traditional academic research universities. A solid structure is in place to mentor the trainees and monitor their progress through the program. Students pass through a series of milestones, including the first-year Reprint Exam, a second-year research evaluation, and a grant proposal-based comprehensive exam in the third year, prior to submitting a thesis proposal and progressing to full-time thesis research. Each student has an advising committee to see them through these milestones and assist with their mentoring. Data are presented to document that we recruit outstanding trainees and provide them with excellent training.
This application requests funds to continue to support the top graduate students in their first or second year of training in our integrated basic neuroscience training program at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. We have a broad, well-developed, an integrated training program in neuroscience that has a history of recruiting excellent students and providing excellent training by a large and diverse group of training faculty. The training program is focused on training in research laboratories integrated with a mix of coursework and training in responsible conduct of research and professional skills.
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