This proposal is for continued NIH support for graduate student training within the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (INP) of Yale University. The INP is Yale's university-wide interdepartmental doctoral program, currently in its 22 year. Five students each in years 1 and 2 are supported by the INP Jointly Sponsored NIH Predoctoral Training Program. Tuition and stipend support is requested for continuing support at this level. The faculty of the INP's T32 Jointly Sponsored NIH Predoctoral Training Program consists of 70 neuroscientists from departments of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and the Yale Medical School (YMS). For the 2009-10 academic year there are 39 predoctoral graduate students, of which 33 are from the US or are permanent residents. The INP has two co Directors, Haig Keshishian and Charles Greer, and is supervised by an executive committee representing a cross-section of the neurosciences at Yale. Haig Keshishian serves as program director for the INP's T32 Training Program. The INP receives strong university support, including a salaried administrator, office space, 8 full fellowships with tuition, and stipend supplementation. The doctoral program undergoes provostial-level academic reviews. Students are admitted through a neuroscience admissions committee that is part of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) program of Yale. Upon affiliating with the INP the students remain within the interdepartmental program through their graduation. On average over the past funding cycle, 92 US/permanent resident students have applied annually, with 20 offered admission, for an entering class of 6.6 students (2009 class: 5 US students). The INP is actively involved in educating students from underrepresented ethnic and/or racial groups. Since 2005 14% of the US/permanent resident neuroscience students in the program were from these groups. Students are supervised by the co Directors, an executive committee, and advisory committees. All INP students take four core graduate classes in neuroscience and bioethics, three advanced course electives, and two 1st year research rotations. They attend invited seminars, research in progress talks, an annual retreat and attend the Society for Neuroscience meeting at the program's expense. In the 2nd year the students select a doctoral advisor from the pool of participating faculty. They also take the doctoral qualifier examination, which has tutorial, written, and oral components. The students advance to candidacy for the PhD upon defending a prospectus in the 3rd year. All students are provided travel funds to attend and present their work at national meetings. A PhD in Neuroscience is awarded to graduates by the INP.
The INP training program supports the education of the next generation of neuroscience research scientists. INP graduates go on to leading positions in universities, research institutes, and industry, where they contribute to our understanding of the basic principles of the nervous system. Our students and alumni develop rational approaches to understand the outstanding problems in nervous system function, and through their research advance practical solutions for the disorders of the nervous system that afflict society.
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