Support is requested for a training program to support the interdisciplinary research training and professional career development of advanced graduate students in their third, fourth and fifth years of an existing University-wide, degree-granting Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University. Neuroscience is one of the most rapidly growing areas of contemporary biomedical research and one in which basic findings are increasingly arising from interdisciplinary and collaborative research and are being translated into clinical advances. The program arises from the recognition that there are training opportunities that are of special relevance and importance to advanced graduate students in neuroscience and that there is a changing landscape for preparing for, finding and sustaining careers in biomedical and neuroscience research. In this context, the themes of the program will be to encourage and support our students in carrying out novel, interdisciplinary and collaborative thesis research projects not easily supported by existing programs and to provide them with professional career development training. Research training will be provided by the 88 faculty in the program, including leaders in various areas of neuroscience with a broad span of research interests. To further facilitate interdisciplinary training, students will be supported for short visits to laboratories outside of the New York area for the purpose of learning and applying novel techniques not available locally. Enhanced professional career development training will include a newly instituted course in this area for advanced graduate students in our program, the augmentation of a currently existing course in translational neuroscience, and creation of opportunities for students to receive guidance on careers in translational neuroscience from appropriate physician/scientists within our institution. Total student enrollment in the overall Neurobiology and Behavioral Program is approximately 80. Support is requested for 4 advanced students initially, with a yearly increment of 1 student to reach a total of 8 by year 5. Students will be eligible for the program after the first two years of intensive instructional experience. Appointment will be competitive and selection will be by a designated faculty committee.
The goal of the proposed program is to support novel, interdisciplinary and collaborative research as well as professional career development for advanced students in neuroscience. Neuroscience is one of the most rapidly growing areas of contemporary biomedical research and one in which basic findings are being translated into clinical advances in neurological and psychiatric disorders.
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