The Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition offers an interdisciplinary Ph. D. level educational program intended to create a cohort of excellent researchers who bring the skills, insights, and perspectives from a wide range of existing disciplines into the emerging new discipline of Cognitive Neuroscience. This program has now been in operation for almost 10 years. The program takes students from seven different departments spread over Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. Students are required to pursue a course of study including four core courses (Basic Neuroscience, Systems Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Computational Neuroscience) that often overlap very little with the core requirements of their home departments. Students also participate in a series of student and faculty research presentations, a student-run colloquium series and an annual retreat in which current issues are considered through a combination of research presentations and discussion groups focusing on special issues within the broad range of scientific activities encompassed by the Center for the Neural basis of Cognition, and students are encouraged to attend national and international meetings to gain exposure to contemporary research. There are currently 51 participants in the program, and the program's 17 graduates are all pursuing research careers, many of them either as assistant professors or as post-doctoral fellows in outstanding laboratories. We are adding a new research ethics series to the program and are joining in a broad recruitment effort to increase diversity among the participants. The program has been supported since its inception by an NSF research training grant that has now run its course and is not renewable. The current proposal seeks funding to allow the continuation of this program.
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