Traditional approaches to train students in single disciplines seem insufficient to prepare them for the transdisciplinary future of translational neurobiology research. It is increasingly evident that the mere assembling of a collection of sub-discipline experts (for example a geneticist, computation biologist and psychologist) will be insufficient to adequately address the most important and pressing challenges in neurobiology and in developing therapies for complex brain disorders. We believe that exposing students to the transdisciplinary nature of translational neurobiology early in their careers is a crucial component of their training and key to attracting bright students to pursue neurobiology-related careers. To address this emerging and critical need, we have designed a summer undergraduate research experience, called the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute's Translational Neurobiology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (VTCRI neuroSURF) program, which aims to expose the next generation of early-career students to transdisciplinary, translational neurobiology. VTCRI neuroSURF is a 10-week summer program that provides undergraduate and high school students the opportunity to participate in hypothesis-driven, independent research in an area of translational neurobiology at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in Roanoke, Virginia. In addition to these research experiences, fellows will participate in coursework (in topics both in translational neurobiology and professional development) and in a seminar series that highlight translational neurobiology research at Virginia Tech (VT). Fundamental goals of this program are to provide research experiences to students that would otherwise not have the opportunity to take part in translational neurobiology research and to expose students to independent research early in their careers to increase the likelihood of their choosing long-term careers in translational neurobiology-related fields.
VTCRI's Translational Neurobiology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (VTCRI neuroSURF) program aims to provide early-career students with research experiences and coursework in transdisciplinary, translational neurobiology. The main goal of this program is to expose students to independent research and translational neurobiology early in their careers to increase the likelihood of them pursuing long-term careers in neurobiology-related fields.