The Program in Neuroscience (PIN) at the University of Maryland Baltimore provides contemporary predoctoral training with exceptional trainee outcomes in the discipline of neuroscience. The program currently supports 6 PIN students in years 1 & 2, prior to their commitment to a thesis project and faculty mentor. Major objectives of the program include 1) continued development of innovative educational techniques that harness the power of portable computing (iPad Initiative) and the opportunities they offer for accessing knowledge, flipped classrooms, visualization, presentation and communication, and 2) a well-honed Core Course Curriculum that provides students with diverse educational backgrounds a deep knowledge of biological principals and critical thinking thereby building a platform for life-long learning and scientific discovery. Supplemented by a continuously up-dated menu of required and elective courses, recently including Translational Psychiatry, Behavioral Neuroscience and Biostatistics Flipped, this curriculum fulfills our long-term goal of producing students with enduring learning skills that foster creative thinking and flexible problem solving, equipping them with the capacity to meet future challenges and opportunities. Career development is enhanced by multiple mechanisms including: 1) PIN specific Proseminar in Hypothesis Testing and Experimental Design; 2) opportunity to minor in Pharmacology, 3) grant and scientific writing workshops, 4) extensive training in oral, presentation and interviewing skils and 5) multiple and varied enrichment activities with local scientists in government, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and non-profit organizations. This training program provides the financial stability and organizational structure that frames the overall PIN, amplifying the impact of neuroscience in the larger Graduate Program in Life Sciences, the umbrella organization for PIN and seven other PhD granting programs. Consistently successful recruitment has been stable for many years, combined with increasing numbers of TGE and URM applicants and a faculty that has competed exceptionally well for research funding in challenging times. The University of Maryland Baltimore is a professional campus in an urban setting with a long-standing commitment to graduate education with the strong support of the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing as well as the Graduate School. The Program's return on investment is evident in our highly successful graduates publishing 1st authored peer-reviewed manuscripts including in Science, Nature, Neuron and Nature Neuroscience and 98%, including all URMs, in continued training or currently employed as scientists. Current trainees beyond their first two years have all published at least one manuscript or abstract.
Neuroscience is a dynamic and interdisciplinary field that requires equally dynamic and interdisciplinary training to ensure forward progress against the many devastating neurological and mental health diseases that plague mankind. Our trainees receive a contemporary technologically advanced education combined with personal mentoring and career development that assures their future commitment to the neurosciences.
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