This is a competitive renewal of a Jointly Sponsored Training Grant that currently funds 6 slots for pre-thesis Ph.D. students in the Neuroscience Training Program (NSP) at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine. The NSP is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. granting degree started in 1986 that has been funded by the Jointly Sponsored Training Grant since 2001. The NSP has 60 faculty members of whom 56 are on this application. The faculty have an outstanding training record. Our graduates have a strong record of achievements as academicians and scientists. The average number of manuscripts published by our graduate students during their tenure was 3 manuscripts. The focus of the NSP is on training outstanding neuroscientists and academicians who will make significant contributions to neurobiology, become leaders in the field and impart these qualities to future generations of neuroscientists. In addition, we aim to foster development of students who approach research in a responsible, professional manner. In the last funding period, the NSP had its external review and acted quickly to put the reviewers' recommendations into practice. The Curriculum Committee, working in close collaboration with the Director, refined the curriculum designed to attain these goals. The emphasis of NSP is on fostering increasing independence, responsible conduct and critical thinking through courses and laboratory rotations in the first year of instruction so that, in the second year and beyond, we have students who think independently and develop, troubleshoot and communicate effectively the results of their own hypothesis-driven projects.
The purpose of this proposal is to train Neuroscience Ph.D. students to become independent investigators. This is an important goal because the study of the brain and the development of therapies for brain disorders is dependent on a well trained workforce of neuroscientists that will work at basic and translational levels.
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