The Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology training program is founded on the idea that contemporary research about the emergent functions of the nervous system often requires the integration of experimental investigations with computation and advanced technologies.
This program supports PhD students from empirical, computational, technical or theoretical backgrounds as they stretch beyond the traditional boundaries of their department or lab to learn complementary interdisciplinary approaches, advancing their research and helping them develop into leaders and innovators in their field.
Graduate students in the program work with their faculty mentors to design a tailored curriculum of courses and independent study that will allow them to gain the right background for their needs, and join a supportive environment with workshops, seminars and a community of scientists with a similar interest in bridging quantitative, computational, technical and experimental approaches to advance neuroscience research. In addition, trainees receive funding to travel to conferences or scientific meetings so that they can expand their network, learn about new advances and approaches, and share their work with the community.
Your trainee experience
Individualized training and research plans
Each student who applies to the Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology training program works with their mentors to develop individual training and research plans that will help them stretch beyond the traditional boundaries of their department or lab to learn complementary approaches from another field.
A student's training plan generally involves a combination of several courses that go beyond the requirements of the student's home department, attendance at the Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology seminar series, and other integrated educational opportunities relevant to their research or career goals, such as travel to workshops or conferences. Together, they should provide strong grounding in a new research method complementing the student's primary PhD training.
In addition to their training plan, as part of their application students also propose a research plan that explains how they will integrate empirical and quantitative or engineering methods to advance their area of study, under the guidance of their primary and secondary mentors.
Mentorship is an important component of the Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology training program. In addition to their primary mentor, all trainees receive guidance from a secondary mentor who provides expertise in a field outside the expertise of the student’s home lab or PhD program, and supports the student as they stretch to learn new approaches and apply them to their research.
Secondary mentors need not come from Stanford, and may be international. It is best if the primary and secondary mentors have a sense of mutual understanding of the student's overall training and research goals, and of the goals of the Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology graduate training program. An established working relationship between the two mentors is beneficial, and will be especially important if the co-mentor works outside of Stanford.
Other program activities
The Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology offers a journal club, an ongoing seminar series devoted to faculty and student research presentations, and also holds an annual symposium that brings distinguished speakers to campus to talk with program participants. Community engagement and participation is an important component of the center’s graduate training programs, and trainees play an important role in formulating, planning and coordinating these events along with program faculty.
All Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology graduate trainees in good standing are eligible for $1,500 each year to support research- and training-related travel for up to three years.
To remain in good standing, trainees must submit an annual progress report that demonstrates their commitment to the training, research and engagement aspects of the program, and that is approved by a member of the graduate training program committee.
The 2019 Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology training program application period is now closed.
The Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology training program is only available to students who have already begun their PhD program at Stanford. If you are not a current Stanford PhD student, please follow the normal application procedures for the PhD program of your choice, and consider joining the center’s mailing list to learn more about seminars, symposia and other events.