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NeuroTech Application and Eligibility

The 2020 NeuroTech application is now closed.

 

Prospective applicants must review the eligibility and application information below, and are also strongly encouraged to review the information about both the NeuroTech training program and Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology program to determine which would be most relevant. NeuroTech applicants may also apply to the Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology program, if desired.

 

Key dates for the 2020 NeuroTech application
Application deadline July 20, 2020, 5 PM (PT)
Notification of award Mid/Late July, 2020
Award start date Fall quarter, 2020
Funding period Fall quarter, 2020 through summer quarter, 2023
To apply The 2020 application period is now closed.

Informational Session Recording

Eligibility

Student applicants

The NeuroTech training program accepts applications from Stanford students in the first or second years of their PhD program. Preferential consideration will be given first-year students, but second-year students are also welcome and encouraged to apply. Applicants must be students in a technical department or program (e.g., Applied Physics, BioEngineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Material Sciences and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics or Statistics). If you have any questions about your eligibility for the NeuroTech training program, please do not hesitate to contact mbct-center@stanford.edu.

One of the primary goals of the NeuroTech training program is to support diversity among researchers in the neurosciences. We welcome all interested students to apply, and particularly encourage women, underrepresented minorities, veterans and those with disabilities to submit an application.

Research

Applicants may be members of any Stanford laboratory, however their primary research focus must be in neurotechnology — developing or applying cutting-edge technology to produce an advance in experimental neuroscience.

We are happy to give feedback to rotating students who would like to apply to the NeuroTech program in spring of 2020 and want to know whether the research focus they are considering would qualify. If you would like such feedback, please send a one-paragraph explanation of how your research in the given lab would produce an advance in experimental neuroscience to mbct-center@stanford.edu.

Faculty mentors

Each applicant must have completed the process of selecting a primary research mentor according to the policies of the applicant’s PhD degree granting program. Students are encouraged, but not required, to have a secondary faculty mentor whose expertise complements the student's research and training goals and can guide the applicant’s technical and experimental neuroscience research and training. 

The student's primary mentor must be an affiliate of the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, and commit to active participation in the NeuroTech program.

NeuroTech Fellowship

In addition to the NeuroTech Research and Travel Fund received by all trainees in the NeuroTech program, the program offers up to three fellowships (covering two years of full financial support, including tuition, fees and stipend) each year to its trainees. Because these fellowships are funded by the National Science Foundation, they are only available to U.S. citizens, nationals and permanent residents.

This fellowship is financial aid. As such, recipients must inform the NeuroTech program of other fellowships received during the tenure of the NeuroTech award, at which time we reserve the right to make changes to the financial terms of the award. There is no specific work requirement with the NeuroTech fellowship beyond the program requirements, and your sole obligation is to make satisfactory progress toward the doctoral degree.

Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology student membership

Any applicant who is not accepted into the NeuroTech program is invited to have their application considered for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology student membership.

Application

This application is for those who would like to be considered for the NeuroTech training program, and will also be used to select NeuroTech fellowship recipients from among the new trainees. Any applicant who is not awarded a NeuroTech program traineeship may also have their application considered for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology student membership.

Deadline

The 2020 application period is now closed

Components

In addition to basic information about the student applicant and their chosen mentors, the application consists of six further components:

  1. Explanation of fitExplain how you will combine interdisciplinary coursework, travel to conferences or courses, mentor(s) and other learning opportunities (e.g., seminar series, journal clubs, etc.) to stretch beyond your current areas of expertise and develop the skills you need for neuroscience research. (500 words.)

  2. Your research planExplain your primary research question, and describe how you plan to advance understanding of this question. Explain how your research will develop or apply cutting-edge technology or computational approaches to produce an advance in experimental neuroscience. (500 words)

  3. Your career goalsExplain your future career goals, including more than one possible career path, and how this program will help you advance those goals. (limit: 200 words)

  4. Your community contribution plan: Examples of community involvement include attending the MBCT seminar series, planning social events, and initiating other program activities. These are described below. Contact program coordinator Elise Kleeman, elisek@stanford.edu, if you would like to discuss ways in which you could get involved. (limit: 300 words)

  5. [Optional] Role of secondary mentorIf you have already identified a secondary mentor, explain how they will help you advance your research, training and career goals. Include the way in which this mentor's guidance and expertise complements the guidance that you will receive from your primary mentor, and the planned frequency and form of interactions with your secondary mentor. (limit: 300 words.)

  6. Statements of support from both your primary and secondary mentors: Once you discuss your training and research plans and your interest in participating in the NeuroTech program with your primary and, if applicable, secondary advisors, they must complete and sign the Primary Faculty Mentor Statement of Support and Secondary Faculty Mentor Statement of Support forms, which you must submit as part of your application.

PDF icon Primary Mentor Statement of Support

PDF icon Secondary Mentor Statement of Support

 

Community Engagement

NeuroTech trainees have access to a variety of community engagement activities to aide them in building personal connections with other interdisciplinary scientists and achieving their research, training and career goals. Applicants should address which components they would like to be involved in within the community contribution section of their application. 

Seminars and symposia

The Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology hosts a seminar series throughout the year, typically on a biweekly basis, that reflects the diversity of scientific approaches for studying the mind and brain. These seminars include a mix of Stanford faculty, faculty from other institutions and researchers outside of academia. Additionally, advanced student members present as part of the seminar series.

Annually, the Center hosts a symposium related to a specific theme relevant to the scientific goals of the community. Information about past symposia can be found here.

Student leadership opportunities

The Computational Neuroscience Journal Club is run by MBCT student members (including NeuroTech trainees), and provides graduate students and postdocs an opportunity to explore the core techniques of computational neuroscience and their applications. CNJC meets regularly and includes presentations from students and postdocs, as well as community building activities such as happy hours.

Each year, a student committee organizes the Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology seminar series, and take the lead of soliciting speaker nominations from the community, inviting speakers and hosting their visits to campus. Additionally, students host the speakers for the annual symposium.

This year, a new Student Advisory Council has been formed with the goal of enabling greater student input into the direction of the center. These students solicit feedback from the MBCT student community, and meet with the Center's leadership several times per year. 

The MBCT Social Committee brings together students for fun, informal gatherings over coffee and other beverages. The Social Committee plans several events each year, including events with other interdisciplinary graduate training programs on campus.

Application Evaluation Criteria

Faculty reviewers will evaluate applicants based on four criteria:

Fit: The student’s proposed training and research should allow them to develop or apply cutting-edge technology or computational techniques to produce advances in experimental neuroscience.

Research plan: The student should have a clear research question and a concrete general approach.

Training plan: The student should clearly explain how they will combine coursework (beyond their home department’s requirements), travel to conferences or courses, and other learning opportunities (e.g., seminar series, journal clubs, etc.) to advance research at the intersection of neuroscience and technology, and to prepare for their future career paths.

Community contribution: The student should demonstrate a desire for engagement with, and contribution to, the community.