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Your NeuroTech Experience

NeuroTech Graduate Training Program, Mind Brain Computation and Technology

"When you think of interdisciplinary work, you might think of ways that knowledge from one field is useful for another. But it can also be something as simple as gaining a new perspective on a challenge." - Julietta Gomez-Frittelli, PhD student

The NeuroTech Training Program is a comprehensive, three-year experience that provides additional training on top of your primary PhD degree program and helps you apply your technical skills to advancing the field of neuroscience and improving human health. As a NeuroTech trainee, you will become part of a diverse, interdisciplinary network of fellow students, faculty and external industry professionals, extending your NeuroTech experience beyond the classroom and providing you a welcoming and supportive community of individuals with similar research interests. Each year, your training will emphasize a different aspect of your growth.

NeuroTech training program

Year 1: Explore and apply

During your first year at Stanford, you will be immersed in learning the fundamentals of your field and in exploring the research opportunities available to you. You will take core courses in your department, rotate through labs and join the Stanford community, but can also begin to prepare for and engage with the NeuroTech Program.

Coursework

NSUR 249: Experimental Immersion in Neuroscience: This 10-week, hands-on course in fall quarter is designed for students curious about what neurotechnology research is, how technical skills are needed to advance neuroscience, and what the day-to-day experience of being a neurotechnology graduate student is like. By visiting a different neurotechnology lab each week, in this course you will learn about the questions being explored and new techniques being developed or applied in neurotechnology labs, and how you can contribute to improving human health and our understanding of the brain.

NeuroTech Program Application

The NeuroTech Training Program application period opens in June and 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. If you have any questions about the application process or about your application, you are encouraged to contact the NeuroTech program coordinator, Ramy Abbady.

Year 2: Build your neuroscience foundation

Selected NeuroTech trainees generally begin their traineeship at the start of the second year of their PhD. During this year, you will work with your faculty mentors to tailor a selection of neuroscience core courses relevant to your research path, and start to build the skills you will need and the community that will support you as you get your neurotechnology research underway.

Ada Poon, NeuroTech training program, Center for Mind Brain Computation and Technology

Coursework

Stanford Intensive Neuroscience Bootcamp: Learn single cell physiology and molecular biology techniques, and meet other graduate students in the neurosciences in this two-week, hands-on summer course.

Neuroscience Core Courses: Working with your faculty mentors, you will select which core courses you need for an effective foundation in neuroscience as relates to your individual research and career ambitions. Each course is an immersive, two-week experience.

  • NEPR 201: Neuro-Cellular Core
  • NEPR 202: Neuroscience Development Core
  • NEPR 203: Neuroscience Systems Core
  • NEPR 204: Neuroscience Molecular Core
  • NEPR 205: Neuroscience Anatomy Core
  • NEPR 207: Neuroscience Cognitive Core
  • NEPR 208: Neuroscience Computational Core
  • NEPR 213: Neurogenetics Core

Responsible conduct of research: All trainees are required to learn how to responsibly conduct research, and generally take a class such as NEPR 212: Responsible Conduct of Neuroscience Research in the second year of their PhD.

NeuroTech Training Seminar: This course is a cornerstone of the NeuroTech training program. In it, you and your classmates will join in-depth discussions with expert guests from academica and industry to learn and practice research- and career-critical skills including communication, team science, leadership and management, all in the context of emerging neurotechnology research and development.

Year 3: Expand your skills

During your third year at Stanford, you will focus on expanding the skills you will need to accelerate and advance your research. You will travel to conferences and workshops, take a data science course relevant to your work and continue to practice your research and career skills in the NeuroTechnology Training Seminar.

Coursework

Data science course: Stanford offers a large variety of data science courses covering many topics and taught at many different levels. Working with your faculty mentors, you will choose a course best-suited to your skills and research and career goals.

NeuroTech Training Seminar: In your second year of the NeuroTech training seminar, you will practice and expand upon the skills you learned in your first year, with an emphasis on improving your communication, collaboration and leardership abilities.

NeuroTech training program, Center for Mind Brain Computation and Technology

Year 4: Prepare for your career

Your fourth year at Stanford marks your final year as a NeuroTech trainee, and gives you the unique opportunity to apply your skills with an internship either in industry or at another academic institution, expanding your horizons and your network as you prepare to enter the job market.

Coursework

NeuroTech Training Seminar: Your final year of participation in the NeuroTech training seminar is your opportunity to polish your career skills, explore career options, decide whether to pursue an internship in academia or industry, and prepare to make the most of that opportunity.

Year 5 and beyond: Stay engaged

As a fifth year PhD student, you will not have any official requirements within the NeuroTech training program. However, you are encouraged to continue to attend community events, seminars and symposia, to present your research in the NeuroTech training seminar so that you share your experience with others, and to have a long-lasting impact in the community by mentoring younger trainees. At this stage in your PhD, you will be focused on completing your dissertation, but you will always have a home in the NeuroTech community.