Pathways to Neurosciences

The Pathways to Neurosciences program fosters belonging, excellence, and leadership in the next generation of Stanford neuroscience trainees.


Pathways to Neurosciences is a mentorship and leadership training program that fosters belonging among trainees from underrepresented backgrounds and/or who have historically been excluded from academia. Pathways supports trainees in the transition from PhD to postdoctoral training (late-stage grad students and early-stage postdocs) through peer and faculty mentorship, professional and scientific development opportunities, and community-building events. 

This program is part of an NIH-funded research study that seeks to collect actionable data about how to effectively increase social connection and feelings of belonging for historically underrepresented trainees in the neurosciences.


Apply by August 2, 2024.

No letters of recommendation are required to apply for the Pathways to Neurosciences program at Wu Tsai Neuro, although two short, open-ended text responses are requested as part of the application form.

Click here for application and eligibility details.

Program sponsor
National Institute of Health (NIH), Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, Stanford Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Stanford Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Program Components

Pathways trainees have access to the following opportunities:

  • NeuroCircles: Facilitated peer-to-peer mentoring groups. NeuroCircles meet every other week starting in the Fall. Each NeuroCircle cohort will last two years and will consist of ~10 trainees who are approaching or have recently completed the transition from predoctoral to postdoctoral status.
  • Pathways Mentors: Faculty available for one-on-one meetings centered around specific topics related to mentorship, scientific advancement, and networking. 
  • Unwritten Rules: Casual moderated conversations between Pathways trainees and invited faculty around navigating career choice, career transitions, and personal and professional challenges as a scientist. 
  • Enrichment Funds: Grants for career development or scientific training experiences, such as travel to another lab to learn a technique or to a career development meeting.
  • Grant-writing workshops: Designed specifically for Pathways by Dr. Crystal Botham, the founder of the award-winning Grant Writing Academy, these events will boost your ability to choose the right fellowship program and to develop a writing practice.
  • BIOS 225 Diversity & Inclusion in STEMM: Participate in "DAIS", an established minicourse offered in the spring that covers the social sciences behind STEMM and uses team projects to enhance knowledge of diversity and inclusion concepts and practices. 

Pathways Mentors

Pathways trainees have access to one-on-one meetings with mentors where they can discuss their questions and request advice regarding mentorship, scientific advancement, and networking.

View Pathways Mentors

Contact Us

For questions about the program, please contact Valerie Vargas-Zapata at

For questions about the rights of participants in our study, call 1-866-680-2906.