Neuroscience Training Grants

In addition, to support through the graduate school and individual laboratories, the Neuroscience Program supports specialized training in advanced topics through NIH-funded training grants. Positions on these grants are limited, so please contact the program directors linked below for more information on the program and availability.

Highlighted Grants

Multidisciplinary Training in the Biology of Alcohol Addiction (T32 AA007565)

Program Contact: Brian McCool
Supports pre and postdoctoral trainees in the field of alcohol research. We are a group of outstanding, well-funded alcohol investigators with a solid funding base in basic, clinical, human populations research that has been successful for fourteen years in training young scientists to become independent investigators. Our research is carried out in a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary manner so that trainees not only receive the training necessary to become independent investigators, but also as members of interdisciplinary teams of the kind that will increasingly characterize their future research careers. The research training faculty do work that is highly translational. Many of our studies examine the same end points and employ the same behavioral models in multiple species. Training consists of rigorous didactic work along with intensive laboratory-based research. It is augmented by a robust curriculum in career development, including teaching and writing courses, and ethics. There are multiple opportunities for students to hone their presentation skills, including journal clubs and required research seminar presentations at least twice or more each year, depending on which graduate program they are in. Training also benefits from distinct school resources that include a Translational Science Institute that offers courses in translational Research and state of the art imaging. We have also formed a partnership with a local treatment center that will give our students clinical exposure to enhance their understanding of the disease of alcoholism and ground their research in the real world.

The Neurobiology of Drug Abuse (T32 DA041349)

Program Contact: Sara Jones
Trains students in the multi-disciplinary program in the neurobiology of drug abuse. This program consists of faculty with research interests including molecular biology, receptor pharmacology, brain imaging techniques in humans and non-human primates, electrophysiology, and behavioral analysis of drug self- administration. The research of the faculty is supported by a significant number of federally-funded grants related to the field of substance abuse. A central focus of research for the training program is the NIDA-funded Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction Treatment, which offers highly integrated collaborative research projects among a number of faculty. The program is organized around three principal areas of research: Molecular/Cellular Neurobiology, Neurobiological Systems, and Behavioral Neurobiology. The training program offers a specific course in drug abuse related to each of these three areas. In addition to coursework, the training program offers specific seminars and journal clubs for trainees. The program also contains specialized components dealing with grant writing, rigor and transparency in research, and ethics in scientific research. In summary, the Neurobiology of Drug Abuse Training Program not only offers students outstanding opportunities for education and research in the neurobiology of drug abuse, but is also a valuable resource for the field of drug abuse by providing trained young investigators capable of independent scientific careers.

Training Program in Multisensory Processes (T32 NS073553)

Program Contact: Barry Stein
Trains students in an emerging discipline, multisensory processing, that investigates how the brain integrates and segregates sensory information. Surprisingly, this rapidly growing discipline of multisensory integration has a paucity of formal training opportunities and the present program offers a unique environment in which to meet this need at both the pre- and postdoctoral levels. Though its curriculum incorporates traditional topics relating to the development, organization, and perception/behavior derived from sensory processing in the different senses, the training program uniquely emphasizes the way in which sensory systems interact to markedly enhance or degrade the physiological salience of external events. Though bound together by common interests in hearing, the faculty provides expertise in each of the senses and, most importantly, has strong expertise in multisensory integration. The training program offers a singular experience in topics such as neuropharmacology, electrophysiology, modern neuroanatomy and immunohistochemistry, computational neuroscience, development, cognition, psychophysics, behavior, and hands-on experience with a variety of laboratory techniques. These are normally covered in a generic manner, but are addressed here in the context of how individual sensory modalities process sensory information and the mechanisms that underlie their synergistic function. Students rotate through laboratories to gain in-depth experience in several sensory systems, but also have mini-courses to give them practical experience in techniques beyond those they may use for a current research project. All students and faculty participate in a seminar series and journal club that is topic-keyed to the core courses in Sensory Neuroscience, ensuring continuing broad intellectual and collegial interactions. Students are exposed to training opportunities and experts that offer advice regarding career paths in addition to traditional tenure-track academic positions. The training faculty is a relatively small group of investigators involved in broad collaborative interactions providing a highly cooperative and rich interactive environment for trainees.