CID Summer 2005 Convening: Supporting Intellectual Community
Topic 4: Developing a Professional Identity within a Disciplinary Community
Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (IPN)
The activities, opportunities, and ideas students in the IPN program are faced with to develop their professional identity as a member of the Neuroscience community and as a steward of the Neuroscience discipline.
stewards of the discipline, scholars have responsibilities to their
departmental, university, and disciplinary communities as well as to
society at large. Doctoral students develop a professional identity
that allows them to represent the discipline in these communities.
Professional Identity in the field of Neuroscience
IPN is a program that is committed to the integration of its students
and faculty into an intellectual community. Developing a professional
identity within this community is an unavoidable benefit to creating
this community. IPN has developed several forums and opportunities for
students and faculty alike to explore and develop their professional
identity within the Georgetown community, the Washington DC metro area,
the field of Neuroscience, and in the public arena.
Upon acceptance to the program until their thesis defense, students are
developing their professional identity within the field of
Neuroscience. We attempt to develop this aspect of our budding
scientists through coursework, seminars, workshops, conferences, and
active participation on program committees.
As a program that draws faculty from a variety of departments, the
students are the unifying element and as such their participation in
the program activities is fundamental to its continued success. The
unforeseen benefit to this work and participation, is that students
gain leadership, organizational, and communication skills they will
need in their future work in academia, industry, government, or
whatever profession they may ultimately choose.
Communication and interactions between faculty and students are
extremely frequent and varied so that students no longer see the
delineations between themselves and their predecessors in the field.
Instead, students begin to view themselves as integral contributing
members to a professional community.
The field of Neuroscience is extremely broad and varied; therefore, our
faculty and students must be well versed in all topics and techniques
to be successful stewards of the discipline. Developing a professional
identity within Neuroscience goes hand in hand with developing an