From Mathematician, Biologist, or Computer Scientist to Neuroscientist
beginning predoctoral training within the CNUP arrive with diverse
backgrounds and diverse interests. However, developing a strong base
covering fundamental material in the areas that help define
neuroscience is crucial for success within a field that often demands
multidisciplinary and collaborative research. Although defining the
knowledge that comprises the "core" of neuroscience presents its own
challenges, the CNUP attempts to provide all of its students with a
core base of knowledge during their first year of graduate school with
a set of two core courses: Cellular & Molecular Biology and Systems Neuroscience. The content of these courses is re-evaluated and updated each year based both on faculty and student input.
addition, the CNUP journal club exposes students to primary research
articles from many of the diverse fields that fall under the umbrella
of neuroscience. The journal club provides exposure to the wide range
of techniques used to study brain funciton, while at the same time
honing trainee's skills in critically reading and evaluating primary
literature. While this format certainly benefits more junior students,
recent concerns questioning the utility of this journal club for senior
students prompted a revision of the guidlines for journal club. This
process is described in detail within the "Ongoing Efforts" section.
We also believe every neuroscientist should be equipped with several other general tools including:
1. A basic understanding of statistics, hence we require a graduate level statistics course.
2. An understanding of the ethical issues that face all scientists, hence we require a graduate level scientific ethics course.
An understanding of the tools needed for professional development.
There are several opportunities within our program that foster
professional development including Survival Skills and Ethics Programs as well as yearly departmental and center-wide retreats.