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BRAiN

Broadening Research Achievement in Neurosciences (BRAiN) for a Diverse Workforce

Program Announcement: Applications will be reviewed starting on January 11, 2021 until all the fellowships are filled.

Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health

NIH Grant 5R25NS112136 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

PROGRAM DIRECTORS

Dr. Luis Mota-Bravo, Director of Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs (MSP), School of Biological Sciences, University of California Irvine.

Dr. Marlene de la Cruz, Director of Student Academic Development, Minority Science Programs (MSP), School of Biological Sciences, University of California Irvine.

Dr. Marcelo A. Wood, Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, School of Biological Sciences, University of California Irvine

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Minority Science Programs (MSP) in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) announces the Broadening Research Achievement in Neurosciences (BRAiN) for a Diverse Workforce Program. The BRAiN program aims at preparing underrepresented minority (URM) UCI undergraduates and community college students majoring in a STEM discipline to enter and excel in Ph.D. programs in neurosciences at universities with NIH T32 training grants, to become faculty role models for young underrepresented students, and independent investigators to diversify the workforce.

BRAiN provides academic preparation to excel in college, paid research training, information about career choices and opportunities for mentorship with biomedical researchers. After the initial academic preparation and training, eligible BRAiN students work in faculty laboratories as research trainees and receive financial compensation as full-time employees in the summer and part-time during the academic year. Research areas include stem cell research, anatomy, neurobiology and areas related to neurosciences. In addition to paid research opportunities, BRAiN students attend faculty seminars, laboratory workshops, tutoring, journal club, scientific communications workshops, national conferences, graduate school guidance and career and academic advisement.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents from underrepresented minority groups (Black African-Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Natives of other U.S. Pacific Islands, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds [NOT-OD-20-031]) enrolled in an area within biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics, computer sciences and biomedical engineering. Sophomore, junior and senior biology majors should have completed one year of chemistry with a grade B or better. All applicants should have a GPA of at least 3.0, however, exceptions can be made for students showing an upward trend in their grades.

RESEARCH TRAINING AREAS

Students participating in the BRAiN program receive training in neuroscience research. BRAiN scholars may choose to participate in research experiences provided directly by the BRAiN program or they may choose their research advisor among faculty in the School of Biological Sciences or College of Medicine that are conducting basic (non-clinical) research in neurosciences. Research areas include biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, developmental biology, cell biology, neurobiology, stem cell, and anatomy, among other areas related to neurosciences.

BENEFITS, RESPONSIBILITIES AND TIMETABLE

The BRAiN program provides academic preparation and financial support as apprentice scientists in UCI laboratory to gain laboratory skills and research experience.

BRAiN is an exciting and challenging academic experience. Selected participants receive the following benefits:

  • Mentoring and guidance by MSP program directors, UCI faculty, graduate students and senior undergraduates pursuing neuroscience research careers
  • Introduction to laboratories in the UCI School of Biological Sciences and School of Medicine
  • Academic and career advisement
  • Financial compensation as full-time employees in the summer and part-time during the academic year
  • Faculty seminar series where speakers share their experiences pursuing careers as independent investigators
  • Training in responsible conduct of research and quantitative skills
  • Financial support to present research findings at national conferences
  • Career planning and guidance to apply to research doctorate programs
  • Visits to graduate programs institutions

Fellows are expected to participate in all BRAiN activities designed for their level, including faculty seminars, laboratory workshops, tutoring, journal club, scientific communications workshops, local and national conferences, graduate school guidance and career and academic advisement. Bio Sci 194S Safety and Ethics course is mandatory prior to engaging in research training at UCI. Beginning in the sophomore year, BRAiN fellows are expected to enroll in the MSP Seminar Series (Bio 197) and continue during their participation in the program.

The following timetable shows the BRAiN activities during the academic year and the summer.

FALLWINTERSPRINGSUMMER
Sophomore   
MSP Research Seminar Series (Bio 197)MSP Research Seminar Series (Bio 197)MSP Research Seminar Series (Bio 197)MSP Research Seminar Series
Academic advisementAcademic advisementAcademic advisementIndependent research
   MSP Summer Research Symposium
Junior   
MSP Research Seminar Series (Bio 197)MSP Research Seminar Series (Bio 197)MSP Research Seminar Series (Bio 197)MSP Research Seminar Series
Independent researchIndependent researchIndependent researchIndependent research
Participation at national conferenceParticipation at national conference Journal club
Academic advisementAcademic advisementAcademic advisementSummer Research Symposium
  GRE training and testGRE training and test
Senior   
MSP Research Seminar Series (Bio 197)MSP Research Seminar Series (Bio 197)MSP Research Seminar Series (Bio 197) 
Excellence in ResearchWriting Bio Sci (Bio 196) Excellence in ResearchExcellence in Research 
Independent researchIndependent researchIndependent research 
Participation at national conferenceParticipation at national conference  
Application to PhD graduate schoolInterviews for PhD and Academic advisementAcademic advisement 

Students are expected to complete an individual development plan (IDP) that includes to take courses in statistics and neurobiology.

APPLICATION

Applications will be accepted until all the positions are filled. You may download the BRAiN application here that contains the BRAiN Application Form and Statement of Purpose Form. For additional information about BRAiN please contact:

Dr. Marlene de la Cruz

Director Academic Student Development

Outreach Research Training Minority Science Programs

University of California, Irvine

1134 Biological Sciences III

Irvine, CA 92697-2527

Ph: (949) 824-2589

Fax: (949) 824-6599

e-mail: marlene@uci.edu