BRAINS Symposium

Broadening Representation of Academic Investigators in NeuroScience
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The BRAINS logo, based on the two halves of a brain, one half is orange and the other half is blue with arrows point in all directions to represent diversity BRAINS acronym

Evaluation and Impact

Description of how the Symposium will be evaluated and its impact assessed

The BRAINS participants are surveyed annually to assess long-term program impact. "Learning to Thrive: Building Diverse Scientists' Access to Community and Resources through the BRAINS Program," (CBE - Life Sciences Education, Sept. 2016) reports early data on near-term individual impacts on career-advancing behaviors and career experiences of BRAINS participants from the 2013 and 2014 cohorts. Also, a poster about the impact of BRAINS was presented at the 2016 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.

  1. Early Program Impacts
  2. Anticipated Long-Term Impacts

1. Early Program Impacts

BRAINS has had two cohorts to date, one starting in January 2013 and another in September 2014. Total participants: N = 56. Participation in BRAINS leads to near-term impacts on career advancing behaviors and experiences.

Career Advancing Behaviors

BRAINS participants reported successful career progression, research productivity and increased connection with other scientists. In fall 2015, 42.9% of participants were in tenure-track positions (versus 25% at application), and 55/56 were in science careers (Table 1). Participants also exhibited high research productivity, garnering 28 funded proposals (~$5M), 61 published manuscripts, and two promotions to associate professors as of Fall 2015. Participants engaged in more networking and mentoring activities after their BRAINS experience (Figure 2).


Table showing career progression of BRAINS participants Table 1: Job Outcomes of Participants and Non-Selected Applicants at times of application (August 2012 or April 2014) and in December 2015.
Table showing difference in mean career behavior index scores from application to first annual survey Figure 1: Participants engagement in career connecting activities such as mentoring and networking increased from time of application to the BRAINS program to one year later.

Career Experiences+

As illustrated in Figure 2, BRAINS participants reported an increased sense of belonging to neuroscience and increased self efficacy.

Graph showing increase in mean index scores from application to first annual survey Figure 2: Increases in sense of belonging and career self-efficacy mean index scores from time of application to the BRAIS Program to one year later.

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2. Anticipated Long-Term Impacts

We expected that near-term individual impacts will both lead to long term career impacts on participants as well as impact diversity and inclusion in neuroscience at the national scale. Figure 3 illustrates the BRAINS program theory and impacts.

Graph showing increase in mean index scores from application to first annual survey Figure 3: The BRAINS program theory suggests that program features will lead to short-term impacts on career behavior and experience. We anticipate that these individual impacts will lead to long-term impacts on the careers of BRAINS participants and serve to impact diversity in neuroscience at the national scale.

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Last updated November 8, 2016

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