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

Symposium Application

Brains symposium application

Thank you for your interest in applying to the BRAINS program. We will be accepting applications for the 2014 cohort January 15, 2014 - February 28 deadline extended to April 4, 2014. The next BRAINS Symposium will take place September 25-28, 2014. You may e-mail our team with specific questions at brains@uw.edu.

General Application Information

The application packet consists of seven items. Some items will be completed online while others will be e-mailed to the BRAINS program. The application includes an online survey and three brief personal statements, which we recommend preparing before beginning the online application survey. A complete application also includes letters of recommendation, CV, and documentation of eligibility. These last three items can be submitted at any time, and need not wait for the online application to be submitted. See detailed application instructions for more information.

Please note that your individual responses are confidential and will not be shared beyond the BRAINS administrative team. All data will be presented in aggregate form only for the purposes of reporting. Your survey responses will be stored on a password protected server with restricted access.

BRAINS attendees will be asked to share with the BRAINS administrative team information from their application, complete a short feedback survey at the BRAINS symposium, and take annual web-based surveys in order to assess the outcomes of BRAINS. Additionally, all applicants will be invited to complete a brief survey (and attach their C.V.) in 2016 about their career progression. Participation in the evaluation is voluntary. You are not obligated to participate and your decision not to participate will not preclude you from being selected as a participant in the symposium.

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Components of Application Process

Part One: Application Materials (the 2014 application window is now closed)

a) Personal Statement (one paragraph)

b) Short and Long-Term Professional Goals (one paragraph)

c) Research and Teaching Statement (one page)

d) Survey (20-30 min)

Part Two: Contact Information for Designated Reference(s) (the 2014 application window is now closed)

Part Three: E-mailed Documents (please send to brains@uw.edu)

a) Copy of C.V.

b) Documentation of Eligibility (one letter from institutional administrator)

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Detailed Application Instructions

Part One: Application Materials (the 2014 application window is now closed)

a) Personal Statement: A one-paragraph statement explaining how you feel you will benefit from a program like BRAINS.

b) Short and Long-Term Professional Goals: A one-paragraph statement explaining your career expectations and goals over five and ten-year periods, as well as an articulation of expected career challenges during those time periods.

c) Research and Teaching Statement: A one-page statement explaining your research and teaching program and interests for a general neuroscience audience.

d) Survey: A mandatory online questionnaire that will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete and will provide information about your experiences and your expectations of the BRAINS program. Please complete the questionnaire, as the answers are important for participant selection.

Part Two: Contact Information for Designated Reference(s) (the 2014 application window is now closed)

Recommendation Letter(s): One to two letters of recommendation. The first recommender should be a current or recent advisor/PI, mentor or department chair and the second (optional) recommender may be an individual of your choosing. The recommenders will be contacted via e-mail and asked to complete an online recommendation form which provides the BRAINS selection committee with information on the following:

  • The additional support or resources you may need to move forward in your neuroscience career;
  • The ways your career will be impacted by participating in BRAINS; and
  • Your expected career trajectory during the next five and ten years.

Part Three: E-mailed Documents (please send to brains@uw.edu)

    a) Copy of C.V.

    b) Documentation of eligibility: BRAINS is funded by NIH to increase diversity within the neuroscience workforce on a national basis. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. In order to be eligible to participate in BRAINS, you must be from a group recognized as underrepresented in neuroscience (please see additional information under "Eligibility"). Pursuant to NIH guidelines, please submit documentation from an institutional official that certifies you meet one of these eligibility criteria. A sample letter of eligibility may be found here.

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Eligibility

In order to be eligible to participate in BRAINS, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and from a group recognized as underrepresented in neuroscience, which includes:

  • Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis. The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, and natives of the US Pacific Islands. Learn more.
  • Individuals with disabilities (defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities), and/or
  • Individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research (see note below).

Note: In addition to race, ethnicity, and disability status, individuals underrepresented in neuroscience or a neuroscience-related field also include those from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. NIH indicates that these criteria are mostly applicable to individuals at the undergraduate student level or lower. However, if you feel you qualify based on these criteria, you may wish to send an e-mail briefly describing your situation prior to completing the BRAINS application. Decisions about eligibility for BRAINS based on this last criteria will be made on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with the NIH NINDS program officer. Alternatively, you may choose to include your criteria information in the required documentation.

Last updated July 22, 2014

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