Training Program in Computational Neuroscience

The Training Program in Computational Neuroscience is an NIH-funded program for graduate and undergraduate trainees at NYU. It falls under the funding opportunity NIH blueprint training in computational neuroscience: from biology to model and back again (RFA-DA-16-009). Each year, the grant provides three slots for graduate trainees who are also citizens or permanent residents (NRSA; grant number T90DA043219), two slots for non-NRSA graduate trainees (R90DA043849), and six slots for undergraduate regardless of citizenship status (also R90DA043849). The training program provides stipends that support research, but also additional mentorship and training activities in computational neuroscience. Specific emphasis is on relating theory to experiment.


Funding           Trainee Responsibilities           People           Application         


Funding

  • Graduate trainees will receive a base $23,376 stipend for 12 months (NIH-level). Any top-up comes from the trainee’s department.
  • Undergraduate trainees will receive a $12,336 stipend for 12 months.
  • Extension of a trainee’s funding will be decided after the first year.
  • All trainees receive $1000 a year in travel funds for a domestic conference.

Trainee Responsibilities

Coursework 

Undergraduate trainees must take at least one TPCN-eligible course. Graduate trainees must take one TPCN-eligible course if they are in the program for one year, and one of each type below if they are in the program for more than one year. TPCN-eligible courses are listed below. All courses are open to both graduate and undergraduate students. We strive to offer at least one course of each type each semester. Faculty and trainees can propose a course for inclusion by emailing the program directors. Courses outside NYU are eligible for inclusion.

Biophysical/mechanistic courses

Systems/behavioral/statistical courses

How many courses are required? Calculate this number, R, as follows:
  • For undergraduate trainees, R=1.
    • Exception: you joined as a senior, then R=0 (but we will not typically accept seniors)
  • For graduate trainees: If n is your number of years in the TPCN, then R=min(n,2).
    • This means that if you get funded for a second year, you have to take another course. In that case, make sure to take one course from each category above.
    • Exception: you joined as a fourth-year or above, then R=0 (but we will not typically accept fourth-years and above)

Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) training 

RCR training is mandatory for every trainee. This training consists of course of six two-hour lectures covering: (1) publication practice; (2) responsible data analysis, management, and sharing; (3) ethical considerations in research with human subjects and research misconduct; (4) survival skills for a career in research; (5) ethical considerations in research with animals; (6) mentor/trainee responsibilities, collaboration in science, and conflict of interest. RCR training is given each Spring. Trainees are responsible for working this into their schedule.

http://www.cns.nyu.edu/events/emergsci/

    Program Meetings

    Participation in the following meetings is mandatory for all trainees and strongly recommended for their faculty mentors.

    • Swartz seminar series
    • Right before each Swartz seminar, we will hold a Swartz journal club. A trainee will present one paper by the speaker. At least one program faculty will attend and lead the discussion
    • Monthly cross-level seminar
      • To foster interactions among undergraduate trainees, graduate trainees, and program faculty
      • Topics could include current developments in computational neuroscience, scientific ethics, career paths, and professional skills. There will also be tutorials on techniques, student presentations, and guest speakers.
    • Annual conference
    • Annual social event

    Reporting

    • Regular presentations in cross-level seminar
    • Each semester, an evaluation meeting with a program director (graduate trainees: Wang; undergraduate trainees: Ma)
    • Annual/final report (“individual roadmap”)
    • Graduate trainees onlyIndividual development plan
    • Please acknowledge the training grant by name and number in your presentations and publications.
    • Please email Sarah when you publish a grant-funded publication.

    Professional Development


    People

    Program Directors

    Wei Ji Ma: general management and undergraduate trainees

    Xiao Jing Wang: general management and graduate trainees

    Staff

    Sarah Strange: general management

    Amala Ankolekar: financial administration

    Steering Committee

    Gyorgy Buzsaki, Eero Simoncelli, Lai-Sang Young

    Trainees 2017

    Name

    Program

    Year

    Advisor

    Michael Zhu

    Neuroscience

    U3

    He

    Olga Zhurakivska

    Neuroscience

    U3

    Kiorpes

    Jonathan Gornet

    Math

    U3

    Rinzel 

    Angelo Pennati

    Neuroscience

    U3

    Ma

    Camille Gasser

    Psychology

    U4

    Gureckis

    Yunqi (Emma) Li

    Econ/Math

    U4

    Ma

    Tom Hindmarsh Sten

    Neuroscience

    U4

    Froemke

    Gerick Lee

    Neuroscience

    G2

    Movshon

    Daniel Levenstein

    Neuroscience

    G3

    Buzsaki and Rinzel

    EG Gaffin-Cahn

    Psychology

    G3

    Landy

    Jonathan Gill

    Neuroscience

    G4

    Rinberg and Froemke

    Long Sha

    Neuroscience

    G4

    Kiani

    Hsin-Hung Li

    Psychology

    G4

    Carrasco and Heeger

    Training Faculty

    Any NYU faculty can apply to be training faculty by emailing the program directors. 

    Neuroscience

    Gyorgy Buzsaki, Dmitri Chklovskii, Andre Fenton, Robert Froemke, Paul Glimcher, Michael Halassa, Michael Hawken, Biyu He, David Heeger (also Psychology), Roozbeh Kiani, Lynne Kiorpes, Michael Long, Wei Ji Ma (also Psychology), Tony Movshon, Bijan Pesaran, Alex Reyes, Dmitry Rinberg, John Rinzel (also Courant), Robert Shapley, Cristina Savin (also Data Science), Eero Simoncelli, Richard Tsien, Xiao-Jing Wang

    Psychology

    Marisa Carrasco, Todd GureckisBrenden Lake (also Data Science), Michael Landy, Denis Pelli, Jonathan Winawer

    Courant Institute

    David Cai, Kyunghyun Cho (also Data Science), Aaditya Rangan, Lai-Sang Young

    Physics

    Marc Gershow

    Psychiatry

    Zhe Chen 


    Application

    • All applicants must have identified a mentor. Co-mentorship is acceptable and encouraged especially when one mentor is primarily computational and the other primarily experimental.
    • At least one mentor must be training faculty (listed above).
    • The project does not need to have started yet, but the research plan should be clear.
    • The mentor writes a recommendation letter and sends along the student’s CV and transcript (for PhD students, only PhD transcript). The letter should describe the proposed research plan and in what way the project is computational. The mentor must commit to direct mentorship (not solely through a lab member), including regular meetings with the student. The mentor is also expected to participate in program meetings (see below).
    • Undergraduate trainees: The grant can start as early as the summer preceding the trainee’s junior year, and finish as late as the summer after their senior year. Freshmen are not eligible. Seniors are not eligible, except in 2016-17.
    • Graduate trainees: First-year PhD students are not eligible. Students who lost their program grant funding are not eligible to apply again.
    • Application deadlines will be announced here