Program Overview and Structure
Throughout the course of study, students will interact with a large number of faculty, students and postdoctoral trainees engaged in high-quality research in the neurosciences. The goal is to provide each student with the basics of modern neuroscience and then allow customization of a program of course work that best meets his/her needs.
- Small class size of 4-6 students
- Direct mentorship the first year
- Full stipend covers cost of living and tuition (2017-2018 = $29,136)
- Full health care benefits
- No teaching responsibilities (though opportunities exist for those who are interested)
During the first year, students spend their mornings taking fundamental courses in molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience. In the afternoons, students begin doing hands-on research through 9 week rotations in 3-4 laboratories of their choosing. By the end of the first year, they select a lab and mentor for their thesis work. In years 2-3, students take advanced courses that are tailored to their research interests and thesis goals. Students also take a comprehensive qualifier exam that includes writing an NIH-style innovative research proposal.
Throughout all years, students have the opportunity to present at regional, national and even international neuroscience meetings, and often receive competitive internal and external travel awards. Students have the opportunity to gain teaching experience by assisting in graduate and medical neuroscience courses at MCW. On average, students defend their dissertation work in 51/2 years from beginning the program.
Our NDP alumni advance to exciting careers that include postdoctoral fellowships at premier research institutes, pharmaceutical companies and faculty positions at research and teaching colleges.