Why Brown?


Brown University graduate training in neuroscience is supported by numerous funding sources, including 3 different NIH T32 grants. These grants are competitively awarded to graduate programs that have superlative student training opportunities and outcomes. Programs supported by T32 grants include the seminar series and various workshops/training in ethics and skills, that benefit all students, not just students supported by these grants.
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Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Sciences

Established in April of 2018 with a generous from alumni Robert J. Carney and Nancy D. Carney, the Institute supports neuroscience at Brown in all apsects, with a core mission of “accelerating the pace of scientific discovery about the brain and helping to find cures for some of the world’s most devastating diseases”. The Institute offers fellowship for professors, postdocs, and graduate students, while fostering scientific collaborations that span the associated eight academic departments. 

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Every winter, the entire first year cohort heads to the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts for a week-long, intensive course in lab techniques. This “at the bench” course provides a hands-on and in-depth opportunity for students to learn essential techniques for electrophysiology, molecular biology, imaging, and behavioral analysis. Students spend over a week learning from and working side by side with professors who are experts in their respective techniques and fields. The course integrates the practical with the theoretical; students understand both the strengths and limitations of techniques discussed in the classroom only when they use them. Teaching Assistants in the course are often third and fourth year students. Other advanced students run independent experiments at MBL during NeuroPracticum, further refining their skills in experimental design. This outing also serves as a remarkable bonding and community building opportunity between the students and faculty.

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Annual Start of Year NSGP Retreat

A full-day retreat is held off-campus each year immediately before the start of the fall semester. This retreat provides an opportunity to reconnect and exchange ideas across the Neuroscience program. At the beginning of the retreat, a light breakfast is provided and new students and faculty members are introduced to the community.  The retreat consists of short research talks delivered by both faculty members and students, as well as poster session with students presenting their most recent work. Student play a major role in organizing and plan the retreat, including selecting speakers.

Annual Student NSGP Retreat and Triennial NSGP-GPP Joint Retreat

Every year, the Neuroscience Graduate Program organizes a retreat at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA. The purpose of this retreat is to provide a team-building and skills development opportunity for students. Typical activities include educational seminars, games, and personal talks by faculty members.  Every three years, the student retreat is expanded to include Brown-NIH GPP faculty and students in a joint retreat. This retreat offers an opportunity for students from both programs to interact with one another in a face-to-face, informal setting.

Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning

The Sheridan Center supports Brown University’s long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and learning through a broad range of programs, services, activities and resources for the Brown community. The Center provides assistance in syllabus development and conducts seminars and workshops leading to three Certificate levels. Many graduate students partake in the training offered here as part of their professional development.

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Open Graduate Education

The Open Graduate Education Program allows approximately 10 doctoral students each year to enter into a simultaneous Master’s program at Brown in a discipline of their choice. If selected, students are completely financially supported for their Master’s degree. Students in the Neuroscience Graduate Program have taken advantage of this unique opportunity to supplement their education with Master's degrees in Computer Science, Applied Math, Public Affairs, Biotechnology and more. For more information on the program, please see its website.

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Conference Support

Presenting at and attending conferences comprises a significant portion of the exposure and training that our graduate students receive. In recognition of this, all admitted first-year students are automatically funded to attend the annual Society for Neuroscience Conference in their fall semester. In addition to this, the Office of Graduate and Postdoc Studies and the Graduate Student Council offer up to $650 and $200 respectively every year to cover conference attendance expenses. Additionally, the Neuroscience Graduate Program provides $500 in support for conference presentations, or attending external courses/workshops. Lastly, many NSGP students are supported by NIH T32 training grants, which often have funds set aside to sponsor travel.


Neuroscience graduate students have the opportunity to get involved with a variety of outreach activities or organize their own, during their time at Brown.  Current students are responsible for local chapters of national and international outreach programs like Brain Bee and Brain Week. In conjunction with Brain Week, many students visit local schools to introduce grade school students to the basics of the brain, and are involved in the annual Brown Brain Fair which showcases brain research to the general public.

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Brown is located in the scenic College Hill neighbourhood, and is surrounded by residential areas on three sides which offer an abundance of housing options within walking distance of the university. Off-campus housing options can be found via Brown’s Auxiliary Housing website, the graduate student listserv (GSBB), or other third-party websites such as Craigslist, Apartments.com, and Hotpads.com. Brown does not offer on-campus graduate student housing.

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