Summer Programs - The Summer Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience

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					                                             SUMMER PROGRAMS
If you’re interested in finding out about several GREAT summer research and training
opportunities, take a look at the program descriptions below. Almost all of them have been
written by graduate students in our department who participated in these programs and who raved
about them.


The programs listed below are:

        AAAS Media Fellowship program                            Application Deadline: 1/15/07
        APA Science Directorate Internship Grant                 Application Deadline: 1/15/07
        FBI NCAVC Internship Grants                              Application Deadline: 2/01/07 & 6/01/07
        IARR New Scholars Workshop                               Application Deadline: TBA
        NIH Summer Internship Program                            Application Deadline: 3/01/07
        PARC Graduate Internship Program                         Application Deadline: 10/06 – 2/07
        RAND Graduate Student Summer Associate program           Application Deadline: 10/06 – 1/07
        Riken Brain Science Institute                            Application Deadline: 02/28/07
        Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience               Application Deadline: 02/09/07
        Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics & Survival        Application Deadline: 02/01/07
        NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes              Application Deadline: 12/12/06

AAAS Media Fellowship Program, by Tony Scinta (Social Area)*
Two years. That’s roughly how long it takes for an accepted manuscript to blossom into a published
article. The Empire State Building was built in less time. Of course, that doesn’t even acknowledge
the months of thought, preparation, tears, and sweat you poured into the project before submitting the
manuscript. You can imagine, then, the allure of a place where grad students can reap immediate
returns on their investments.

We’re talking about an internship, but it’s not your run-of-the-mill, envelope-stuffing, trapped-in-the-
infernal-confines-of-hell kind of internship. It’s a posh, rewarding opportunity with good pay and
fantastic travel options via a private Lear jet. Okay, there’s no jet, but the monetary benefits are
considerable and interns are places at sites ranging from New York City, to Seattle, to the sunny shores
of Florida.

Interns essentially undertake the massive endeavor of bringing science stories to the general public.
As such, you’ll work as a science reporter in either print, radio, or magazine. Pay is locked at a
comfortable $4,500.00 for 10 weeks of work.

The internship, run by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, offers more hands-
on experience than you can shake a stick at, but the learning curve is steep. Within a week of getting
started your work will be published, broadcast, or aired for popular consumption. This is either a good
thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

As an alumnus of this program, I cannot offer a higher recommendation. You get a temporary stay in
a different (and hopefully interesting) city and a chance to see your name up in lights more times in

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two weeks than most researchers do in two years. To top it off, the people who run the program are
very accommodating in almost every possible respect.

A proponent of objectivity, I hate to sound like a cheerleader or, worse, a public relations hack, but
there’s almost nothing bad to say about this program. I strongly encourage anyone who is even
remotely interested in this opportunity to talk with me.

APA Science Directorate Internship Grant
All undergraduate and graduate Psi Chi members are eligible to apply for this internship. The purpose
of this program is to provide funds for one undergraduate or graduate student to gain experience in
science administration through a summer internship with APA. The Science Directorate pays
approximately $3,500 for a 10-week period, while Psi Chi awards an additional $2,000 for living
expenses. The deadline for this grant is usually in mid-January. More information and application
forms can be found on the Psi Chi website,, under “Awards/Grants.” Any inquiries
can also be sent to

FBI NCAVC Internship Grants
All undergraduate and graduate Psi Chi members are eligible to apply for this internship grant. The
purpose of this program is to provide annual grants to aid two Psi Chi members in conducting research
at the FBI National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crimes (NCAVC). Two grants up to $7,000
will be awarded annually for the 14-week unpaid position. The deadline is usually early February for
fall internships and early June for spring internships. More information and application forms can be
found on the Psi Chi website,, under “Awards/Grants.” Any inquiries can also be sent

IARR New Scholars Workshop, by Amy Strachman (Social)*
IARR (International Association for Relationship Research) regularly sponsors workshops
designed for new scholars, including current graduate students and recent Ph.D.s. These 2-3 day
workshops include several seminars and discussions led by experienced faculty members
regarding a variety of topics relevant to starting a career within relationship science. At the 2003
workshop, topics included “Strategies for Grant Writing, “Integrating Research and Teaching,”
and several small discussion groups on a wide variety of relationship-relevant issues. There were
25 of us at the workshop. The group was a mix of social psychology, clinical psychology, and
family development graduate students from all over the country. It was a great way to see the
different types of research everyone is doing as well as meet people with similar interests. I even
met a couple of potential collaborators. There is a small poster session where you can see
everyone’s current research and many social events throughout the weekend. The workshop was
useful in learning techniques for teaching relationship research and grant-writing catered to
relationships. Overall, it’s pretty useful, especially early in one’s career. If you have any questions,
feel free to contact me: Amy Strachman, or check their website
for more information.

National Academies, Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship

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Brain Smedly, one of our Clinical Psychology Ph.D.s, did not have time to write about his
internship experience, hence, the standard internship description is the only one printed below,
but Brian highly recommends this program to all interested students.

Several internships lasting for 10 weeks are offered to engage graduate students in the analysis and
creation of science and technology policy and to familiarize them with the interactions of science,
technology, and government.

Stipends range from $4,800 to $5,700 plus living expenses and travel expenses up to $500.

6/1/2005 -deadline for fall program. 3/1/2006-deadline for summer program. 11/1/2005-deadline
for winter program.

(202) 334-2455

NIH Summer Internship Program, by Christina Fales (Cognitive Neuroscience)*
NIH sponsors 10-week summer internships that can be very rewarding.
In essence these internships represent an excellent chance to do work in an area that may not be
available at UCLA. If you find a lab that you're interested in, you’ll get some new experience, a
nice salary (better than a TA’ship), and the fun of being in DC for a summer.

I worked in the Cognitive Neuroscience Division under Dr. Jordan Grafman. I was interested in this
position because there was a post-doc in his lab who did work in an area I wanted to pursue. The summer
offered a good opportunity to make contact with others doing work in that area, and also to get experience
in fMRI work. I would definitely recommend doing this internship, but with the following provisos.
When you take this route, you need to specify explicitly the lab you want to work in; otherwise NIG will
assign you to a lab of their choosing. Once you have been accepted for the lab you want, make sure you
and the lab director agree about the nature of the work you will be doing. In my case, there were
problems at first. The post-doc I had wanted to work with turned out to be just leaving the lab, and it took
a bit of finagling to get myself moved to a project that was still productive for me. Luckily the lab director
(Grafman) was very flexible about giving me other work, but the summer might have been a complete
waste of time had he not been willing to do so. For info on the NIH Summer Internship program, see:

Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) Graduate Internship Program
Palo Alto Research Center Summer Internship PARC's summer internship is a 12 week program in
which students get to work as part of a research team on bleeding-edge, technology focused research.
They have projects ranging from building new computer-human interfaces to developing statistical
models of the internet to ethnographic research of massively multi-player gaming environments
(projects are constantly changing, so it pays to become familiar with their website).

Application involves a resume and three letters of recommendation. Programming experience is
usually necessary, and statistical knowledge is a plus. PARC is located in Palo Alto, about 20 miles

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south of San Francisco (where a number of interns stay). Pay is generous and commensurate with how
long you've been in graduate school.

RAND Graduate Student Summer Associate Program, by John A. Updegraff, Social area Ph.D.*
RAND's Graduate Student Summer Associate Program is a 12-week program that introduces graduate
students to RAND, an Santa Monica-based institution that conducts research on a range of national
security problems and domestic and international policy issues. A few of their sub-domains are the
RAND Psychology and RAND Health divisions, which incorporate a number of RAND researchers
with interests ranging from health care research, drug abuse, homelessness, family and community
health, clinical epidemiology and quality of care research.

How does the internship work? You are matched up with a RAND researcher and collaborate on a
particular research project for the summer. It's a full-time, 40hr/week position, although like any
research environment, it's about getting the job done not punching the clock. Often, the project is part
of a larger ongoing funded study, so it's essentially like taking over part of your advisor's research
grant as your own project. Ideally, you will finish the summer with money in the pocket, new
potential collaborators, and a hopefully publishable paper.

Depending on how well your own interests are represented in project you work on, the internship can
be either a great professional and networking opportunity, or a tiring summer job. The internship pays
very well by grad student standards, the Santa Monica location is unbeatable, and RAND bends over
backwards to introduce you around and give you a picture of what RAND does (psst... the internship is
a recruiting program).

Most interns who are accepted into the program are in their third through fifth year of graduate school,
and come from all over the country. The application process involves a cover letter and a statement of
research interests. If you are interested, it pays to state your interests broadly (so as to maximize the
possibility of a match with an ongoing project) but don't stretch so far that you'll be considered for a
project you don't feel at least somewhat passionate about. If a potential match exists, you'll meet your
potential mentor and discuss the project before you need to make any commitment to the program.

RAND also has offices and placements in Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, although a majority of their
psychology and health-related research is conducted from the Santa Monica headquarters.

You can find more info at:

Riken Brain Science Institute, by Lucina Uddin (BNS)*
The summer program at Riken Brain Science Institute in Japan (near Tokyo) is a two-week lecture
course designed for students interested in brain function. The topics vary, last year the course was
on the neurobiology of mental disorders and the mind, but in the past topics have ranged from
learning and memory, to development, to computational neuroscience. The great thing about the
program is that it’s well funded, so they pay your airfare and accommodations for the two weeks.
The lectures (two three-hour lectures per day) are given by distinguished scientists from all over
the world, and are generally very good. They are followed discussion and lab tours. The program
usually accepts around 45 students, some of whom stay for a two-month laboratory internship.
It’s a fun way to meet international students and get in a little touring of Japan. Probably the only
down side is that it is in mid-July, the hottest time of year in that part of the world. But definitely

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worthwhile if you like to travel and have any interest in being exposed to brain science in other

The Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience, by Deanna Greene (BNS)*
The Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience is a two-week course that has taken place at
Dartmouth College, but from now on it will take place at UC Santa Barbara. It is an annual event;
however, every five years the Summer Institute is only open to attendees from the previous four years.
Each year presents a topic (i.e. Conscious and unconscious cognition and its interaction with artificial
devices, 2006), but do not be misled by the cohesiveness of the topic title. In fact, the two weeks are
divided into two separate topics (week 1 was Motor control and neural prosthetics, and week 2 was
Consciousness and attention). Generally everyone who attends has interests in one or both of these
topics. I think this is pretty important because if you’re not interested in the topic, you’ll be pretty
bored during lectures. Therefore, make sure you apply when topic interests you. The institute had
around 70 participants in 2006 and seems to be growing in popularity. Attendees range from students
to professors, but the majority are graduate students and post docs. As cognitive neuroscience is
inherently interdisciplinary, the attendees vary greatly in their interests, backgrounds, and experience
with various methods.

The two weeks consist mainly of morning lectures centered on the topic of the week, and are presented
by leading researchers in those areas. This is a great way to learn about the work of leading researchers
and hear them speak. While lectures are not set up to teach about subjects in depth they do outline past
and future research of the most renowned scientists in a given field. Furthermore, the atmosphere is
informal and provides better opportunities for interaction with speakers than one might find elsewhere.
Additionally, afternoon lab sessions in neuroanatomy and functional imaging are included. Although
the emphasis is generally on fMRI, the lecturers typically present research involving a range of
methods (TMS, ERP, SCR, neuroendocrine measures, startle-eye-blink, PET, patient work, animal
studies, genetics, etc). Given the short duration of the institute, it is probably not the best venue for
learning about neuroimaging (although it is sometimes advertised as such). Attending for that reason
may be disappointing. Also, this year (2006), we were unable to do our scheduled sessions with fMRI
because Dartmouth was installing a new scanner. Therefore, we did a group project using TMS.
Again, this was not as hands-on as I would have liked, but it was good exposure to TMS for those who
hadn’t used the technique before.

I think one of the main attributes of the program is the social interaction. It is an excellent opportunity
to meet the people that will be your colleagues in the future as well as your current research heroes.
Whether you are just starting out in graduate school and are excited about belonging to a community
of researchers or you are further along and want the networking opportunity of a lifetime, I think you
will find it worth your time.

Finally, funding is not complete. You are provided a travel stipend of $250, breakfast, occasionally an
afternoon snack, and a couple dinners. This may change from year to year.
Information can be found at this site:
You can also email me, Deanna Greene, at .

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The Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics & Survival
The Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics & Survival is a one-month course offered by the
Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The program is an intense seminar,
lecture, workshop, laboratory, and demonstration experience. Topics discussed range from responsible
conduct of science, to manuscript writing, to public speaking, to gender issues in science, to grant
writing. Students accepted into the program are usually currently completing their first, second or
third year of graduate studies in a discipline related to neuroscience (including, but not limited to,
psychology, pharmacology, and biology). The program is fully funded; the NIMH and MBL cover all
costs of attending the course. SPINES presents a wonderful opportunity to interact and network with
world-renowned scientists from all over the country and form professional relationships that can
greatly facilitate the transition from graduate student to post doc and beyond. Students are additionally
given the opportunity to remain an extra month to complete additional laboratory work in a lab of one
of the SPINES mentors if they so desire. The program is targeted towards underrepresented
minorities, but is open to applications from any student interested in the curriculum. I would highly
recommend this program to students with an interest in neuroscience that feel they could benefit from
additional mentoring and advise on pursuing a career in academia. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain
insight into the sociology of science.

East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (None of our students have yet applied for these
summer institutes, so if you decide to take advantage of this opportunity, do let me know.)

Gain international research experience by spending eight weeks in Australia, China, Japan, Korea
or Taiwan with East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) . The institutes last
approximately eight weeks from June to August and are administered in the United States by
National Science Foundation (NSF). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) co-sponsor the
Summer Institute in Japan.
 The East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) provides U.S. graduate students first-
hand research experience in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, or Taiwan, as an introduction to the
science and science policy infrastructure of the respective location, and orientation to the culture
and language. The primary goals of EAPSI are to introduce students to East Asia and Pacific
science in the context of a research laboratory, and to initiate personal relationships that will better
enable them to collaborate with foreign counterparts in the future.

    - U.S. citizens or permanent residents;
    - Enrolled at U.S. institutions in 1) graduate programs (M.S. or Ph.D.) in science or
        engineering or 2) M.D. programs with an interest in biomedical       research;
    - Pursuing studies in fields of science or engineering that are supported by the
        National Science Foundation (Biological Sciences; Education and Human Resources;
        Computer and Information Science and Engineering; Engineering; Geosciences;
        Mathematical and Physical Sciences; Polar Research; and Social, Behavioral, and
        Economic Sciences). See for descriptions
        of these fields. For Japan, fields of study may also include those supported by the National
        Institutes of Health.
    - Pursuing studies in fields of science or engineering that are represented among the
        potential host institutions at the desired location.

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Application Deadline: December 10, 2004

For More Information:

SPINES program – Michael King

* Highly recommended by one ore more students who have participated in this program.

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