Graduate Program


Request for Pre-Doctoral Applications

Program Description

A unique scholarship opportunity now exists for those interested in the intersection of neuroscience with other far reaching fields in the social sciences, humanities and physical sciences. The Neuroscience Scholars Program is a model program with several tracks: Postdoctoral, Predoctoral and Undergraduate. Applicants for this Program must have outstanding academic and scholarly credentials in research, and have shown substantial evidence of independent leadership abilities in a variety of areas. The goal of this program is to foster and train students interested in cross interdisciplinary studies in neuroscience who will eventually become the academic leaders in these fields of study.


September 17, 2010

Applicant Credentials and Training Requirements

Pre-doctoral students with strong academic credentials and interests in developing an interdisciplinary research thesis that intersects between neuroscience and other research fields in the social sciences, humanities and physical sciences can apply for these scholarships.

Years of Application

Students can apply for these scholarships at any time during their PhD training after they have passed their written or core qualifying examination (for most programs between year 1 and year 2 of training) as long as they still have to complete at least two years of graduate studies by the time they are awarded the scholarship.


Two years of full stipend funding at the level of the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS) will be provided (FY 2010-2011: $25,000). Additional funds will also be awarded to cover student fees and a research allowance for travel to an annual meeting and/or research expenses (total $2,000/year).

Course Curriculum Requirement

Students who are awarded these scholarships will have to take all required core courses and fulfill teaching requirements of their home graduate program. Additional details of the curriculum will vary for each student based on their academic and research background, but it is expected that all SPINR Scholars take a minimum of two elective courses (at least 6 credits total) and a seminar class in the graduate program that complements their interdisciplinary research dissertation.

Qualifying exam Requirement

SPINR scholars will be required to write a research proposal and pass an oral qualifying exam to defend the content of their interdisciplinary thesis project before a committee made up of faculty from their home graduate program and their thesis committee.

Procedures for Application

Applicants must submit the following documents and information to the SPINR nomination committee:
  • Curriculum vitae including previous research experience and publications (papers and abstracts)
  • Identification of potential co-mentors for the proposed project. There must be at least 2 co-mentors: a neuroscientist and another faculty in the interdisciplinary research area outside of traditional neuroscience relevant to the project.
  • Letters from each mentor indicating their willingness to support you in the proposed project. These letters must also indicate that the mentors have the necessary resources to provide financial support to the scholars at the end of the SPINR award.
  • Three letters of recommendation, highlighting your potential for this unique interdisciplinary program, abilities to function independently and creatively in each discipline.
  • Research Proposal that should comprise the following sections (2-3 pages)
    • Abstract
    • Specific Aims
    • Impact/significance and background of proposed project
    • Research Plan
    • Key references
  • The complete application packet must be submitted electronically by the deadline to:
         Yoland Smith, PhD
         Yerkes Primate Center, Emory University
  • For more information, please, contact Yoland Smith either by email or phone (404-727-7519)