Undergraduate Program


Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Fellowship

Program Description

Neuroscience is an exciting field of research that evolved as researchers from different traditions collaborated to make fundamental discoveries of how the nervous system works. New approaches to studying neuroscience have come from the edges of the traditional perspectives as social scientists, humanists and artists have joined with the natural scientists to create new fields of inquiry such as: Neuroethics, Neuroeconomics and Neurolaw. The Neuroscience Initiative recognizes the advances created by productive dialogues among the disciplines and has identified the need to support for research at the frontier of ideas. The Emory Neuroscience Initiative is offering a unique training opportunity for interdisciplinary scholars at the Postdoctoral, predoctoral and undergraduate levels.

Two undergraduate research scholarships are available to advanced students interested in pursuing interdisciplinary research projects. Selected students will be awarded a $1,000 research stipend for Spring 2011, a fully supported position in the SURE or SIRE summer research programs (including housing, fees and $3,000 stipend), another $1,000 research stipend for Fall 2011 and support to travel to the Annual Fall Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. As part of the Interdisciplinary Scholars Program, selected students will also be including in networking, mentoring and presentation opportunities related to interdisciplinary neuroscience research at Emory. Students may apply to do an Independent Project designed with the help of two or more Emory co-mentors, or students may apply directly to an interdisciplinary project submitted by one of our postdoctoral fellows. The available Postdoc-mentored Project for 2011 is in the area of Stress and Cardiovascular disease:

Hypertension affects more than 50 million Americans and is associated with a significantly increased risk for stroke, atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. Chronic psychological stress has been identified as a major, contributing factor to developing and sustaining hypertension. It is thought that chronic psychological stress contributes to disease progression through immunological dysfunction that promotes an underlying inflammatory state.

The current project is designed to further characterize the neural circuitry involved in stress-induced hypertension and related peripheral T cell activation and vascular inflammation. These studies will therefore directly address the gap in our current understanding of the link between stress, inflammation and hypertension.

Please indicate on your application if you are applying to work on an Independent Project or the above Postdoc-mentored Project.


Applications due by email on March 1, 2011


Open to students not in their last year of study at Emory. Although designed for third-year students, applications will be considered from first- or second-year students who can demonstrate outstanding research dedication, skills and interest. Students must demonstrate excellent academic preparation by having taken and excelled in relevant courses and activities. Previous research experience is encouraged, but not required. Students must have strong intentions to pursue a career in research.

Procedures for Application

Students may apply to work on an independent project supervised by at least two Emory faculty mentors (Independent Project) or to work on a project proposed by one of the interdisciplinary postdoctoral fellows (Postdoc-mentored Project).

A complete application will include the following items submitted electronically to SPINRapps@learnlink.emory.edu:

  • Completed application form
    Complete the application form from our website and follow the instructions for electronic submission.
  • Proposal Description
    Applicants applying for an Independent Project should write a 2-3 page (exclusive of figures and references) comprehensive description of the project including background, aims and methods.
    Applicants to the Postdoc-mentored Project do not need to include a project description but should refer to the specifics of the advertised position in the essay portion of the application.
  • Essay
    Applications for both project types should include a 1-2 page essay addressing the questions: Why are you interested in the interface of these disciplines? What is the benefit to taking the interdisciplinary approach you propose?
  • Resume
    Please tailor your resume to highlight your research interests and interdisciplinary strengths.
  • Letters of support
    Please submit 1-2 letters of support from Emory faculty who know you well and can comment on your potential as an interdisciplinary researcher. If you are proposing an Independent Project, the letters should come from your co-mentors and they should state their support for you and your work. Please have your letter writers submit their letters directly to SPINRapps@learnlink.emory.edu.
  • Review of transcripts
    Do not submit your transcripts. By submitting an application, you allow us to retrieve and review your transcript as part of your application.
  • Interview
    Selected students may be invited to interview with members of the Neuroscience Initiative Education Committee.

Responsibilities of the recipients

Recipients will be expected carry out the research as proposed and as supported by their mentors, hold regular meetings to update the mentors on progress, participate in Scholar meetings and events, and present their work at on-campus symposia.

For more information contact Dr. Leah Roesch at leah.roesch@emory.edu.