Making Neuroscience A Priority In STEMM Education
The expanding scope and growing number of tools used for neuroscience is moving beyond what is taught in traditional graduate programs, say leaders in American neuroscience education, funding, and policy. Researchers call for reinvestment in neuroscience graduate and postgraduate training to meet the challenges of this new era in brain science — such as creating programs to broaden student experiences across disciplines and reimagining scientific staff positions.
The neuroscience market is primarily based on ongoing brain mapping research and investigation projects aimed to better understand complex neuronal circuits, nervous functioning, and neuronal manipulation.
“These are exciting times of tremendous growth that offer us an excellent opportunity to reflect on and strengthen graduate training in the neurosciences and render it more aligned with what’s lying ahead.” says Neuron paper co-author Edda “Floh” Thiels, PhD, Program Director of the National Science Foundation
Leaders in American neuroscience education say that neuroscience research should be regarded as a priority. Moving far beyond what is taught in traditional graduate programs, neuroscience is undergoing rapid industry growth, and resource and development.
“We love our field, we love neuroscience, and we would like to have the strongest cadre of individuals join the enterprise of advancing our understanding of the brain and addressing disease.” says Thiels.
In Neuron, a recently published perspective paper, authors cry out for reinvestment in neuroscience graduate and postgraduate training — such as creating programs to broaden student experiences across disciplines and reimagining scientific staff positions, with hopes of meeting the challenges of this new era in brain science.
“We also need to find new funding, not necessarily from the government, but other potential partners.” saysNeuron Paper co-author Huda Akil, PhD, a professor of neurosciences at the University of Michigan and past president of the Society for Neuroscience
The authors created two major types of training programs: those that aim to engage and train students with backgrounds in other disciplines such as engineering, mathematical and physical sciences in neuroscience, and those that extend on traditional neuroscience training programs, deepening training in key areas.
“There are many smart people who run interesting graduate programs who are trying to confront the fact that neuroscience is very broad; we’re just starting a conversation to take all of these efforts to the next level and be more systematic about the exchange of ideas,” says Akil.
Neuron aims to ignite a discussion among the many stakeholders including educational sectors of private investment firms, graduate program directors, higher education administrators, and most importantly, the students and trainees who will be the future of neuroscience.