Being a Cog Neuro Grad Student and Post-Doc

 

Graduate Application Tips Year 1 |  Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Being a Post-Doc  | FMRI Camps and Workshops 

 

Graduate Application Tips*

Graduate school applications typically have three main parts: transcript(s), test scores, and letters of recommendation. Many faculty evaluating applications will value letters the most, because they reflect the interest in, commitment to, and talent for research of an applicant in such a way that the other application parts cannot. Further, your application is strengthened if you have had prior research experience in a lab that does human behavioral and/or neuroscience work on topics such as memory, social cognition, etc. (i.e. a lab working generally within the purview of social and cognitive neuroscience or psychology).

Also, the application process involves a written statement of research interests where you should mention the labs you are interested in. At Temple, you would include our lab, but you should also list any other labs that may interest you- this would typically be other cognitive faculty such as Nora Newcombe, Vishnu “Deepu” Murty, and Jason Chein (websites linked to their names). It is important to know that at all universities, the order in which you list faculty in your personal statement matters; it is often taken to indicate level of potential interest. Therefore, the first person you list may be considered the person whose work is of greatest interest to you, and the second person you list as of second most interest, and so on.

Lastly, the best way to get a sense of what our lab (or any lab) is working on is to check out the interests of current lab members (see our People page, and look at individual researcher pages from there) and publications (see our Publications page) on lab websites. Keep in mind that what appears in print often lags anywhere from 1-3 years behind the work at the present moment. Good luck!

*adapted from http://www.ochsnerscanlab.org/join-us
 
 
 

Being a Cog Neuro Grad Student

 
Year 1

Temple Requirements

 
 

• Work on well-formed first year project.

 

• Give 30-min talk on first year project (April).

 

• Complete 2 semesters grad-level statistics.

 

• Complete 2 core courses.

Dr. Olson’s Suggestions

 
 

• Apply for NSF predoctoral fellowship (Oct-Nov).

 

• Apply for summer brain camp (Jan-Feb).

 

• Go to lab meetings of collaborators whose work segues with your own.

 

• Submit abstract to SFN, CNS, OPAM, or other conference.

Year 2

Temple Requirements

 
 

• Present at a meeting.

 

• Complete 2 core courses.

Dr. Olson’s Suggestions

 
 

• Apply for NSF predoctoral fellowship (Oct-Nov).

 

• Apply for summer brain camp (Jan-Feb).

 

• Present at lab meetings of collaborators whose work segues with your own.

 

•Submit abstract to SFN, CNS, OPAM, or other conference.

Year 3

Temple Requirements

 
 

• Complete written prelim exam (Sept).

 

• Submit dissertation proposal.

 

• Begin work on dissertation after proposal is accepted.

 

• Submit manuscript for publication by Dec.

 

• Present at a meeting.

Dr. Olson’s Suggestions

 
 

• Submit graduate NRSA grant.

 

• Submit abstract to SFN, CNS, OPAM, or other conference.

 

• Get to know people working in your field via email correspondence, meetings, etc.

Year 4

Temple Requirements

 
 

• Present at a meeting.

 

• Work on dissertation, possibly defend at end of year 4 or beginning of 5.

Dr. Olson’s Suggestions

 
 

• Submit abstract to SFN, CNS, OPAM, or other conference.

 

• Get to know people working in your field via email correspondence, meetings, etc.

 

• Begin planning life after graduate school (Fall).

 

 

Being a Cog Neuro Post-Doc

Year 1

• Go to an intensive fMRI workshop.

 

• Apply for an NRSA grant; if foreign, look for foundation grants.

 

• Find a good project and begin collecting fMRI data.

 

• Collect converging evidence for fMRI findings from another technique: lesion, TMS, etc.

 

• Go to and present at Coslett, Chatterjee, or Newcombe lab meetings.

 

• Submit abstract to SFN, CNS, OPAM, or other conference.

 

• End of year 1: Submit empirical paper from year 1 for publication.

 

• End of year 1: Re-apply for Temple job.

 
Year 2

• Consider writing a review paper.

 

• Submit abstract to SFN, CNS, OPAM, or other conference.

 

• Volunteer to teach classes for Russell Epstein, Ingrid, etc.

 

• Get to know people working in your field via email correspondence, meetings, etc.

 

• Offer to present at lab meetings of people whose work segues well with your own.

 

• Consider applying for jobs in the fall.

 

• Submit empirical paper.

 

 

List of Intensive fMRI Workshops

MGH
UCLA Advanced Brain Imaging Summer School
Statistics Geometry and Brain Mapping
Brain Mapping Org: List of Programs 
Organization of Human Brain Mapping
TMS Course: London

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