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Junior Scientist Workshop on Mechanistic Cognitive Neuroscience (VIRTUAL)

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Junior Scientist Workshop on Mechanistic Cognitive Neuroscience (VIRTUAL)

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November 15 - 20, 2020
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Organized by Hannah HaberkernGowan TervoMichael ReiserEmily DennisAlla KarpovaJosh Dudman, and Vivek Jayaraman, this Junior Scientist Workshop provides an exciting opportunity for graduate students and recent PhDs interested in the mechanistic basis of cognition to present their research to a diverse audience and discuss ideas for the future, while also discovering potential independent early-career options at Janelia. Due to the ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19, this 2020 workshop will shift to a virtual but still highly interactive format. 

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We encourage applications from junior scientists pursuing research aimed at understanding how cognitive processes and behavior are implemented at the level of circuits, cells, and molecules. This meeting is open to a broad array of ideas and approaches in a variety of animal models, and we will also consider theorists with a strong interest in linking their ideas to experimental data. The agenda will be thematically tuned to explore some of the issues raised by participants, with a general emphasis on studies of cognition broadly construed (e.g. navigation, learning, decision making, planning, etc.).

Over the course of one week, attendees will present their work, engage in lively discussions on key problems and obstacles in the field, and indulge in informed speculation about conceptual and technical approaches that might be useful for future progress. 

Although details of the program are not yet final, we aim for a schedule that accommodates participants’ timezone and other constraints through a combination of asynchronous and synchronous sessions. For example, we may convene for group discussions or debates twice a day for two or three hours at a time, with the remaining portion of each day being dedicated to small group work, watching pre-recorded talks, engaging with others on slack and more.

Even in a virtual format, our goal is for a lively meeting, with participants from diverse backgrounds actively contributing to discussions and debates. Discussions will be freewheeling, but also respectful and inclusive, with an atmosphere that is both fun and productive. We see this as a unique learning opportunity for participants to critically evaluate their own methods and approaches. Attendees should feel free to come with half-baked ideas and expect an audience keen on talking them through those ideas! While the meeting is intended for junior scientists, we will also host plenary talks from established investigators. 

To ensure a valuable and enjoyable experience for all, space in the workshop is limited. We especially encourage applications from women and those who identify with groups underrepresented in science.

Application Instructions

To be considered, applicants must apply online and provide:

  1. Research Abstract
  2. Answers to four Scientific Thought Questions
  3. Current CV
  4. PI Recommendation Letter