The Janelia Graduate Research Fellowship is a fully-funded, collaborative PhD program for independent, committed graduate students enrolled in a doctoral program in the United States or abroad. Required course work at the student’s home university must be completed before joining Janelia. Degrees are granted by the home university.
Graduate students conduct research in the following fields:
- Behavioral & Systems Neuroscience
- Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience
- Evolution & Genetics
- Instrumentation & Computational Tool Development
- Neuronal Cell Biology
- Optical Physics & Imaging
- Structural Biology & Biochemistry
- Theory & Computational Neuroscience
Students will conduct research at Janelia for a minimum of one year and a maximum of 3 years and will work with one or more research mentor at Janelia who will provide scientific and career guidance.
Janelia’s laboratories are intentionally small, giving graduate students individualized attention from a variety of senior scientists. Each visiting student will be paired with a research mentor.
We are currently not accepting applications. The application system will reopen in spring 2018.
Jessica Eliason, Graduate Research Fellow
1. Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Lodi, California. Home of the grape festival and the song about getting stuck in Lodi. I was mainly interested in a literature career until I had a series of amazing science undergraduate professors at Brigham Young University and didn’t want to stop taking their classes! Now I’m passionate about good science, good books, and good teachers. I’m also an avid runner and love doing anything outdoors (especially if it involves water and/or dogs).
2. What brought you to Janelia?
How I ended up in neuroscience research is still a bit of a mystery, even to me! I’m a geneticist in a neuroscience world. As a graduate student in genetics, I was conducting research related to behavioral neuroscience at Emory University and was often turning to Janelia for resources and for advice. When I found out about the fellowship, I was eager to be a part of this community which has so much expertise and creativity. Being in this supportive and innovative environment has greatly facilitated my research.
3. What research projects are you working on?
In my lab, we are map-makers of the visual system; we want to understand how the circuitry of the brain allows for the complex calculations which make sight possible. For my project, I use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to study motion vision. I find neurons that contribute to the detection of and the reaction to movement. I seek to understand what visual features are extracted by each neuron and how that neuron works within a network of other neurons to produce a behavior.
4. What advice do you have for someone interested in doing research at Janelia?
When I was considering a position at Janelia, my mentor told me, “If you have the opportunity to go to Janelia, you go.” Janelia has a reputation for excellent and pioneering research. The people here are not only clever, but also friendly and helpful. If you’re facing a research roadblock, Janelians can always find a way around it.