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Commemorating 20 years of training tomorrow's neuroscientists today.
Undergraduate Neuroscience Education:
Resourcing the Curriculum, Improving Pedagogy and Programs, and Expanding our Disciplinary Horizons
Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience has sponsored five previous workshops focused on helping faculty develop and sustain neuroscience programs at undergraduate colleges and universities. We are happy to announce that a sixth workshop is planned for July 29 – 31, 2011 that will be held at Pomona College, Claremont, California.
The first four FUN workshops benefited greatly from a partnership with Project Kaleidoscope, and since those early days, FUN has continued to have strong ties to PKAL in producing these workshops. At the Davidson College workshop in 1995, participants developed four blueprints to guide faculty in their efforts to enrich the undergraduate science curriculum of their institutions by developing courses and programs in an interdisciplinary and marvelously fertile young science: Neuroscience. Using these blueprints as a foundation, participants at the Oberlin College workshop in 1998 and at the Trinity College workshop in 2001 explored cutting-edge laboratory exercises designed to serve as the basis for the development of investigative, discovery-based laboratory experiences as well as simulations of synaptic transmission and the steps involved in launching regional meetings emphasizing undergraduate neuroscience research. In the 2005 PKAL/FUN workshop at Macalester College, in addition to exploring new laboratory experiences and development of leadership skills, the participants revisited the four original curricular blueprints that served as curricular models in neuroscience since 1995, and, to address the directions that neuroscience is headed in the coming decades, added a fifth curricular blueprint, neuroscience studies. In the 2008 FUN workshop, participants explored new laboratory experiences emphasizing discovery-based learning, the increasing interdisciplinarity of neuroscience education, and new directions that neuroscience is headed in this decade.
In the 2011 FUN workshop, we move to the west coast for the first time. We convene at Pomona College to explore more laboratory experiences featuring discovery-based learning, and to examine the interdisciplinarity of neuroscience education as well as the new directions neuroscience is headed. At Pomona, we will also devote time to the needs of growing programs and confront the issues that arise as classroom and laboratory technologies undergo rapid changes. The participants will also actively explore approaches to mounting major and non-major courses in the undergraduate neuroscience curriculum and ways to promote productive research environments for ourselves and our students. Finally, participants will explore issues focusing on the development of leadership skills to ensure the sustainability and resilience of our undergraduate education programs in neuroscience for the future.
Aims and Objectives
- To examine the undergraduate neuroscience curriculum as it continues to evolve, and help guide efforts to create and sustain neuroscience programs at schools as diverse as liberal arts colleges and research universities.
- To aid in preparing neuroscience faculty for leadership roles in departmental, institutional, professional organizations or other settings.
- To introduce faculty to innovative laboratory experiences that serve as the basis for the development of both investigative/discovery-based and integrative interdisciplinary laboratory experiences.
- To prepare faculty to develop competitive grant applications to support their educational and research programs.
- To discuss local and national efforts to build and strengthen neuroscience education at the undergraduate level.
- To prepare workshop participants to initiate and sustain reforms on their home campus.
- To build on or help create regional networks for ongoing collaboration following the Workshop.
- What has neuroscience become in the 20 years that FUN has championed the cause of undergraduate education in neuroscience? What are we trying to accomplish by introducing neuroscience to undergraduates as part of a liberal arts experience?
- Given the range of undergraduate colleges and universities, what types of laboratory experiences “work” in an undergraduate neuroscience setting? How are these changing with the introduction of new technologies? What goals do we have for laboratory experiences in the curriculum?
- What are the philosophical and logistical obstacles in setting up a neuroscience program in a liberal arts college? In a state university?
- What makes for a successful grant proposal? How does one get support for research, programs, or equipment? What kinds of opportunities are available for faculty development?
- How does one formulate a plan for leadership that stems from individual strengths, and is mindful of career stage, institutional culture, and other commitments? What are the costs and benefits of leadership roles?
•Improving the mentorship of undergraduate neuroscience students
•Grant-writing and support mechanisms for education and research in neuroscience
Special Preworkshop Intensive Laboratory Experience:
New for the 2011 FUN workshop, a special preworkshop event is planned and available to 20 workshop attendees who would like to take their FUN workshop experience to a new level. Intensive laboratory training sessions will be conducted Thursday afternoon and Friday morning (July-28-29), prior to the start of the FUN workshop.
Please note that space is very limited (only 20 spots available, first come, first served) for this additional-cost event held prior to the workshop. Please indicate in your application materials whether any members of your team would like to attend the pre-workshop.
FUN workshops are structured to help faculty be informed about and committed to strengthening the undergraduate neuroscience programs for which they are responsible. The FUN Workshop “Undergraduate Neuroscience Education: Resourcing the Curriculum, Improving Pedagogy and Programs, and Expanding our Disciplinary Horizons” is limited to approximately 130 attendees. Individual faculty and institutional teams of participants are welcome and will be selected on a rolling basis from complete applications received
by June 17, 2011 July 10, 2011 (extended deadline). Applications received after this date may be considered, on a space-available basis.
1) A one-page description of current local efforts related to specific issues raised at the workshop, including successes achieved and difficulties encountered; the appropriateness of the proposed participant should also be described. The description must be in 12-point font (with one-inch margins on all sides). Please include the following heading on the description: NAME OF INSTITUTION
2) A one-page resume of the proposed participant or each member of the proposed team. (Include contact information, institutional affiliation, education, and a selected publications list.)
3) A question that you/your team would like to have addressed in a session of the workshop.
4) A brief letter from the department/program chair or director, president, or chief academic officer of the institution endorsing the application.
Please submit applications as a MS Word document or PDF via email to:
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until: Friday, June 17, 2011
Complete applications received after this date may be accepted on a space-available basis.
Payments are due within 2 weeks of your email receipt of invoice. The total workshop fee* is $475 per person– which includes all meals (Friday dinner through Sunday lunch) lodging costs (2 nights, Friday and Saturday, single occupancy dorm room accommodations) and workshop materials. Participants or their institutions also pay the cost of travel. Off-campus lodging is available near Pomona College for those wanting to arrange their own housing (Registration without housing is adjusted to $400). *= does not include the preworkshop event-- see below.
Preworkshop Intensive Laboratory Experience
For those also attending the Preworkshop intensive laboratory experience held just prior to the Workshop, the combined fee for both events is $575, which includes all meals (Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch) lodging costs (3 nights, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, single occupancy dorm room accommodations) and both workshop and preworkshop materials. Off-campus lodging is available near Pomona College for those wanting to arrange their own housing during both the preworkshop and workshop (Combined registration for both the workshop and preworkshop without 3 nights' housing is adjusted to $480).
•A limited number of partial scholarships are available to help defray the costs of attending the FUN workshop (and Preworkshop event) for underrepresented minority faculty members, faculty from institutions serving women and minority groups, and faculty from institutions currently unable to provide research and travel support. Please contact Eric Wiertelak (see below) for further information about these partial scholarships.
•High quality childcare is available for infants through school age children, at the expense of participants or their institutions. Please indicate your interest in further information about this additional service in the application materials, the age of your child, and any special circumstances.
Workshop Schedule Overview
The workshop will begin at 2:00 p.m., Friday, July 29 and will conclude at 12:00 p.m., Sunday, July 31, 2011.
•The preworkshop intensive laboratory experience will begin at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, July 28 and will conclude with lunch at 12:00 p.m., Friday, July 29, 2011.
Participants will have pre-workshop assignments and are expected to come prepared to develop a plan for follow-up activities for their campus and /or communities during the 2011 – 2012 academic year. As they are selected, participants and teams will be asked to provide further information about their current situation, goals, and plans for the future. Applicants will be notified regarding acceptance for participation shortly after the receipt of all application materials. Payments (in full) are due within 2 weeks of your email receipt of registration acceptance and invoice, and are payable by check only. Please see your invoice for details.
Please contact Eric Wiertelak at Macalester College (phone: 651-696-6111; firstname.lastname@example.org)
or Karen Parfitt at Pomona College (phone: 909-621-8604; email@example.com)