Faculty Workshops

The Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience holds workshops every 3-4 years centered around designing, implementing and assessing neuroscience programs in undergraduate settings. 


The next FUN workshop will be held July 31, 2020 at Davidson College!

The FUN 2020 Workshop has been cancelled
Refunds will be issued shortly
We're working on a plan for next steps

The 25th Anniversary FUN Workshop
Undergraduate Neuroscience Education:
Best Practices for Rigor, Respect, Responsibility and Outreach
Davidson College
Davidson, North Carolina

July 31- August 2, 2020

Register NOW for the FUN 2020 Summer Workshop at FUNFaculty.org!

Special message regarding the COVID-19 corona virus: Considering registration for the FUN Workshop, but concerned about the possibility that health risks associated with  Covid-19 may continue into summer? Please know that FUN is committed to the health and safety of its members and all who are planning to attend the 2020 FUN Workshop July 21-August 2, 2020.
We want you to feel your FUN Workshop registration is worry free! All registered Attendees will be notified about any possible changes to the event at least one month in advance of the event. If the unlikely event occur that continued risks of the COVID-19 outbreak require cancellation of the workshop, all registration costs paid will be refunded. As with other travel, those traveling to the FUN Workshop are encouraged to consider whether to purchase travel insurance.
If you would like off-campus accomodations, FUN has arranged for a group discount rate at the Homewood Suites by Hilton at Davidson, 125 Harbour Place Drive, Davidson, NC 28036; Phone: 704.987.1818.  For the moment there are only 10 rooms reserved in the block. Guests can start booking today by calling 1-800-CALL-HOME or (704) 987-1818.
When making reservations be sure to specify tat you are with “THE FUN WORKSHOP” or use Group Code: “FUN”.   

Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience has sponsored eight previous workshops focused on helping faculty develop and sustain neuroscience programs at undergraduate colleges and universities.  We are pleased to invite you to our Ninth workshop, that will be held at Davidson College, Davidson North Carolina,  July 31-August 2, 2020. Sessions begin at 2 pm Jlu 31 and conclude at 1:15 pm on August 2. Participants will be encouraged to submit an abstract for a “What Works?” poster, teaching demonstration of table discussion topic at registration. The comprehensive fee for all workshop costs, including materials, meals and residence hall lodging for the nights of July 31 and August 1, is $550. A limited number of Partial scholarships are available for underrepresented minority faculty members, faculty from institutions serving women and minority groups, and faculty from institutions currently unable to provide support, and for local prefaculty (Post-Docs and Graduate students) wishing to attend.
In addition to the main workshop, we again will offer the optional Preworkshop Intensive Laboratory Experience July 30-31, 2020. Note: space for this special, hands-on event is limited to 40 participants who are also registering for the main workshop. The comprehensive fee for the workshop plus the preworkshop intensive laboratory experience (including all materials, meals and residence hall lodging for the nights of July 29, 30, 31 and August 1) is $790.

Aims and Objectives
  • To examine the undergraduate neuroscience curriculum as it continues to evolve, and help guide efforts to create, assess and sustain rigorous and inclusive 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.

Case studies, plenary presentations, small group sessions, teaching demonstrations, a poster session and individual consultations will address all dimensions of undergraduate neuroscience education, including determining what needs to be taught, dissolving institutional and departmental barriers, building an institutional team committed to reform, developing more appropriate spaces for teaching and learning, funding innovative efforts, Fostering diversity in the sciences, Study abroad, and community outreach. Sessions will be of interest to neuroscience faculty as well as department chairs, deans, development officers, and others with responsibility for strengthening undergraduate programs, particularly those that cross disciplinary boundaries in and with science and mathematics in general, and neuroscience specifically.

Pre-Workshop Intensive Laboratory Experience Highlights
Those participating in this optional event will receive hands-on training in using C.elegans for course-based laboratories;  Optogenetic methods using fly models; 3D neuronal structure reconstruction; building their own neuroscience equipment, using low-cost equipment in neuroscience education; making use of the resources of the Allen Institute in education, and more!
Workshop Highlights
Sessions will focus on such issues as: Granting programs at NIH and NSF; Creating neuroscience classes, programs and curricula that are inclusive; welcome diversity; bring the lessons learned from disability studies in to the classroom and promote resilience in students; understanding how study away and neuroscience education can intersect well; how to use case studies in the classroom; creating effective assessment plans for neuroscience; examining core competencies and core concepts in undergraduate neuroscience education; advocacy for neuroscience education; Nu Rho Psi, the honor society in neuroscience; publishing in JUNE and becoming a program consultant; winning tenure at PUIs, sharing “What works” with other neuroscience faculty, cutting edge laboratory exercises for classes; Making use of the Allen Institute resources in teaching; how to select and use economical equipment to drive laboratory experiences, and more!
Please feel free to contact any of the members of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Workshop Planning Committee!
Alo Basu, College of the Holy Cross (phone: 508-793-3750; abasu@holycross.edu
Irina Calin-Jageman, Dominican University (phone: 708-524-6596; icalinjageman@dom.edu)
Robert Calin-Jageman, Dominican University (phone: 708-524-6581; rcalinjageman@dom.edu)
Jason Chan, Marian University (phone: 317-955-6458; jchan@marian.edu
Bruce Johnson, Cornell University (phone: 607-254-4323 or 607-254-4351; brj1@cornell.edu)
Barbara Lom, Co-Host, Davidson College (phone: 607-254-4323 or 607-254-4351; balom@davidson.edu
Julio Ramirez, Co-Host, Davidson College (phone: 607-254-4323 or 607-254-4351; juramirez@davidson.edu
Eric Wiertelak, Committee Chair, Macalester College (phone: 651-696-6111; wiertelak@macalester.edu)

Previous Meetings:
  • At the 1st FUN workshop, held at Davidson College 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.
  • At the 2nd FUN workshop, held at Oberlin College in 1998, participants used these blueprints as a foundation to explore cutting-edge laboratory exercises designed to serve as the basis for the development of investigative, discovery-based laboratory experiences and the steps involved in launching regional meetings emphasizing undergraduate neuroscience research.
  • At the 3rd FUN workshop, held at Trinity College in 2001, participants again explored laboratory exercises as well as simulations of synaptic transmission, and further examined issues in developing regional meetings emphasizing undergraduate neuroscience research.
  • At the 4th FUN workshop, held at Macalester College in 2005, 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
  • The 5th FUN workshop was held at Pomona College in 2008.
  • The 6th FUN workshop was held in Ithaca College in 2014.
  • The 7th FUN workshop was held at Dominican University in 2017 - It was a fantastic meeting thanks to the amazing roster of participants and presenters, the support of Dominican University, the backing of our wonderful sponsors (AD Instruments, INCF, Backyard Brains, and Neurobytes), and the tireless efforts of our programming committee.  The FUN doesn’t stop, though–the materials and videos generated from the meeting are all preserved on this website (click here), and we know that participants will carry forward the energy and ideas from FUN 2017 into their classrooms and beyond.