Washington, DC -- The Society for Neuroscience has been awarded $525,000 from The Grass Foundation to create a Latin American Neuroscience Training Program. The five-year initiative will serve hundreds of promising young regional scientists, providing knowledge, networking, and tools to help them advance in their careers and contribute to the global neuroscience community.
"The Latin American Neuroscience Training Program will advance the progress of science and understanding of the brain, and we thank The Grass Foundation for their investment in the bright future of Latin American science," SfN President Larry Swanson said. "By training the region's most promising young scientists, the seeds for advancement planted here will have a positive impact on the trainees and on the future of neuroscience in the region for decades to come."
The program builds on the historic strengths of the SfN Ricardo Miledi Program, a Grass Foundation funded training initiative that ran from 2003 to 2012, and incorporates new formal partnerships with two regional bodies of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) as well as institutions that will host the program. It is projected to serve approximately 650 trainees from Latin America and the Caribbean over five years. Each year, 15 outstanding students will be selected to participate in an onsite, advanced three-week training program. Additionally, more than 100 students from across the region will participate in an online training program, which will include webinars, videos, networking, and discussions on professional development and the latest science.
The Instituto de Neurobiologia at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Queretaro, Mexico, will host the first course in 2014. The program will rotate annually among host organizers in Latin America thereafter.
"The Grass Foundation is delighted that SfN will continue to be a valued partner in supporting the great scientific potential in Latin America," said Felix Schweizer, president of The Grass Foundation. "We are pleased to support this program as it builds on the legacy of the Miledi program, and also continues to grow and evolve based on the region's needs and opportunities."
The new program's approach and curriculum were developed with input from a core group of leading scientists from the Latin American neuroscience community. Additionally, the course will cover a wealth of professional development topics, including manuscript publishing, the responsible use of animals in research, research ethics and scientific conduct, and Brain Awareness Week activities.
The new Latin American Training Program greatly benefits from the support of international partners working with SfN and The Grass Foundation, including IBRO's Latin America Regional Committee, IBRO's United States-Canada Regional Committee (USCRC), and host institutions, all of which have pledged funding or equivalent in-kind contributions to make the program a success. The USCRC will also provide funding for two outstanding fellows to attend a USCRC course following the program.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is a nonprofit membership organization of scientists and physicians who study the brain and nervous system. Since its inception in 1969, the Society has grown from 500 members to nearly 42,000. Today, SfN is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to advancing understanding of the brain and nervous system.
The Grass Foundation is a nonprofit foundation that supports research and education in neuroscience. The hallmark program of The Grass Foundation is the Grass Fellowship Program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., U.S. The program provides an excellent opportunity for neuroscientists during early stages of their career to conduct independent research and covers research and living expenses. The Grass Foundation has an established history of partnering with SfN to enhance neuroscience training in Latin America including past support for the Rosenblueth Visiting Professorship Program and the Ricardo Miledi Neuroscience Training Program. The Foundation also has worked closely with IBRO, most recently by supporting, together with SfN, the IBRO Neuroscience Schools in Africa.