Q. Does the Neurobiology Curriculum provide support for stipends and tuition?
A. Yes. Stipend support (currently $27,500 per year) and full tuition is provided to all students working towards the Ph.D. in Neurobiology. Support for entering students is provided by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health, funds from the School of Medicine, and competitive fellowships awarded by the Graduate School.
Q: Does UNC provide health insurance coverage for graduate students?
A: Yes. The Curriculum in Neurobiology provides health insurance for all graduate students. Supplemental coverage for dependents is available for a nominal sum.
Q: How well funded are the faculty and laboratories at UNC?
A: The Curriculum in Neurobiology is located in one of the nation's major neuroscience research centers. As of 2005, UNC at Chapel Hill ranks 15th among all universities (private and state) in total biomedical research funding from the NIH. As of April 2006, there was approximately $32,000,000 in annual direct cost for neuroscience-related NIH supported grants associated with faculty of the Neurobiology Curriculum. Participating faculty receive research support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a broad range of NIH institutes (NIDCD, NICHD, NIGMS, NIA, NIDA, NIAAA, NIDR, NIMH and NINDS) and private foundations.
Q: How long has UNC had a neuroscience Ph.D. training program?
A:The Curriculum in Neurobiology has been in existence for over 35 years, making it the second oldest neuroscience training program in the country. Over 60 active research laboratories are presently available to UNC Neurobiology graduate students for research apprenticeships and dissertation research projects.
Q: Does the UNC Neurobiology Curriculum have a training grant?
A: The Neurobiology Curriculum has earned training grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) that have been continuously funded for over 25 years. In 1997 we were recognized as a model training program by the NIH and received the first of the new comprehensive predoctoral neuroscience training grants jointly sponsored by nine NIH institutes.
Q: What is the nature of the Ph.D. degree that the Neurobiology Curriculum confers?
A: UNC offers the Ph.D. degree in Neurobiology, not as a departmentally-associated program, but as an alternative, independent and interdisciplinary degree program. We do not offer a Masters degree in Neurobiology.
Q: What is the average time for completion of the Ph.D. in Neurobiology?
A: The average time-to-degree is 5.3 years for UNC Neurobiology Ph.D.s.
Q: How many women are enrolled in your graduate program?
A: Currently 65% of the enrolled Neurobiology Ph.D. students at UNC are women.
Q: What career paths do graduates of the UNC Neurobiology Curriculum take?
A: Our graduates typically go on to excellent postdoctoral research positions in outstanding laboratories in some of the best academic research centers in the U.S. and abroad. Many UNC Neurobiology graduates have advanced to tenure-track faculty positions at many research universities including Yale, Vanderbilt, Emory, Minnesota, Connecticut, Penn State, Cornell, Arizona among others. Some graduates have opted for careers in industry, government, and law which directly employ experiences gained in their Ph.D. training. Of trainees since 1989, approximately 2/3 are currently in still in academic positions (faculty, research faculty, or postdoctoral training).
Q: Do UNC Neurobiology students get to travel to scientific meetings?
A: The UNC program provides annual funding for students to attend national scientific meetings. These are either large professional meetings (e.g. Society for Neuroscience) or smaller specialty meetings (e.g. Gordon Conferences). In addition, we encourage students to investigate specialty courses at Cold Spring Harbor or the Marine Biological Laboratory.
Q: What is the UNC Neuroscience Center and how does it relate to the training program?
A: The Neuroscience Center's general mission is to promote and support neuroscience research and to serve as a focal point for the broader neuroscience community at UNC. All Neuroscience Center members are members of the Curriculum. The Curriculum also includes a broader group of faculty in other areas of Neuroscience on campus. A number of neuroscience faculty have been recruited in the past 7 years in conjunction with the Center, are members of the Curriculum, and participate in Ph.D. training. The Neuroscience Center is housed in the Neuroscience Research Building, which was completed in 2001.