Modern neuroscience is revolutionizing our understanding of psychiatric illness. Yet despite dramatic progress in research, the field has been slow to integrate neuroscience into medical school and residency curricula, into day-to-day clinical practice, and into how we engage more broadly with patients, families, and the general public. While there are many individuals with the talent and interest to excel in this space, there are relatively few training opportunities to cultivate these crucial skills.
The National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative (NNCI) was founded in 2013 with the goal of creating a set of open educational resources that would help integrate a neuroscience perspective into modern psychiatry. Since then, we have created 150+ sessions that are in use at more than 200 training programs in the US and around the world.
From the outset, the NNCI was designed to be a collaborative initiative, leveraging the strengths of a broad team. We are proud that our materials reflect the work of more than 120 authors from 50+ institutions. Recognizing that this work is difficult, we have increasingly focused on developing training opportunities that can help interested individuals enhance their skills as neuroscience educators.
Over the past year, we piloted a new fellowship program that is designed to help participants serve as Ambassadors of Psychiatry and Neuroscience who can thoughtfully communicate key content to a broad audience. The curriculum includes separate courses on: Adult Learning (foundational principles; unique applications in medical education and, specifically, within psychiatry; how to adapt materials to an online space) and Effective Scientific Communication (including learning to distill complex topics down to their core concepts, to craft a narrative arc around key translational applications, to optimize the visual representation of data, and to attend to technical aspects of performance). Each participant receives individual coaching to help them develop of a new educational resource (e.g. writing a Clinical Commentary to submit to Biological Psychiatry, creating a “This ‘Stuff’ Is Really Cool” talk, or designing a novel classroom exercise). Class meets weekly for one hour throughout the year with all sessions conducted in an experiential / workshop format. Participants are expected to dedicate one hour weekly for class preparation.
The NNCI is now recruiting the next cohort of exceptional trainees and early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as ambassadors of psychiatry and neuroscience.
Participants will be selected based on their skill and enthusiasm for teaching neuroscience, their previous accomplishments, and their potential as leaders in neuroscience education. Applications are due June 30th, 2022 and should be submitted as a single (zipped) file to the Dropbox link below. The program will begin in August.
The major component of the application is a teaching sample that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to make a complex neuroscience topic accessible for a broad audience. Submissions could include:
The primary factor in our selection process will be the quality and creativity of the teaching sample. Additional factors will include demonstrated interest and commitment to teaching neuroscience and previous educational experience (including innovation and leadership).
Please note: the NNCI is especially interested in content relating to the interface of neuroscience with health equity, social justice, and anti-racism in medicine. We welcome applications from individuals who are interested in pursuing this work.
In addition to the teaching sample, the application should include the following components in a single PDF file:
Completed applications should be uploaded to this folder as a single (zipped) file.