The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences PhD student Krystal English has been accepted into the Neuroscience Scholars Program (NSP), which is part of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), and was developed to bring together scientists of diverse backgrounds and increase the participation of scientists from diverse cultural ethnicities. English is affiliated with the GSBS Program in Neuroscience and her advisor is Cobi Heijnen, PhD.
“Though the field of neuroscience has made great strides in increasing diversity, finding mentors who advocate for diversity and understand the particular hardships of underrepresented graduate students can still be a little challenging,” said English. “This program will allow me to join a community of people who advocate and encourage diversity within the field of neuroscience, which will not only help my scientific career but also provide a sense of belonging within the field.”
This national two-year training program is open to underrepresented graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, and aims to provide advancement in career opportunities and encourage a community among these populations in the field of neuroscience.
As a part of the program, English will have the opportunity to build relationships with mentors, attend exclusive webinars and seminars offered by the SfN on topics related to the research process and advanced scientific content, and will be invited to attend the SfN Diversity Poster Session and Diversity reception at the society’s annual meeting.
“I will have access to mentors who could provide connections to great postdoctoral training opportunities with PIs who have an understanding and interest in advocating for diversity in neuroscience,” said English. “This program will also increase my networking sphere, not only through meeting mentors, but also though meeting peers and postdocs who can offer career advice for my future endeavors.”
NSP was established in 1981 as part of the society’s overall mission. The program has evolved from a travel program to the SfN annual meeting to a robust fellowship with individualized enrichment programs and funds for professional development, networking opportunities, assigned mentors, and most recently, coaching for investigator grant writing. Since the first eight participants who attended the 1981 and 1982 SfN annual meetings, the program has grown to support more than 500 Scholars to date.