Brain, Immunology and Glia Training Program

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The Brain Immunology and Glia Training Program (BIGTP) at the University of Virginia (UVA) builds on existing strengths in neuroimmunology and glia research and the programming that has been in place since the establishment of the center from Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG) in 2012. The BIGTP brings together 20 mentors from eight different departments with the goal of providing interdisciplinary training that sparks discoveries and prepares a generation of researchers that are uniquely equipped to tackle research questions that arise at the interface of neuroscience and immunology.

Two predoctoral trainees are supported each year for a duration of two years, typically in years three and four of graduate training. Trainees will partake in the dynamic BIG research in progress seminars that are held weekly. Trainees will also have access to leaders in the field through the BIG Neuro seminar series. Annual retreats focus on trainee development, review of the program, and allow trainees to interact with members of the BIGTP External Advisory Board that are invited as keynote speakers. The quantitative literacy of trainees is developed and supported through the Quantitative Literacy Series designed specifically for trainees that addresses topics in experimental design, reproducibility, power analysis, statistical analyses, transparency in reporting, etc.

The BIGTP leadership and mentors understand the importance of diversity, which is essential for the strength and growth of the BIGTP. The NIH-sponsored T32 training program provides unparalleled training for predoctoral trainees in a burgeoning research area. Those interested in the BIGTP should apply to the umbrella Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) Graduate Program at UVA and indicate interests in neuroimmunology and/or neuroscience. The GRE is not required and fee waivers are available upon request.

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Quantitative Literacy

The Quantiative Literacy Series will provide 17 hours of instruction and be composed of workshops on themes based on the topics identified in the Foundations of Rigorous Neuroscience (a partnership between the Society for Neuroscience and NINDS). Each workshop will consist of an introduction to the topic/challenge, trainees will present journal articles related to the theme, and then hands on coding sessions will take place to provide trainees the skills necessary to integrate greater levels of rigor and reproducibilty into their research.

PhD+ Statistical Analysis in R (Pilot Offering in Fall 2022)

This series is developed through collaboration with UVA Health’s Health Sciences Library. Sessions are scheduled to meet weekly through lecturing, hands-on exercises, and group discussions to help participants become familiar and comfortable conducting statistical analyses in R. Upon successful completion of this series, PhD students are eligible for a non-credit credential on their academic transcript (*required attendance for at least 4 out of 5 synchronous sessions).

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