Education, Training, and Outreach

K-12 Education

During the year, our graduate student outreach teams provide presentations and activities at elementary and high schools throughout the Northern California region. Students learn about brain anatomy (complete with brains for students to hold and dissect), traumatic brain injury and helmet safety, how optical illusions work, and basic concepts of neuroscience.

Graduate Education

Graduate students in our Conte Center labs come from a wide array of graduate groups, especially the UC Davis Neuroscience Graduate Group. These students benefit from outstanding training programs that provide enhanced depth of instruction in neuroscience, a focus on translational aspects of neuroscience research, and unparalleled training in career development skills. These training programs are supported by two NIH NIMH T32 grants:

  1. The Training Program in Basic Neuroscience
  2. The Training Program in Learning, Memory, and Plasticity

Postdoctoral Fellows

Similarly, postdoctoral fellows in Conte Center labs come from diverse backgrounds and fields. Our fellows benefit from the unparalleled energy of faculty and numerous opportunities for career development, including participation in Advanced Training Programs (see list below), grant writing classes, and interactions with speakers. Several NIH-funded training programs are available to our postdocs, based on their research interest. These groups offer a core curriculum in specific research areas:

Our postdocs also typically take advantage of the new Center for Neuroscience Postdoc Training Program. The primary goals of this program, which is tailored to the needs of our specific postdoc cohort at CNS, are to:

  1. Improve interactions among CNS postdocs
  2. Gain invaluable training in a range of career skills
  3. Invite speakers from a range of careers to discuss career options with postdocs, specifically targeted to provide networking opportunities to our postdocs

We have organized a series of panel discussions, guest speakers, workshops and networking events to support his program. The meetings cover a wide variety of topics including information and advice for their next career step in academia and industry career tracks. Specific sessions will provide in-depth training and feedback in each aspect of the job search for academia. Skills sessions include time management and goal setting, grantsmanship, oral presentation skills sessions, how to navigate conflict and stress, and how to give a chalk talk.

Bringing neuroscience to the community

Educating and sharing exciting discoveries in brain research with community members, an important part of the UC Davis Conte Center's mission. We are proud to partner with the Center for Neuroscience, the MIND Institute, and the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence to bring neuroscientists, students, families, schools and communities together through a number of outreach programs.

Every March, the CNS hosts NeuroFest, a one day free public event for community members of all ages. Attendees enjoy public lectures by faculty on the lastest brain research, hands-on interactive activities, and a research poster contest presented by our graduate students. NeuroFest occurs during Brain Awareness Week, a global effort organized by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Society for Neuroscience to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research.