Seminars: Students are encouraged to attend regular neuroscience seminars at Longwood and/or Cambridge. All current neuroscience seminars are posted regularly on the PIN News & Events page.
Nocturnal Journal Club: The student-organized Nocturnal Journal Club meets every other week throughout the year. Students volunteer to present papers and lead discussions. Dinner is provided. Journal Club provides a friendly environment for students to hone their presentation skills and scientific interests. The Program strongly encourages first-year students to attend; the NJC is a wonderful opportunity for new students to regularly present papers to an audience.
Fall Student Retreat: The Fall Retreat is an informal student-organized weekend that takes place in September at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole. Students stay in cottages, organize and cook their own meals, and hear talks from more advanced students. This is a great opportunity for incoming students to learn about opportunities for courses and rotations.
Spring Student Symposium: The biannual Spring Symposium is organized and programmed entirely by students. Students select an area of interest and invite several scientists working in that area to come and present their research. The first day consists of a series of talks by the invited speakers, followed by a dinner for all members of the Program. On the second day, students meet with the speakers for informal roundtable discussions. Recent Spring Symposia include "Subcellular Organization of Neuronal Function", "Simple Rules, Complex Systems. Emerging Principles of Neural and Neural-like Systems" and "Neural Protheses and Brain-Computer Interfaces".
PIN Poster Session: PIN students put on a poster session each fall in the Courtyard Café of the Longwood Campus. This is an opportunity for incoming students to learn about labs, and for advanced students to share their research.
Student Feedback: Student opinions are important in determining the future of the Program. Several students sit on the Program Steering Committee, where they participate in decision-making along with faculty members. The Program administration and several of the first-year course directors also hold annual feedback meetings where they solicit constructive criticism and ideas for improvement. In the past, student voices have had a major impact on the curriculum: for example, students originated the idea for the elective course on “Tools for Statistical Inference”.
Neighborhood Attractions: Within walking distance of the Longwood campus are the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Nearby lies Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. The Cambridge labs are minutes away from the Harvard Art Museums, the Harvard Natural History Museum, and the shops and theatres of Harvard Square.
Social activities: All PIN students are affiliates of Dudley House in Cambridge, which sponsors a stream of social activities throughout the year such as concerts, dances, and ski trips. The Biomedical Graduate Student Organization at Longwood also organizes social activities, student-faculty lunches, and student-alumni contacts.
Stipend: While students are enrolled in the Program, they receive a monthly stipend which should be sufficient to support them. This means that other employment is not necessary, and students are expected to dedicate full-time work to their courses and research. Tuition and health insurance are also covered by the Program. Additional support is available to defray the cost of attending Program-approved scientific meetings. Students who receive external fellowships may be eligible to receive a supplemental educational allowance in the first two years.