Student life for a PiN student revolves around four central institutions: PiN/DMS, the Department of Neurobiology, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the student's thesis lab.
PiN and its student groups put on a number of events during the year that are designed to bring students together: the student retreat at Woods Hole; the annual poster session; the annual all-PiN lunch, Nocturnal Journal Club, and many more. Further, DMS hosts a variety of events for all its students (which includes PiN students); these events include all the social events put on by the Biological Graduate Student Organization (BGSO), including the Harbor Cruise each fall.
The Department of Neurobiology includes all PiN students in its activities. PiN students are invited to the annual Departmental retreat, the annual holiday party, and to Friday "pizza talks" and beer hour, where students can meet and mingle with faculty and postdocs.
GSAS provides all Harvard graduate students with a social hub in Dudley House, located in Lehman Hall in Harvard Yard. The activities sponsored by Dudley House include every conceivable artistic interest and social opportunity; it's a great way for PiN students to meet other graduate students working in areas other than life sciences.
Finally, the main source of students' social and professional lives is their thesis labs. Because PiN is an interdepartmental program, when students choose their thesis labs they may end up in any one of dozens of communities in the Harvard community. They may be at Harvard Medical School (but in the Department of Cell Biology or Systems Biology); they may be at one of the nearby hospitals (Boston Childrens/Kirby Neurobiology Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, McLean Hospital); or they may be located in Cambridge in a lab affiliated with the Center for Brain Science. The choice of lab determines the student's day-to-day social and professional life.