Student Membership on NTP Steering and Standing Committees

Student Representation on the Steering Committee

While authority and governance on major issues remains with the Program faculty at large (see Program-Wide Meetings), the Steering Committee oversees most of the routine business of Neuroscience Training Program. The Steering Committee consists of ten faculty members and two student representatives. Five faculty members are elected, and five are appointed by the Chair. Traditionally, students in the Program have played an important role in helping to define Program policies. Each year, students in the Program elect two student representatives to the Steering Committee. The student representatives attend all Steering Committee meetings and bring student views and concerns to the Committee and vice-versa. The student representatives are excused from those parts of Steering Committee meetings that involve discussion of individual students and faculty in the Program. While University statutes preclude students from voting on most policy and procedural issues, the faculty in the Program take student opinion very seriously. For example, the student representatives have the right to delay a Steering Committee vote on an issue until they believe that students in the Program have been fully informed about the issue and have had an opportunity to comment.

Program-Wide Meetings
Program-Wide Meetings are held twice yearly. All faculty and students in the Program are encouraged to attend. The purpose of these meetings is to keep members apprised of ongoing activities and business, receive standing committee reports, solicit new ideas or comments/suggestions, and vote on major issues, if necessary. Larger issues such as major changes in curriculum, seminar structure, or leadership issues will be discussed and voted upon in Program Meetings.

Student Membership on Program Standing Committees

There are openings for up to two students to serve on each of the Program's Standing Committees except for those dealing with individual students or faculty issues: Admissions, First Year Advisory, Faculty Trainers, and Student Funding Committees. At least one student will serve on each Committee during each academic year. A call for nominations of Committee representatives will be sent by the Program Office to all students once per academic year, generally prior to the fall semester. In the event that no student is elected or volunteers to participate on a particular committee, it is the responsibility of the student representatives to name a student to serve.

In addition to the responsibilities defined by their respective Committees, student committee members also are responsible for forwarding copies of any Committee minutes to the student representatives on the Steering Committee within one week of each Standing Committee meeting. Additionally, student members also will notify all Program students of relevant meeting and event dates, proposed Program changes, and other matters of interest to students. This notification should occur within one week following the Committee meeting or two weeks before any such meeting, event or effective date of a proposed Program change, whichever is earlier.
Standing Committees.

Click here to view the list of current student representatives serving on NTP Standing Committees.

The list of current Standing Committees, including a description of the purpose of each Committee, is given below. Unless otherwise noted, the roles of the student members on each Committee are identical to those of faculty members.

Curriculum
The Curriculum Committee is responsible for proposing the general standards of the Program's core curriculum requirements for consideration by the Steering Committee and/or Program faculty. The Committee makes both broad and specific recommendations regarding course sequences and requirements, and it evaluates the appropriateness of a specific course for fulfilling these requirements.

Ethics
This Committee has the responsibility for meeting the NIH mandate that all students supported by the federal government shall receive annual instruction in the responsible conduct of research (scientific ethics).

First Year Student Advisory
The First Year Student Advisory Committee serves in lieu of an Advisory Committee for all first-year students in the Program, and the Committee is responsible for first-year students until they choose a major professor. The Committee advises students on all aspects of the Program throughout the first year, from orientation in the fall to choosing a major professor in the spring. It is also responsible for handling any student issues that may arise after the first year, including academic, personal, or disciplinary problems.

Diversity Enhancement
The Program makes vigorous efforts to encourage applications of admission by qualified minority students and to recruit these students to the Program. The Diversity Enhancement Committee oversees the Program's Diversity Enhancement Speaker Series, arranges visits by minority students from high schools and colleges, attends area recruitment fairs, helps coordinate the Program’s participation in the IBS-SRP Neurobiology program and sends representatives to schools with large minority enrollments in an effort to increase the number of minority student admissions. Members of the committee also participate in the Biosciences Opportunities Program, an annual preview weekend hosted for prospective underrepresented students at UW-Madison.

Seminar Topics
This committee is responsible for the choice of seminar topics on the ballot for the Neuroscience seminar series, which is then selected by vote of the faculty and students. This entails surveying students and faculty for interesting topics and, when necessary, recruiting faculty to organize these seminars.