I would like to extend a welcome to all prospective applicants to the Neuroscience Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Choosing to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience is an important decision, and I am thrilled to provide some information about the many exceptional opportunities with the Neuroscience Training Program (NTP) and UW-Madison.

The NTP is an interdepartmental graduate program. A distinct advantage of being interdepartmental, rather than administered by a basic science or clinical department, is that our sole responsibility is to graduate education. Faculty in the NTP are therefore selected for their commitment to graduate training in addition to being well-funded, productive researchers.

With 94 faculty trainers from 25 departments, numerous opportunities exist for students to pursue their research and training goals. Since the NTP’s inception in 1971, we have awarded over 256 Ph.D. degrees. To prepare students for a successful scientific career, the NTP emphasizes multiple aspects of training. Students gain experience and knowledge through course work (including professional development courses), seminars, research in the laboratory of their faculty mentor, teaching, and community outreach. Emphasis is given to training students to present lectures in public forums with confidence. Our world-renowned faculty, state-of-the-art research facilities, and commitment to graduate education create an exceptional training experience. Indeed, we are dedicated to the success of our graduates, who typically receive a Ph.D. in about 5.2 years.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a stimulating place for graduate students. The intellectual atmosphere, academic and social environments, and support services for graduate students are outstanding. UW-Madison is consistently ranked among the premier research universities in the country and is currently 8th in total research expenditures. Compared to many other elite institutions, UW-Madison is more oriented towards graduate than post-doctoral training, which helps account for the outstanding publication records of the NTP graduate students. A great asset of UW-Madison is the emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, cross-campus collaborations, and integrative research.

In addition to our courses and research training leading to a Ph.D. in neuroscience, we offer integrated dual degree programs in Neuroscience and Public Policy and in Neuroscience and Law. For these programs, students earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience through the NTP and either a Master of Public Affairs (M.P.A./M.I.P.A.) in domestic or international policy through the La Follette School of Public Affairs or a J.D. from the UW-Madison Law School. More information on these programs is available on the N&PP website.

Neuroscience as a discipline is at a vital juncture. Groundbreaking advances in functional mapping, neuroregeneration, developments in molecular, genetic, electrophysiological, and imaging technologies, brain-machine interfaces, computational neuroscience, and integrative approaches have expanded knowledge about the workings of the brain as never before. With these gains, neuroscientists now envision effective treatments and improved coping strategies for neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric illnesses, and developmental and emotional disorders. The Neuroscience Training Program is at the forefront of this progress. I invite all prospective applicants to consider the NTP for their graduate studies. An exciting and fulfilling experience awaits!

Ari Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Director, Neuroscience Training Program