Thank you for your interest in the UAB Neuroscience PhD Graduate Theme!
The Neuroscience PhD Graduate Theme at the University of Alabama at Birmingham offers students a multidisciplinary format in a collaborative environment. Students have access to over 60 faculty members in disciplines ranging from cloning new genes to neurodegenerative diseases to cognition health. Discovering an area of interest is not difficult here at UAB, in spite of all the choices.
First year students get their first formal training in the Introduction to Neurobiology course taught by UAB neuroscience faculty at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on the Gulf of Mexico. Participating in classroom discussions and hands-on experiments are an important part of this two week course that begins in late July. Students live and work alongside professors and graduate student assistants, totally immersing themselves in the research lab environment.
During their first year, students take courses that delve deeper into the nervous system’s structure and function - molecularly, cellularly, and physiologically. A journal club that looks at historical neuroscience literature both enlightens the students on various aspects of neuroscience, and provides them the opportunity to research and present a paper. Three rotations round out the first year experience. Students are responsible for securing their own rotations where they will spend approximately 11 weeks in each rotation performing experiments and presenting their data in a poster session at the end of each one. The goal of the lab rotations is to find a permanent mentor and move into that lab by June 1 to continue through a successful graduate career. All students are required to take a biostatics course and an ethics course.
Those students who are in their second-year and beyond will find themselves involved in a student summer seminar series and a small number of advanced courses, leaving the majority of their time for the excitement and intensity of developing their research focus that will lead to their thesis defense.
Financial support of our students comes in the form of free tuition, free student health insurance, and a yearly stipend. Students are free from the burden of securing loans to pay for their graduate education and are able to focus on their research.