Neuroscience is among the fastest growing area of science and has produced remarkable developments that
will have profound implications for the understanding and treatment of mental disorders. Innovations and
advancements in molecular genetics, brain imaging methods, molecular biology and have resulted in
unprecedented advances that have extended visions of understanding and treating psychiatric disorders to the
hope of preventing and even curing them. However, there is still a gap in applying knowledge and tools to
psychiatric disorders that is due, in part, to a shortage of clinical and translational-science researchers.
Consequently, it is imperative train researchers to translate important basic science findings into clinically
This competitive renewal application requests continued NIMH funding for the long-standing, successful
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Fellowship in Biological Psychiatry and Neuroscience. The
Fellowship is designed for provide education, research training, and career opportunities for 7 post-doctoral
fellows with a particular emphasis on candidates that are focused on using biological tools to understand
pathophysiology and brain processes of psychiatric illness and develop potential treatments for these
disorders. The overall goal is to train fellows from diverse backgrounds to acquire the skills necessary for the
conceptualization, planning, conduct and publication of research in biological psychiatry and neuroscience with
the ultimate goal to become independent and funded researchers.
Specific goals of the Fellowship are:
(1) To recruit a diverse group of highly accomplished fellows for advanced research training
(2) To provide a high level of training necessary for successful transition into an independent research
career, which is focused on: a) Ethical conduct of research and research ethics; b) General methodologies
applicable to research in biological psychiatry and neuroscience; c) Use of data science in research; d)
Methods to improve reproducibility of results; e) Specific approaches relevant for the fellow's individual
research project; f) Training in scientific writing directed at production of scientific papers and grant
applications.; g) Grant writing skills and education regarding NIH procedures
(3) To enable the fellow to conduct and complete a specific research project that can be viewed as a
seed for an independent research career trajectory and includes: a) Proposal of a research project based
on NIH forms and guidelines; b) Implementation of this project with a UCSD-affiliated mentor, and c) Regular
monitoring and evaluation of research progress.
(4) To provide practical advice and support for career development, which includes: a) Opportunities for
fellows to present their projects and peer-review grant applications, and practice grant review as a mock
reviewer through mandatory attendance of the weekly didactic session; b) Explicate milestones and career
guidelines that are written in the T32 Individual Development Plan (IDP); c) Network with senior researchers
within UCSD and other organizations, and via online resources; d) Fellows have regular one-on-one meetings
with directors for scientific and career development related mentoring and support.