Training

One of the mandates of the lab (and of Canadian science in general) is the training of highly qualified personnel. Such personnel are required to drive our knowledge-based economy forward, and to improve the lives of all Canadians through greater knowledge and technical innovation. We offer training in cognitive and neuroscientific research to interested and qualified personnel.

The RADIANT CREATE project is a training program funded by NSERC. The goal of RADIANT is to train neuroscientist-entrepreneurs who have the unique combination of skills in neuroscience and business needed to design neurotechnology solutions that meet real needs and put these solutions into the hands of people who need them. Training opportunities at NCIL offered through RADIANT include summer undergraduate research fellowships and graduate student scholarships. For more information click here:   RADIANT

Undergraduates are not expected to come into the lab knowing much in particular. Training in the lab begins with volunteering your time, making a commitment of a few hours a week. Initially, you will help others in the lab with routine research tasks, and generally hang out and get a feel for what goes on. Over time, if it seems like the lab is a good fit to your interests, and you make your commitment clear through your behaviour, you will be given more opportunities to work independently on tasks such as stimulus preparation, subject recruiting, data collection, and data analysis. This could easily lead to an independent research project or honours thesis. You will gain numerous skills in the lab, including proficiency with computers, interacting with research participants, neuroimaging data collection and analysis, and fundamental scientific (and life) skills such as staying organized, paying close attention to detail, and communicating information to others. Please contact volunteer@ncilab.ca if you are interested in volunteering.
  Graduate studies may be pursued through Dalhousie's graduate programs in eitherPsychology or Neuroscience. The graduate programs in Psychology and Neuroscience emphasize training for research. They are best described as "apprenticeship" programs in which students work closely with a faculty member who has agreed to supervise the student's research. Compared with many other graduate programs, we place less emphasis on course work and greater emphasis on research, scholarship and independent thinking. Cognitive Neuroscience is a truly interdisciplinary field. The neuroimaging techniques we use in the lab are technically complex and require skills and knowledge in a number of domains. Ideally students wishing to pursue graduate studies in the lab should have a background in two or more of the following:  
  • cognitive psychology
  • linguistics
  • neuroscience
  • functional MRI, ERP, and/or other functional neuroimaging techniques (e.g., MEG, PET, optical imaging)
  • signal processing
  • statistics
 
Graduate training should provide you with a solid foundation as a scientist, including critical thinking skills, a comprehensive knowledge base in your chosen field, and necessary research skills. The goal of postdoctoral training is to provide the advanced training necessary to enable you to become an independent researcher. Obviously you will continue to do research, but there are numerous other skills to be learned as well, such as lab management, grant writing, and teaching and supervising students. Ideally, a postdoctoral fellowship will also allow you to broaden your horizons, by learning new research techniques, and/or doing research in a somewhat different focus from your graduate work. Many people who studied cognitive science or linguistics in graduate school use their postdoctoral years to learn neuroimaging techniques. Others who have studied topics such as physics, engineering, computer science, or physiology may be interested in mastering the skills of cognitive science. Please contact Aaron Newman if you are interested in postdoctoral training. Funding is available through a number of agencies, including NSERCCIHRSSHRC, and Dalhousie's prestigious Killam prizes.