For Current Students

What courses are mandatory for CNAP students?

First year students – Fall:

  • PSY 759s Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience I, 3 credits
  • PSY 757s Cognitive Neuroscience Presentation Course I, 1 credit
  • 1 elective of your choice/neurobiology modules 1- 3 credits
  • NEUROSCI 755 (section number and permission number TBA by DGSA). Lab rotation, 3-7 credits
  • RCR (Responsible Conduct in Research) Training in Ethical Issues and Teaching Methods: This is a discussion course in research ethics required for all incoming Ph.D. students in biomedical programs at Duke. Students will attend a day-long meeting during their orientation week. Students are then required to continue their training by attending at least three Responsible Conduct in Research Forums (making a total of 6 credit hours) within the first three years of their program of study. This number may be increased at any time to meet changes in federal regulations. These credits do not count for the CNAP 12-credit requirement.

First year students – Spring:

  • NBI 762 Neurobiology of Disease (January), 2 credits
  • PSY 760s Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience II, 3 credits
  • NEUROSCI 755 (section number and permission number TBA by DGSA). Lab rotation, 5-7 credits
  • Students are expected to continue to attend the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium talk series.
  • RCR Training in Ethical Issues and Teaching Methods. Ongoing from the first semester.

Second year students – Fall:

  • PSY 757s Cognitive Neuroscience Presentation Course I, 1 credit
  • NEUROSCI 755 (section number and permission number TBA by DGSA). Lab rotation, 3-7 credits. Enroll for the one you did in summer.
  • Optional 4th lab rotation (requires DGS approval)
  • Electives of your choice (ideally fulfilling requirements of the department you are planning to join)

Second year students – Spring:

  • Electives of your choice

3+ year students:

  • Fulfill the requirements of the department you declared. Students are expected to continue to attend the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium talk series until graduation.
 

How many credits do I need to enroll in each semester?

Students are expected to enroll for 12 credits – between mandatory and elective courses – plus 1 credit for continuation. In addition, all paid students (i.e. students who receive a stipend for research related to their dissertation, etc.), must register for continuation during the summer (summer full continuation – 1 credit).

How many lab rotations do I need to complete?

You will need to complete 3 lab rotations: fall, spring, and summer of your first year. Please note that for your third rotation, although you do it during the summer, you register for it in the fall term of your second year. If you wish, a fourth lab rotation may be completed during the fall of the second year, if approved by the DGS.

How many credits do lab rotations count for?

When enrolling for your lab rotation, you should choose how many credits you’d like it to count for. Generally, students put as many credits as needed to fill in their 12 credits requirement, which means that lab rotations usually count for 3-7 credits.

In which labs can I do my rotation?

You can do your rotation in the lab of any CNAP training faculty. However, this can be limited by the faculty member’s availability (i.e., if they are on sabbatical) and space in their lab (i.e., there could be another student already rotating in their lab). So you are encouraged to think ahead about the rotations so you can plan around such potential problems.

How do I register for a lab rotation?

You will need to confirm your rotation with the faculty member, then tell the DGSA who will set up a NEUROSCI 755 section for you with that particular faculty member and give you a permission number to register for that section. Lab rotations should be between 3-7 credits and you will need to specify how many credits your rotation should be worth or else ACES will default to 3 credits. If you forget to specify and need to change the number of credits, you will need to re-register and get a new permission number from the DGSA.

I would like to do a rotation with a certain CNAP faculty, but he/she does not have an “independent research study” course available. Does this mean I can’t do a rotation with him/her?

No. Talk to the DGS. A solution is to enroll in the course of another faculty and have the faculty you’re rotating with to send him/her your grade in the end of the term to be submitted.

How many electives do I need to take per semester?

Students should try to take at least one elective per semester for the first two years (except during the spring of the first year where electives are not possible due to the January Neurobiology of Disease course). If Neuroscience Bootcamp or the Neurobiology of Disease course make taking an elective difficult because they cut into the Fall/Spring semesters, check to see which Neurobiology modules are being offered or check if courses are being offered that will accommodate your late arrival. CNAP faculty offering courses are often willing to make this accommodation.

What courses count as electives for the CNAP?

As a rule of thumb, any course offered by the affiliated departments or by CNAP faculty count as CNAP electives. If you are interested in taking a course that you think is relevant to your research but it does not belong to any of these categories, you will need the approval of the DGS. We also recommend that you look at the course requirements for the department you are likely to declare. Below is a sample list of electives taken by our current students:

  • COMPSCI 590 – ADVANCED TOPICS IN CPS TOPIC: COMPUTATIONAL ECONOMICS
  • EVANTH 590S – SEMINAR SELECTED TOPICS TOPIC: SOCIAL EVOLUTION IN BRAIN/MIND
  • EVANTH 582S – PRIMATE ADAPTATION
  • EVANTH 701S – CONCEPTS IN EVANTH
  • NEUROBIO 719 – CONCEPTS IN NEUROSCIENCE I
  • NEUROBIO 720 – CONCEPTS IN NEUROSCIENCE II
  • NEUROBIO 733 – EXPERIMENT DESIGN AND STATS
  • NEUROBIO 762 -NEUROBIOLOGY OF DISEASE
  • NEUROBIO 881 – FUNCTIONAL MAGNETIC RESONANCE
  • PHIL 731 – SEMINAR SPECIAL FIELDS
  • PSY 672S – COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE OF MEMORY
  • PSY 780 BEHAVIORAL AND COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE
  • PSY 705 – ADULT PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
  • PSY 716 – BEHAVIOR DECISION THEORY
  • PSY 766 – APPLY ANALY VARIANCE
  • PSY 781 – DATA METHODS IN COG PSYCH

What are the TAships requirements for CNAP students?

All CNAP students must do a minimum of 2 TAships regardless of their departmental requirements. We have worked out agreements with some of the affiliated departments to reduce the required number. For example, students who declare P&N will do 3 TAships rather than the 4 they typically require. Evolutionary Anthropology students are required to do 4. Neurobiology students will do 2. In general CNAP students will not TA until their 3rd year. However in rare circumstances we will request that you TA your second year if we are in need of a TA. If there are classes you hope to TA please email the DGS to see if it is possible to accommodate this- but of course this is a difficult balancing act to get TAs and classes paired up each year.

When does summer lab rotation start?

Lab rotations start in the first day of the term. As for summer, there is flexibility based on lab schedules but basically your spring rotation ends with the last day of exams. You can take a 1 week break between rotations- and then begin summer rotation. Summer rotation should start by the first day of summer term. If you have a project that is not quite done and needs a week or 2 extra you should discuss this with both mentors. It’s okay to stay in a rotation a little longer and to then join your next lab a little late as long as you adjust your end date for the second lab and coordinate with both mentors. However also remember that you are not obligated to finish each rotation project- if it seems to you that the project cannot be completed in a timely manner your mentor can’t hold you captive!

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The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences is a scientific institute with a collaborative spirit and a commitment to education, service and knowledge across disciplines. We encourage creativity, taking risks, sharing ideas and working together.

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