Dynamic Opportunity Benefits Latin American, Caribbean Trainees
SfN is offering a unique opportunity for young investigators across Latin America and the Caribbean to be part of a new Latin American Training Program (LATP). Launching this August with funding from The Grass Foundation, this comprehensive, yearlong online program will consist of webinars, recorded content, informal online discussions, and Web chats incorporating cutting edge science and providing professional development resources to emerging scientists. Additionally, fifteen neuroscience trainees from Latin American and Caribbean countries will travel to Queretaro, Mexico, to participate in a three-week hands-on course hosted by first-year partner Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM).
“This program provides students with many things, but most importantly it allows them to network and interact with top scientists and with each other,” said Gregory Quirk, chair of SfN’s Latin American Training Advisory Group (LATAG). “These relationships can last an entire career.”
Under the leadership of Raul Paredes, director of UNAM’s Institute of Neurobiology, select UNAM faculty and top SfN scientists will lead the online sessions on a variety of topics of importance to young scientists, such as how to publish a manuscript, how to navigate scientific meetings, and how to get involved in advocacy and public education around science. After the initial sessions and the Queretaro program, external audiences will have access to the courses and material, extending the reach of the training throughout the region.
The LATP builds on the interactive strengths of the SfN Ricardo Miledi Program, a Grass Foundation funded training initiative that operated from 2003 to 2012. The new effort incorporates funding support from two regional bodies of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) as well as the institutions that will host the program along with SfN.
“The Grass Foundation is delighted that SfN will continue to be a valued partner in supporting the great scientific potential in Latin America,” said Felix Schweizer, president of The Grass Foundation. Several hundred trainees from Latin America have participated in programs supported by the two organizations over the past ten years.
Programmatic recommendations for the course are facilitated by LATAG and the SfN International Affairs Committee, whose members will provide insight into the scientific and professional development needs of trainees. Members of the advisory group represent neuroscientists from various countries across Latin America, all of whom have experience in training young people interested in neuroscience.
“I believe my role in the advisory group is to provide input, feedback, and ideas in order to ensure a bright future for the program,” said LATAG member and former Miledi Program trainee Sofia Jurgensen. “As a former participant, I understand firsthand how involvement with the program positively impacts a trainee’s career.”
Neuroscience graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are citizens of Latin American or Caribbean countries can learn more about the program at SfN.org/LATP.