The competition to receive the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grant awarded by the National Science Foundation is rigorous. And with good reason — as the $2.8 million given is a welcome boost to any program. This year, the recipient of the grant is the program headed by Robert Raphael and colleagues at Rice and Baylor College of Medicine. Since the inception of the IGERT grant in 1997, this is the third received by Rice University. The new program is slated to begin receiving applications in the spring of 2014 and the grant will mainly be used to aid graduate students who are focused on learning about and studying the brain.
According to a recent article on Phys.Org, “the students will participate in an innovative curriculum focused on problem-based learning and the development of online educational resources. They will be exposed to global, ethical and policy aspects of neuroengineering and will be able to apply for an internal competitive incentive fund to explore new research ideas and technologies.”
Program head Robert Raphael is a bioengineer from Rice University’s BioScience Research Collaborative where his work centers on hearing loss and biological membranes. The new program is designed to train new neuroengineers by including areas of study including bio and mechanical engineering as well as neuroscience.
“We want engineering students at Rice to learn from neuroscientists at Baylor and neuroscience students at Baylor to learn from engineering at Rice,” Raphael is quoted as saying. “By doing so, we will enhance the education of these students beyond what’s possible at one institution or the other.”
Others participating with Robert Raphael on this project include Behnaam Aazhang, Marcia O’Malley, and Caleb Kemere, all of whom are fellow Rice colleagues.
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