NEURON: Northwestern Education and Undergraduate Research on Neuroscience

NEURON is a research and professional skills development program for students with a strong commitment to research in Neuroscience.  The goals of NEURON are to increase opportunities for Northwestern undergraduate students to participate meaningfully in research, enhance their learning from research, promote interdisciplinary interactions, and integrate undergraduates more fully within the broader Neuroscience community at Northwestern.

Because a key component of NEURON is mentorship, the student and the member of the lab who will mentor the student (often a post-doctoral researcher or graduate student) apply as a pair. Student-mentor pairs should apply to NEURON only after at least one quarter of working together in the lab. In addition, students must have completed one year of study at Northwestern, hold sophomore, junior, or senior status, and have a minimum GPA of 3.3 both overall and in all science courses excluding 398/399. Last year’s deadline for applications was October 14, 2016.

NEURON provides: 

  • $500/quarter to the host laboratory to support the student’s research project
  • $500/year and mentorship guidance to the grad student/post-doc research mentor
  • Neuroscience graduate student or postdoc “partners” for guidance and support, in addition to the grad student/post-doc research mentor
  • Quarterly group meetings to discuss Neuroscience research and career-related topics, review student research findings, and interact informally
  • The opportunity to apply for Travel awards to attend scientific meetings
  • Free membership in the Society for Neuroscience, the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system.  Membership in SfN provides access to a wealth of online information about the latest Neuroscience breakthroughs, research advocacy, professional development, career advice, and more.

Students are encouraged to register for NEUROSCI 399/Independent Study. It is expected that most NEURON students will write a senior thesis based on their research, enrolling instead in NEUROSCI 398/Senior Thesis Seminar in the Winter quarter of their final year.  Activities in the program are aimed to help students compose a high quality thesis.

Once a member of NEURON, students must meet certain minimum requirements to remain in the program, but there is no time limit for how long a student may participate in NEURON.  

To learn more, contact the Neuroscience DUS Dr. Valerie Kilman at