Students completing their sophomore or junior year at outside institutions are encouraged to apply. Complete the USC-NEURAL Summer Program Application by January 31.

The USC Neuroscience Experience Undergraduate Research And Learning Program (USC-NEURAL) is devoted to providing outstanding research experiences and professional development opportunities for underrepresented minority undergraduates who have a strong interest in pursuing an advanced degree in the neurosciences. USC-NEURAL provides an enriching on-campus experience where visiting NEURAL scholars work in a neuroscience laboratory for 8 weeks during the summer.

Program goals:

  • Connect NEURAL scholars with an NGP faculty member.
  • Provide a roadmap for the scholar to learn about a specific area of neuroscience, read original literature, perform experiments and learn analytical strategies.
  • Foster interactions with current NGP graduate students and other faculty to learn about advanced training in the neurosciences.
  • Discover outstanding opportunities for career development in academic, private sector, education and policy arenas.

Weekly discussion sessions include:

  • Ethics and Data Reproducibility Issues
  • Science Advocacy
  • Producing a competitive graduate school application, personal interview and written statement strategies
  • Poster and Manuscripts – The Keys to Reporting
  • Professional career opportunities beyond the Ph.D.

At the end of the program, each NEURAL scholar will have the opportunity to prepare and present a poster during a USC hosted research poster session.

Application Requirements

  • Personal statement and research interests
  • Short statement on academic and professional goals
  • Resume or CV
  • Current transcript (unofficial or official)
  • 1-3 letters of recommendation

Previous Participants

2023 USC NEURAL students and their USC NGP mentors:
Charlotte Stiplosek and Dr. Christian Pike
Max Landa and Dr. Megan Herting
Tarun Seera and Dr. Lisa Aziz-Zadeh

2022 USC NEURAL students and their USC NGP mentors:
Layla Belcadi and Dr. Christian Pike

2019 USC NEURAL students and their USC NGP mentors:
Audrey Fierro with Ph.D. Candidate Alicia Quihuis
Aliyah Muhammad with Dr. April Thames
Monserrat Orozco with Dr. Lindsey Schier
Derek Phillips with Dr. Beth Smith
Brandon Scott with Dr. Jonas Kaplan

2018 USC NEURAL students and their USC NGP mentors:
Simone Compton with Dr. Jeannie Chen
Jazz Fields with Dr. Dominique Duncan
Elyse Lang with Dr. Beth Smith
Andrew Villa with Dr. Lindsey Schier

2017 USC NEURAL students and their USC NGP mentors:
Idris Kosoko with Dr. Kathleen Page
Zakia Lowery with Dr. Pat Levitt
Courtney Newman with Dr. Bradley Peterson
Jordan Spencer with Dr. Jason Zevin