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IDEAS in Neuroscience

Intermountain Doctoral Education to Advance Students (IDEAS) in Neuroscience Program

a light, airy atrium space in Skaggs Research Building Hall with tables, chairs and University of Utah Flags Hanging

About IDEAS in Neuroscience

Intermountain Doctoral Education to Advance Students (IDEAS) in Neuroscience is a 2 year, NIH funded post baccalaureate program at the University of Utah.  This is a paid training program ($35,000 a year stipend + health insurance + tuition) for recent college graduates from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in applying to PhD programs in the neurosciences.

This 2 year post baccalaureate program will include mentored laboratory research, graduate level courses, professional development, and a holistic, culturally competent mentored experience. Students will also attend scientific conferences and have opportunities to present their research. An essential part of the IDEAS curricula is extensive mentoring, providing career-long scientific, personal, and cultural support.

Key activities include:

  • Graduate Coursework
  • Community Building
  • Independent Laboratory Research
  • Professional Development, including public speaking, science communication, and professional skills
  • Graduate Program Application Prep

Building on institutional momentum and infrastructure at the University of Utah that is dedicated to supporting STEM equity, IDEAS in Neuroscience will support the intellectual, professional, and scientific development of trainees from underrepresented backgrounds so they can flourish and continue on the path to a career in biomedical science.

Apply to IDEAS in Neuroscience at the University of Utah

Who Can Apply?

IDEAS in Neuroscience will recruit four students from underrepresented backgrounds, with a specific focus on students from Intermountain West institutions that serve Hispanic/Latino and Native American communities, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Important Application Dates

Applications are closed until January 2025.

Week of July 8, 2025:  Program Begins


2 students sitting in a lobby outside of classrooms

program directors

ideas in neuroscience
headshot of karen wilcox, professor and chair in pharmacology and toxicology

Karen Wilcox, PhD

Professor and Chair, Pharmacology and Toxicology

Karen Wilcox Research

Dr. Wilcox also participates as a faculty mentor in the program

headshot of ryan o'connell, pathology department against a white background

Ryan O'Connell, PhD

Associate Chief, Division of Microbiology and Immunology

Ryan O'Connell Research

Dr. O'Connell also participates as a faculty mentor in the program