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Interdisciplinary Training Program in Cognitive Science


The Interdisciplinary Training Program in Cognitive Science is administered by the Center for Cognitive Sciences and funded by an NIH training grant.  The program supports ten pre-doctoral trainees annually, contingent on NIH funding.  This training program strongly emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach, and focuses on the areas in cognitive sciences represented in the below matrix: 

Matrix Model of Training




Perception & Action

Learning & Memory

Affect & Emotion

















Genetics & Epigenetics


Trainees will focus in one of the three research domains: perception and action, learning and memory, or affect and emotion. They will receive advanced training in at least two different approaches drawn from: developmental, behavioral, neurobiological, computational, and genetics and epigenetics, and will have co-advisors representing at least two of these approaches.

Faculty preceptors in this training program possess expertise that spans a broad range of technical and intellectual approaches in the study of Perception and Action, Learning and Memory, and Affect and Emotion. The obvious advantage for students is that they can, under the guidance of collaborating faculty, design experiments and fashion programs of study at the intersection between different approaches and disciplines. These areas of intersection are where advances in cognitive science are now most rapid and most illuminating. Future leaders in these program efforts will have to be expert in multiple disciplines and multiple levels of analysis within each. Our program is designed to provide students with the diversity of technical and intellectual skills.

To be eligible, an applicant must...

  • Be a pre-doctoral student entering the 2nd, 3rd or 4th years of a Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota in Fall 2014.  Entering first year Ph.D. students may be considered at the recommendation of their program. 
  • Be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, or a non-citizen national.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to interdisciplinarity
  • Have a research focus and methodological approaches as outlined above.
  • Identify faculty advisor and co-advisor.

Applications are due at 5 pm the first Monday of February each year.  Traineeships last for one year, and are typically awarded in September and August.  Upon successful renewal applications, students may be awarded funding for up to three years.

For more details about the Interdisciplinary Training Program in Cognitive Science, please click on the links at the right of this page.  Questions may be addressed to
Dan Kersten or Cindy Marceau at