Information for Graduate Students

BIAC provides research opportunities for graduate students in many departments at Duke University and at the University of North Carolina. Although each graduate student has a home department, such as Psychology and Neuroscience, Neurobiology, or Biomedical Engineering, all students interact with BIAC faculty across the disciplines. This interdisciplinary emphasis makes BIAC an exciting place for graduate studies.

Graduate students at BIAC are trained to become independent scientists. Students will have active roles in BIAC projects and will develop their own research projects over the course of their studies. Students have access to all BIAC resources, including the 3.0 T and 4.0 T MR scanners, the electronics and coil design laboratories, and the analysis laboratories.

For more information about graduate studies at BIAC, contact the main office or a BIAC faculty member in your area of interest.

Who is eligible to be a graduate student at BIAC?

All graduate students at BIAC must be enrolled in the graduate schools of Duke University or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and must be mentored by a faculty member at BIAC. Students must be admitted to the Ph.D. program of an affiliated department.

What departments are associated with BIAC?

Graduate students at BIAC can be members of any of several academic departments. Cognitive neuroscience students will typically be members of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, or of the Department of Neurobiology. Engineering students may be in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, or in another engineering department by arrangement with BIAC faculty. Students interested in other departments, such as Computer Science, Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, or Philosophy, should contact associated BIAC faculty members for guidance.

What courses would I take as a graduate student at BIAC?

Since BIAC students are members of an affiliated department, the courses taken will depend on the student's home department. However, due to the interdisciplinary nature of brain imaging, it is likely that students will choose to take courses from other departments. Psychology students are likely to complement the standard course load with courses in brain anatomy offered in Neurobiology; similarly, biomedical engineering students may take courses in statistics and/or signal processing. A graduate course in functional neuroimaging, taught by BIAC faculty, will be available to all students.

Is there funding available for BIAC graduate students?

All students admitted to the BIAC-affiliated departments at UNC and Duke will be provided funding for graduate studies, in the forms of grants, stipends, research assistantships, or teaching assistantships. Funding is also provided through support from the faculty advisors and from competitive external fellowships (e.g., NSF).

What is life like as a graduate student at BIAC?

Graduate students at BIAC build academic and personal contacts in both BIAC and their home department. BIAC provides a stimulating and lively working environment, with faculty and students from many disciplines working together in active collaborations. A graduate student in Psychology, for example, would interact daily with students from Engineering, Neurobiology, and the Medical School. That same student would also take courses and interact with fellow graduate students in Psychology.