Fall 2019

Present at the 23rd Annual Neuroscience @ Storrs Symposium

You are cordially invited to the 23rd ANNUAL NEUROSCIENCE AT STORRS SYMPOSIUM on Tues, October 29th, 2019 from 3:30 pm-8:30 pm in Dodd / Bousfield on the Storrs campus.

Please note that this event is OPEN TO ALL INTERESTED UNDERGRADUATES, GRAD STUDENTS, POSTDOCS, STAFF AND FACULTY from across UConn departments and schools.

The following website has all relevant information and will be updated frequently.  At this time, we request the following information (submission on the website):


1) If you plan on attending the symposium, please RSVP as an attendee.  Again, all UConn undergrads, grad students, postdocs, staff and faculty pursuing neuroscience research or interested in neuroscience are welcome and encouraged to attend.

2) If you are a UConn graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or undergraduate engaged in neuroscience research and would like to present a POSTER, please sign up with your poster title and abstract as soon as possible. There are PRIZES for best poster!  Poster format is the same as you might present at ex. Society for Neuroscience. Please note that we have a limited number of spots for posters.

3) If you are a UConn graduate student or postdoctoral fellow engaged in neuroscience research and would like to present at the DATABLITZ, please sign up with your presentation title. The DataBlitz is a 3 minute long presentation of your research endeavoring to be as clear and concise as possible in the communication of your work to a broad audience. Please note that we also have a limited number of spots for the DataBlitz but there are PRIZES for best talk!

Please share this invitation with faculty members, grad students, undergrads, postdoctoral fellows and scholars through your Department/Institute listservs. Faculty, please encourage your trainees to attend and participate in the poster session and DataBlitz. Thank you!

For general inquiries about the event, please contact Dr. Alex Jackson (alexander.jackson@uconn.edu) in the Dept. of Physiology and Neurobiology.

Maric Graduate Fellowship Accepting Applications

Graduate Student Call for Applications: Dr. Radenka Maric Graduate Fellowship

The Graduate School is sponsoring a new set of fellowships this year. Dr. Radenka Maric Fellowships seek to develop a cohort of students who are looking for connections beyond what they can find in their own department. Ten fellowships will be awarded across the university, with one fellow selected from among the Departments and Programs of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In addition to a $3,000 stipend, fellowship recipients will be invited to meet together for social, roundtable, and professional development meetings.

To be eligible for a Maric Fellowship, you must

  1. Be a masters or doctoral student enrolled in The Graduate School
  2. Demonstrate financial need or be meritorious

In selecting a student for a Maric Fellowship, priority will be given to students who:

  1. Have overcome obstacles such as socioeconomic or educational disadvantage; or,
  2. Are members of groups that are underrepresented at the University of Connecticut; or,
  3. Have experience living or working in diverse environments.

This is a non-endowed fellowship. It may be renewed annually pending availability of funds and provided that the Fellow continues to meet the criteria above and that the Fellow has participated in activities that The Graduate School organizes for Fellows.

Graduate Students interested in applying for the fellowship should provide the following information:

  1. A brief summary of financial need and/or accomplishments as a UConn graduate student
  2. A short essay addressing the extent to which you satisfy one or more of the three priority criteria listed above. In the essay, also address how you would benefit from being a part of a supportive cohort.
  3. A letter of support from your graduate advisor or a professor who can speak to your graduate performance at UConn.


Please submit your application to CLAS@uconn.edu no later than 4pm, October 21.

Reminder: GA Healthcare Enrollment

Healthcare Enrollment for New Graduate Assistants, Fellows, and Interns

New Appointments:

Beginning August 23, 2019, newly appointed Graduate Assistants and eligible Graduate Interns/Fellows have 31 days from their start date to enroll in or waive healthcare coverage through the Connecticut Partnership Plan. For those who enroll, coverage is effective September 1, 2019. Proof of documentation (e.g., marriage certificate and/or long-form birth certificate) is necessary for any enrollment including a spouse or dependent child.

Late Enrollees:

Late enrollees are eligible participants who do not make an election within 31 days of their start date. Late enrollees may enroll in coverage, effective September 1st, during the GA Open Enrollment Period (April 15 – May 15), or after experiencing a qualifying Life Event that allows for mid-year enrollment, such as loss of coverage through another source.

Continuing Appointments:

Continuing Graduate Assistants, Graduate Interns, and Graduate Fellows who are enrolled in the Connecticut Partnership Plan do not need to take action; coverage will continue with current elections. Plan changes may be made during the annual GA Open Enrollment Period (April 15 – May 15) or following a qualifying Life Event. 

Enroll/Waive Here

CORE-CT access for benefits enrollment will be available beginning on Saturday, August 24th, 2019.

For assistance in online enrollment, review the GA New Hire CORE Job Aid (See “New Employee – GAs” under eBenefits).

For more information, including frequently asked questions, please visit: http://hr.uconn.edu/ct-partnership-health-benefits/.

For questions regarding enrollment, please contact Benefits & HR Services within the Department of Human Resources at Benefits@UConn.edu or 860-486-3034.

Fall 2019 Graduate Seminar in Academic Writing: 10/08 to 11/05

Fall 2019 Graduate Seminar in Academic Writing: 10/08 to 11/05 (5 weeks) – Tuesdays, 4pm to 6pm.

Each academic year, the UConn Writing Center offers 3 no-cost, five-week seminars in academic writing for UConn graduate students. These seminars do not carry UConn academic credit, nor are they graded. We simply aim to assist motivated graduate students in developing strategies for writing that will serve them well in their academic and professional careers.The goal is to help graduate writers develop a toolbox of composing, revising, and peer-review skills.

Participants must bring to the seminar a draft of a writing project (at least 5 double-spaced pages). Most seminar sessions involve working on this draft, and most of our time is dedicated to developing skills for revising and on cultivating productive writing habits.

Participants should expect to commit 5 hours per week: 2 in class and 3 outside of class to complete readings and assignments.

If you have questions about the seminar or are interested in seeing a syllabus, please contact the Coordinator for Graduate Writing Support at gradwriting@uconn.edu. The seminars are made possible through funding from the Graduate School and the University Writing Center.



Workshop: Science & Imagination, 5 Nov. 2019


Inspiring public interest in inquiry and discovery

An academic and public-facing workshop at the University of Connecticut (UConn)

5 November, 2019

Tentative time for public session: 3-5pm

We are living in what has been called a “post-truth” era [1], with an accompanying “post-trust” [2] crisis, where public confidence and interest in science and expertise is declining among significant segments of the public [3]. A tremendous challenge for proponents of scientific and academic inquiry — including scientists themselves, other scholars, educators, and journalists — is communicating not just the “what” of their work, but “why”, “how”, and “who”.

Scientists find the what of their work — the intricate details of research and analyses — fascinating, but communicating passion for details requires explaining why (not just costs and benefits, but intellectual curiosity and the quest for knowledge), how (why scientific progress can be so slow, technically difficult, and expensive), and who (demystifying how one becomes a scientist and opening the gates to underrepresented groups). Inspiring public imagination and interest in science is essential for earning public support for basic and applied research, and reinvigorating interest in scientific careers.  

Our aim with this workshop is to share ideas and brainstorm about ways to effect change. We hope to attract not just the academic community, but teachers, policy makers, students, and any other interested community members. We hope to share our ideas and excitement, and to listen to ideas from the public about how to connect scientists and community members through shared interest in inquiry and discovery. 

Confirmed invited participants so far include:

  • Michael Lynch, University of Connecticut, Philosophy
  • Tim Miller, writer, and science communication specialist, University of Connecticut 
  • Susan Schneider, University of Connecticut, Philosophy
  •  Michael Tanenhaus, University of Rochester, Brain and Cognitive Science
  • Julie Sedivy, writer and language scientist, University of Calgary, Psychology

        This workshop will be sponsored by the UConn interdisciplinary PhD training program in Science of Learning & Art of Communication and the UConn Humanities Institute. It will receive financial support from U.S. National Science Foundation grant 1747486, “Real-world communication: Future directions in the science of communication and the communication of science“, originally awarded to support a 2018 conference honoring Michael Tanenhaus on the occasion of him receiving the Cognitive Science Society Rumelhart Prize.

          [1] For example: (a) Lynch, M. P. (2016, 28 November).Fake News and the Internet Shell Game. New York Times. (b) Keyes, R. (2004). The Post-Truth Era: Dishonest and Deception in Contemporary Life. St. Martin’s Press. (c) Tesich, S. (1992, 13 January). Government of Lies. The Nation.

          [2] A term used by Åsa Wikforss in her public address, “Resisting the Facts”, contributed to a symposium on Presenting Science to the Public in a Post-Truth Era at the University of Connecticut, 24 May, 2019. 

          [3] A recent Pew Research Center survey (Funk, C., Hefferon, M., Kennedy, B., & Johnson, C. [2019, August]. Trust and mistrust in American’s views of scientific experts. Pew Research Center.) found overall trust in scientists to be quite high in the U.S.A. (with 84% of respondents indicating ‘a great deal’ or ‘fair’ amount of confidence in scientists), but support varies with political affiliation and education, and declines dramatically when linked to specific scientific issues that have become topics of political rancor, such as vaccines or climate change.


          Invitation to the 2nd UConn Brain Research Symposium-September 20

          We are pleased to invite you to the Second UConn Brain Research Symposium, which will be held September 20th at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford.  This year’s focus will be on collaborative research across departments, campuses and institutions.  The format for the symposium will include talks related to basic neuroscience in the morning, a networking lunch including “lunch and learns” with key research and department/center/institute leaders, and clinical neuroscience and psychological science talks in the afternoon.  Presentations will be from colleagues at UConn Storrs, UConn Health, Connecticut Childrens Medical Center, the Jackson Laboratory and Hartford Hospital.

          We hope that you can join us for the whole day, but if you can only join for half the day, please plan on coming for lunch, as it will give you a great opportunity to interact with individuals who you otherwise might not connect with in person.

          So that we can get a head count for the facility, for coffee breaks and for lunch, we would really appreciate it if you could complete the following doodle poll, which will allow you to indicate whether you will attend the morning session, lunch and the afternoon session.  Key for us is getting a count of folks who will be at lunch.

          SIGN-UP to attend UConn’s 2nd Brain Research Symposium

          Attendance will be limited to the first 135 people who sign up for the Brain Symposium.

          Thanks again, and we look forward to your participation.  Meeting materials will be sent out in the coming weeks.


          David C. Steffens, M.D., M.H.S.

          Samuel “Sy” Birnbaum/Ida, Louis and Richard Blum Chair in Psychiatry

          Professor and Chair of Psychiatry

          University of Connecticut School of Medicine


          Professor Gerry T.M. Altmann

          Department of Psychological Sciences

          Director, CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences

          University of Connecticut

          InCHIP Graduate Student/Post-Doc Poster Competition and Showcase

          InCHIP is holding a poster competition/showcase for graduate students and post-docs during its Annual Meeting on September 26th. The top 3 posters, as judged by InCHIP Leadership, will be announced at the InCHIP Annual Meeting. Winners will receive small monetary awards.

          More information regarding the competition, its rules and expectations, as well as the submission portal can be found here.

          Please note: Applicants must submit a PDF of their poster via the form below, no later than 11:59 pm on Monday, September 16, 2019. Prior to the Annual Meeting, they will be emailed written instructions on when and where to bring their printed posters.

          If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Grace K. Morris (grace.morris@uconn.edu)

          Social Division Talk: Dr. Mina Cikara

          You are invited to a social division talk by Dr. Mina Cikara from Harvard University on Wed. Sept 25 and 2 pm in Room 162, BOUS. Her talk title and abstract follow.

          Leveraging choice architecture to alter social preferences

          Stereotypes and associated emotions drive discriminatory behavior across numerous consequential contexts. These biases against marginalized social groups have important implications for real-world social decisions, including hiring, voting, health, and housing decisions. Psychologists have traditionally studied how people evaluate different ethnic and cultural groups (and their members) in isolation, but in the real world people commonly make judgments and decisions over sets of people. For example, hiring decisions involve the assessment of multiple candidates at once. Across a series of experiments, we harness insights from computational models of decision-making to examine whether choice set construction—or choice architecture—can be used to influence decision-makers’ preferences in consequential social decisions. I will review several findings including a combination of field data and lab experiments to examine the effect of alternatives, or decoys, on social evaluations and decisions in hiring and election contexts.

          Clinical Psychology Research Talk Series

          Clinical Research Seminar 2019-20
          Wednesdays, 12:30-1:25, Bousfield 160


          Kristin Arapuano, Yale University
          Contextualizing brain signatures of vulnerability to health-risk behaviors in the real world


          Diane Quinn, Social Division
          Current research


          Brandi Simonsen, Neag School of Education
          Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS): Building State, District, and School Systems to Support Students


          Nathaniel M. Rickles, School of Pharmacy
          Integrating New & Old Approaches to Changing Patient and Provider Medication Use Behaviors: Applications to Mental Healthcare and Beyond


          Christine Yantz, Clinical Division
          Third party observer effects in neuropsychological assessment


          Valori Ann Banfi, Science Librarian
          Systematic Reviews and Scoping Reviews


          Devin Kearn, Neag School of Education
          Research on brain processes in dyslexia


          Valori Ann Banfi, Science Librarian
          Finding the Big Bucks: Funding Databases

          Job searching outside of the academy; for grad students and postdocs

          Science of Learning & Art of Communication (SLAC) in collaboration with the UConn Center for Career Development, the UConn Health Center, and the UConn Graduate School, is excited to bring a special event to UConn this fall.  Anne Krook, who began her career teaching at the University of Michigan, and transitioned into the private sector, will be coming to the UConn Storrs campus to share ‘Job searching outside of the academy; a program for graduate students and postdocs.’

          Who:  Anne Krook will present to UConn graduate students and postdocs
          When:  Friday September 27th, 2019, 1-3:30 PM

          Where:  Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center, UConn, Storrs; this event will be two-way live streamed with Low learning Center at the UConn Health Center

          Why:  To provide graduate students and post docs with the tools, and knowledge required to conduct a job search outside of the academy

          How:      Register here   to attend at Storrs or in the Low Learning Center, UCHC, Farmington