Spring 2020

Graduate Writing Retreat 02/29 – Writing Center


Saturday, February 29th, from 10am to 5pm

Augustus Storrs Hall, Carolyn Ladd Widmer Wing Auditorium (STRRS WW016) – 231 Glenbrook Road, Storrs CT 06269

Carving out time to do academic writing during the semester can be tough.  But finding a place to do it — and a support network of fellow grad students — doesn’t have to be!  Modeled after Stanford University’s dissertation boot camp and the UConn faculty writing retreats, the Writing Center & the Graduate Student Senate are sponsoring a day for graduate students to write. Simply writing in the presence of others can bring a surprising sense of solidarity and productivity. Arrive with the project you are working on, your laptop, and any notes or books you may need. Bring your own lunch, or plan to buy on campus.

Coffee, tea, and a few light snacks will be provided.


Write. Drink coffee. Write more. Feel good about all of the writing you got done.

If you have any questions, contact Gali at: gradwritinguconn@gmail.com

Funding for these events is generously provided by the UConn Graduate Student Senate.

For more information, contact: Gali – Writing Center at gradwriting@uconn.edu

Pharmaceutical Sciences 2020 Toxicology Scholars Colloquium Dates

April 6

Matthew Campen, Ph.D.

Regents’ Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of New Mexico

April 27

Myrtle Davis, D.V.M., Ph.D., ATS

Bristol-Myers Squibb

President-Elect, Society of Toxicology 


May 11

Dale P. Sandler, Ph.D.

Chief, Epidemiology Branch

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences


Time: 10:00 – 11:00

Location: Pharmacy Biology Building (PBB) 338


Coordinator:  José E. Manautou



The Isabelle Y. Liberman Award (2020)

The Isabelle Y. Liberman Award  (2020)

Isabelle Liberman, the late Professor of Educational Psychology at UConn, was a central figure in the cognitive science of reading.  Her discoveries on the key role of phonology in reading and dyslexia influenced a generation of researchers and changed the way that reading is taught to children, from an emphasis on visual recognition of print to an emphasis on the relation between letters and their sounds.

The Isabelle Liberman Award is intended to recognize and encourage young researchers who are investigating topics relating to Isabelle Liberman’s interests.  We anticipate making awards of $2500 to the two students who submit the best research papers on topics related (in broad terms) to Isabelle Liberman’s work. Graduate students from any academic department at the University of Connecticut are eligible.

Selection of the recipients will be made by a committee of faculty representing the Departments of Linguistics, Psychological Sciences, and Educational Psychology. In addition to the submitted paper, the committee will take into account the applicant’s past academic achievement and demonstrated potential for future professional accomplishments.

Applicants should submit a research paper and a CV and should arrange for a letter of recommendation to be sent to the committee; additional materials supporting the application are welcome, but not necessary.  The final date for submissions is April 15, 2020. Inquiries and submissions should be sent to Jay Rueckl (jay.rueckl@uconn.edu).

Research and Training Opportunities

IBANGS header

Data Analysis

R Package

Open source software package for  analyzing water maze data with a wide range of functions including advanced search strategy analysis. Easy to use for non-programmers, but fast and powerful and allows archiving of experiments for data sharing. Step-by-step tutorials are provided. Please visit the project website:  https://rupertoverall.net/Rtrack/ for more details. 


Research & Training

Summer School


Summer school on “Systems Genetics of Neural Ageing” 21st – 28th August 2020. Aimed at PhD students and postdocs in the fields of neuroscience and medicine. Join leaders in the field for an intense week exploring how to incorporate genetics ‘big data’ into your research. All costs are covered, but places are limited. For more information and to apply, visit the summer school website: https://sysgenschool.org/sgn2020/.


Kind regards,



Join us for the 22nd Annual Genes, Brain and Behavior Meeting
Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole, MA, USA. May 12th-17th, 2020

Doctoral Student Scholarship

The New Hampshire Psychological Association Educational Foundation is pleased to invite applications for our Student Achievement Award recognizing graduate students who have made significant contributions to the field of psychology, through work on research, teaching, mentorship, clinical work, civic engagement and/or other areas of community engagement. Award is $1,000.00.

More information available on the website https://www.nheducationalfoundation.org/  and on the attached PDF.

Graduate Seminar in Academic Writing (5 Weeks, starts February 10)


Seminar #1 (Mondays, 6pm-8pm): February 10 – March 9

Seminar #2 (Thursdays, 6pm-8pm): April 2 – April 30

MORE INFO and APPLICATIONS: https://writingcenter.uconn.edu/graduate-seminar/ 

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. 

The seminar aligns with our tutoring philosophy at the Writing Center: we begin by focusing on developing and clarifying main ideas, then work towards sentence-level writing concerns. Expect an interactive, collaborative space where writers to apply practical strategies at each phase of the revision process. Participants work mostly with peers but also get one-on-one feedback from the seminar leader. This is a writing workshop, not a traditional lecture or skills-and-drills grammar course. 

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.

Spring 2020 Grad Course Offering: The literate brain and mind

The literate brain and mind

Spring Semester 2020

Instructor:  Ken Pugh

Tuesday 10am-1pm

Location: TBD

Email: Kenneth.pugh@UConn.edu

Description: The development of reading and writing skills are essential for achieving success in the modern world, yet significant numbers of people from all languages and cultures fail to obtain adequate literacy outcomes.  This seminar examines the neurobiological and cognitive foundations of reading and writing. The course is aimed at providing students an introduction to research on gene-brain-behavior analyses of typical and atypically developing readers. Topics covered include recent advances in our understanding of the relationship between speech perception/production and individual differences in literacy learning, systems level research on the distributed brain circuits that develop to support word reading, text comprehension, second language learning, and the neurobiology of acquired and developmental reading and writing disorders. We will draw heavily on ongoing developmental research from our team at Haskins focused on early neurocognitive studies of reading difficulties in contrastive languages (including English, Mandarin, Spanish, Finnish, and Dutch). Over the course of the semester students will be able to acquire basic familiarity with cognitive methods and new tools for human brain mapping, and we will critically examine both the promise and the limitations of the current approaches to understanding language and literacy.

Required readings:

The required readings consist of articles and chapters that will be made available on line.  Students will be able to download the readings from a website made for the course by Week number (or in special cases may be responsible for photocopying an article or chapter). Each week we will have critical discussions of at least two primary articles.  In addition, supplementary articles will be assigned as background for class discussions.

Evaluation of Student Performance

Each student will be responsible for leading class discussions of at least four of the primary articles over the course of the semester.  The student leading a given discussion will be asked to write (and distribute one day before the class) a brief evaluation of the article highlighting major findings, and key strengths and weaknesses (this will also help prepare for leading the discussion).  A final research proposal is required. This document, be 5-10 pages in length and written using standard grant writing format, will present the design of novel experiments related to one of the major topics covered in the course. Each student will present an oral overview of their written proposal (10 minutes each) at the end of the semester.  Evaluation will be based on: 1) the research proposal and presentation (60%) and 2) class assignments and participation (40%).