Training in Clinical and Basic Neuroscience


This mentored research training program in basic and clinical neuroscience has been funded continuously by the NIH/NINDS since 1982 and has served more than 125 trainees. The program involves the Departments of Neurology, Pediatrics, Neurosurgery, Internal Medicine and Anesthesia at the University of Michigan (U-M) and the Ann Arbor VA Medical Centers. Trainees have access to 35,000 square feet of laboratory space for basic research; more than 45 faculty members, most of whom are both clinical neurologists and basic or clinician scientists, serve as preceptors

Training areas:

Trainees focus on neurodegeneration, neuromuscular diseases, neuroinflammatory disorders, stroke, systems neuroscience, and health services research. 


Training is in the individual preceptor’s laboratory or clinical research program but is supplemented by interdisciplinary and collaborative project meetings, seminars, and appropriate course work including research responsibility and ethics.  All trainees in clinical science programs are required to complete a Master’s Degree, either the School of Public Health’s Masters Program in Clinical Research or a unique Health Services Research Master’s Program. Trainees are biomedical scientists who seek training in disease- oriented neuroscience and clinicians - neurologists, neurosurgeons, pediatricians, or other physicians - who have completed clinical training and select a laboratory-based or clinical research career. Trainees are selected competitively by the program’s Executive Committee. Trainee recruitment includes a strong diversity outreach program with a “bridging” program connecting this training program to NINDS sponsored programs aimed at increasing diversity in Neuroscience graduate student education and a particularly strong connection to the University of Puerto Rico.  This training program is embedded within the rich research environment of the University of Michigan which includes a highly collegial and interdisciplinary neuroscience research community, excellent core resources for biomedical research, and strong resources for clinical and health services research. The latter include a very strong School of Public Health, a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program, and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI), the largest academic health services research program in the USA. Individual mentors are responsible for guiding their trainees in generating research proposals, supervising trainees’ work, and evaluating trainees’ performance with additional mentoring provided by discipline specific committees for each trainee and general oversight by the Executive Committee. 


Trainees are given stipends based on their post-doctoral level in accordance with NIH standards. A small amount for research-related expenses is also provided.

Travel expenses

Trainees are expected to present their work at national meetings. Travel stipends are provided by the program.


The training program provides support for related coursework including a master’s program in clinical research.


The curriculum focuses on individual research training in a preceptor’s laboratory or clinical research training program. This is supplemented by seminars, courses, and professional development opportunities.

Individual research training

Each trainee will work closely with a faculty preceptor in his or her laboratory or clinical research program on a specific project or projects. The trainee will be expected to progress towards independence during the training period. Each trainee will have a 3 person mentorship committee which will monitor the progress of the trainee and provide additional insights. Trainees are expected to present their work in national forums and publish their work in peer reviewed journals. Each trainee will submit a grant application during the first year of training.


All trainees are required to complete Research Responsibility and Ethics (PIBS 503). This course fulfills the NIH requirement for responsible conduct of research training and includes 8 hours of small group sessions. Laboratory based trainees are also required to take the course Introduction to Scientific Communications (Pharm 502) which includes training on grant writing. Trainees in clinical science programs are required to complete a Master’s Degree, either the School of Public Health’s Masters Program in Clinical Research or a unique Health Services Research Master’s Program. These provide comprehensive formal training in clinical or health services research methods by University of Michigan.


All trainees attend a weekly Translational Neurology Seminar. This seminar series supplements the many conferences available to the trainees within the Department of Neurology and other programs, such as Grand Rounds and a Live Patient Conference. Trainees also attend laboratory meetings within their preceptor’s research area.  They are also required to present their research at one of the Neurology Research Seminars.

Fellow Research Days

Trainees present their work at Neuroscience Day and the annual Neurobiology of Disease Symposium.



Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents, and must hold an MD and/or PhD.   Postdoctoral trainees are either 1) neurologists or physicians in related fields who have completed clinical training and select a basic or clinical research career, 2) biomedical scientists who seek training in basic neuroscience research, or 3) other clinical researchers with PhD training who desire additional mentored research experience related to clinical neuroscience. One or two years of training are anticipated with the second year contingent on trainee progression and submission of an external grant application. Stipends are commensurate with prior postdoctoral experience and NRSA regulations.

The program is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.

Interested applicants should send their CV, research statement (description of interest area, preceptor identified, and title of planned research), and three letters of recommendation to:
Denice Heckel, on behalf of
Eva L. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology
Director, A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute
University of Michigan
109 Zina Pitcher Place
5017 BSRB
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-2200

Tel: 734-763-7274 / Fax: 734-763-7275

Program Director