INSPIRE_Iowa Iowa City
The Iowa Neuroscience Specialty Program in Research Education (INSPIRE) is a post-doctoral training program within the University of Iowa’s Department of Psychiatry. The two-year fellowship, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is designed to train fellows who are dedicated to a career in neuroscience research. Fellows have the opportunity to work alongside a University of Iowa senior investigator based on their research interest. Faculty mentors specialize in a wide range of research topics including:
The program stresses the acquisition and application of research skills in neuroscience technologies to examine the mechanisms, lifetime trajectory, and treatment approaches to major mental illnesses. The program also emphasizes the acquisition of skills across all stages of research, beginning with study design and continuing through implementation, statistical analysis, translational teamwork, and the publication of results. Fellows will receive hands-on experience working in their selected research lab along with completing supplemental coursework. They will also receive training in grant writing and submission, with the goal of becoming early career independent investigators upon completion of the program.
Fellows may also choose to obtain a Masters Degree in Translational Biomedicine through the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.
The UI’s Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Institute are national leaders in research that looks into the causes of mental illnesses and new treatment options.
The INSPIRE fellowship is designed to be flexible and individualized, allowing scholars to tailor training to their content and research field needs. The main objective of the program is to provide in-depth and rigorous training in all aspects of translational research.
The foundation of the INSPIRE Program rests on four components:
1. Mentored research
This apprenticeship style of training is uniquely effective at launching an early career in research. Hands-on experience in an active research project is an important developmental activity and in terms of time, this will be the primary activity of the INSPIRE trainee. Paired with an approved mentor, the trainees’ primary responsibility will be to develop and pursue a well-designed, impactful research project, with oversight from their mentor.
2. Participation in the INSPIRE seminar
This weekly meeting is open to INSPIRE members only and gives fellows the chance to interact with other trainees, program administrators, mentors, and leaders in the field. Each fellow presents their INSPIRE project twice per year; has writing samples reviewed by peers twice per year; and invites and hosts an expert in the field once per year.
3. Grant writing
All first-year INSPIRE fellows attend a two-day workshop entitled "Writing Winning Grant Proposals." The workshop comprehensively addresses both practical and conceptual aspects that are important to writing competitive grant proposals. It is targeted specifically to faculty and postdocs. Topics include: understanding funding priorities, grantsmanship skills, and the review process. INSPIRE fellows are encouraged to develop grant proposals during their tenure in the training program. The INSPIRE Writing Group provides an outstanding opportunity to receive feedback on abstracts, specific aims, and methodology.
4. Career development coursework
Additional coursework is provided by the Translational Biomedicine (TBM) Program. These courses provide insights into translational science career development. In addition, they also satisfy some of the requirements for the Masters of Science in Translational Biomedicine, a degree program available to INSPIRE fellows.
Qualified applicants to the INSPIRE program must have completed a doctoral-level degree. Those with a medical degree must have also completed a residency program. Applicants must show proof of United States citizenship.