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Undergraduate Research Grant Program Now Open

IBACS is happy to announce another year of the undergraduate research grant program! Please share with the undergraduate students in your labs.

The application period for the Fall 2022/Spring 2023 research grant program opens today, September 1st, 2022, and the deadline for applications will be 11:59 pm on February 202023The academic year applications are reviewed on arolling basis and awards will be made until funds are exhausted, or up until the application deadline. 

It is expected that applicants will be conducting research with IBACS faculty members, focusing on any research area associated with the IBACS mission.  Faculty sponsors will need to supply a letter of recommendation. Once the applicant lists the faculty advisor of the project in the form, an email will be sent to the faculty member with directions for how to submit the letter.  Applicants must fill out the online application, and also submit via the online application, a relatively short research plan (maximum of 6,000 characters, approximately 3 pages) and a budget that explains in detail how the funds will be spent. The application link is listed below. It is recommended that the student first compose the research plan and budget using a word processing program, and then upload the final versions on to the website.

This program is not meant to provide direct financial support to students. Instead, it is meant to provide support for the research. The account will be set up with the faculty sponsor after the award is given. The funding is meant to defray the research-related costs such as materials & supplies, software, animal or participant-related costs. The budget should reflect these expenditures.

 Recipients cannot apply for another grant within the same academic year, however, are eligible for the summer research grant program, provided that they are still a UConn student at the time. Please note that the application period for the summer research grant program will open on February 20, 2023, and the deadline for applications will be 11:59 pm on March 13, 2023

The IBACS undergraduate award academic year applications are reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • The project description is well written and clearly explains the project.
  • The project clearly focuses on a research area associated with the IBACS mission.
  • The budget is itemized, appropriate to the project described, and reports the total cost of the project (even if it exceeds the funding requested).
  • The advisor is familiar with the student’s project and rates the student’s work to date highly. 
  • Where project applications are equally meritorious, the reviewers will take note of how the student’s project will contribute to the advisor’s research goals.
  • The student and his/her project meet the eligibility criteria.
  • The student has secured research compliance approval(s) if necessary for the project. No award will be issued until documentation of approval(s) is received.

       

      IBACS Fall 2022/Spring 2023 Application: https://quest.uconn.edu/prog/ibacs_undergraduate_research_grant_-_fall_2022spring_2023/

      Please visit our website for more information and contact our Institute Coordinator, Crystal Mills at crystal.mills@uconn.edu or (860) 486-4937 if you have any questions

      New Call for IBACS Seed Grant Application

      The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (CT IBACS) is pleased to announce a new call for applications to its seed grant fund.

       

      The seed grant program is intended to fund research consistent with the IBACS mission. Large Seed Grant applications (>$10,000 but <$25,000) are time-limited to accommodate GA assignment; the Fall deadline is October 1st, 2022Please submit letters of intent as soon as possible, but at least 2 weeks prior to the seed grant application deadline (by 9/16/22), to allow time for review and feedback prior to submission of the full proposal.

      A reminder that our Spring deadline will be April 1st, 2023Small Seed Grant applications (<$10,000) are accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted.

      Seed funding is intended to support direct research costs such as supplies, participant fees, animal costs, and student support. Review criteria seek innovative, novel, and collaborative projects in the field of brain and cognitive sciences.  Postdocs can also apply, with a faculty mentor as co-PI. Undergraduates are directed to separate academic/summer funding. Full details on the seed grant program, including applications (letter of intent and full seed app) and allowable costs, please check our website.

      The Institute also invites applications for affiliate memberships.

      Any questions should be directed to the Institute Coordinator, Crystal Mills at crystal.mills@uconn.edu or (860) 486-4937.

      Now Accepting IBACS Spring Seed Grant Applications

      The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (CT IBACS) is pleased to announce a new call for applications to its seed grant fund. 

       

      The seed fund is intended to fund activities in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (broadly construed) that are likely to lead to applications for external funding, or which otherwise contribute to the mission of the Institute. Note that funding is primarily intended to cover direct research costs such as supplies, participant fees, or per diems, as well as student support. The review criteria promote innovative, novel, and collaborative projects in the field of brain and cognitive sciences that require expertise across laboratories and traditional disciplinary boundaries. Postdocs can also apply, with a faculty mentor as co-PI. We have further expanded this year’s seed grant solicitation to include COVID recovery. This addition in scope is intended to provide funds to recover or restart relevant projects that were interrupted due to COVID-19. Full details on the seed grant program, including applications (letter of intent and full seed app) and allowable costs, please check our website.

      Applications for small grants (less than $10,000) can be submitted at any time; applications in excess of $10,000 (but no more than $25,000) should be submitted by April 1st 

      Please submit letters of intent as soon as possible, but at least 2 weeks prior to the seed grant application deadline (by 3/18/22), to allow time for review and feedback. 

      The Institute also invites applications for affiliate memberships. 

      Any questions should be directed to the Institute Coordinator, Crystal Mills at crystal.mills@uconn.edu.

      COGS, IBACS & BIRC Colloquium: Dr. John Hale on 2/18

      Please join us virtually on 2/18 for John Hale’s talk co-sponsored by the Cognitive Science Program. IBACS, and BIRC. Registration in advance is required. Details are below: 

      Speaker: John Hale, Department of Linguistics, University of Georgia 

      Time: 4pm, Friday, February 18, 2022 

      Talk Title: Grammar, Incrementality and fMRI Timecourse 

      Abstract: What is the physical basis of human language comprehension? What sort of computation makes a stream of words come together, one after another, to yield a communicative or literary experience? This question sets up a scientific challenge for the brain and cognitive sciences. With functional neuroimaging, it is possible to extract a timecourse of brain activity from particular regions and ask how well alternative (psycho)linguistic theories account for the measured signal. This can be done over prolonged periods of time, for instance during the spoken recitation of a literary text. On the basis of such timecourses, this talk argues that our conceptualization of grammar should go beyond simple word-sequences and naive phrase structure. It presents an incremental parsing strategy that is more consistent with neuroimaging data than the simple ones presented in books like Hale (2014). The overall methodology can serve as a positive example of how brain data, syntactic theory and parsing algorithms may productively co-constrain one another.

       

      Bio: John Hale, the Arch Professor of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Georgia, is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at UGA. A computational linguist, he has made significant contributions to the theory of sentence processing over the past two decades and is the author of a valued textbook in the field (Automaton Theories of Human Sentence Comprehension, 2014). Strongly committed to cultivating the vital and also changing character of intellectual pursuit in current times, Professor Hale collaborates with DeepMind and has been active in promoting interaction between industry and academia as a way of getting to the bottom of questions about the nature of mind. 

      Zoom Registration Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvfuyrqDItG92U2pqStUoZe77wc0hO4owu 

      Meeting opportunities: John will be available during the day of his talk (Feb 18) and also during part of the preceding day for individual or small-group meetings on Zoom. Please contact whitney.tabor@uconn.edu if you are interested in meeting with John. 

      COGS & IBACS Colloquium: Dr. John Hale on 2/18

      The CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences and The Cognitive Science Program are excited to jointly host a talk by Dr. John Hale, professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Georgia.
       
      Details can be found below but please note that the choice between an in-person or online talk online has not yet been made so please look out for further details. 
      Time: 4pm, Friday, February 18
      Talk Title: “Grammar, Incrementality and fMRI Timecourse”
      If you have any questions or would like to meet with Dr. Hale, please contact Whit Tabor at whitney.tabor@uconn.edu. 

      Call for IBACS Graduate Student Fellowship Applications

      The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (CT IBACS) is inviting applications to its Graduate Fellowship Program.

      These summer fellowships are intended for graduate students working on topics with relevance (broadly construed) to the Brain and Cognitive Sciences. IBACS Graduate Fellows attend a short grant-writing workshop and will be expected to submit an application to the NSF GRFP, NRSA (pre- or post-doctoral fellowship), or equivalent, in the Fall.

      Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, December 3rd, 2021.

      Graduate students who are not US citizens are eligible to apply and are expected to work with their advisor to develop an external research proposal if they are not eligible for graduate fellowships. Students who were fellows in summer 2020 may apply if they submitted the external grant proposal they developed last year and it was not funded, with the expectation that they will revise their previous grant or develop a new one.

      Please refer to the full details here.

      CogSci Colloquium: Joseph Henrich & Barbara Rogoff on 2/26

      WEIRD problems and potential solutions 

       

      Since its inception, psychology’s Western-centric bias has been an impediment to a deeper understanding of human cognition. Our speakers argue that it is time for a radical transformation of social scientific research, and our understanding of human nature as a whole. 

       

      The Cognitive Science Colloquium Series is proud to jointly present Joseph Henrich and Barbara Rogoff 

       

      Friday, February 26th, from 2pm – 4:30pm, virtually via Zoom  

       

      https://zoom.us/j/4361587368?pwd=NGova2g2RGlKUC9iRXRLQkxoOW1Mdz09 

      Meeting ID: 436 158 7368 

      Passcode: CogSci 

      2.00 pm 

      W.E.I.R.D. Minds 

      Joseph Henrich, Professor and Chair of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard 

       

      Over the last few decades, a growing body of research has revealed not only substantial global variation along several important psychological dimensions, but also that people from societies that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) are particularly unusual, often anchoring the ends of global psychological distributions. To explain these patterns, I’ll first show how the most fundamental of human institutions—those governing marriage and the family—influence our motivations, perceptions, intuitions and emotions. Then, to explain the peculiar trajectory of European societies over the last two millennia, I lay out how one particular branch of Christianity systematically dismantled the intensive kin-based institutions in much of Latin Christendom, thereby altering people’s psychology and opening the door to the proliferation of new institutional forms, including voluntary associations (charter towns, universities and guilds), impersonal markets, individualistic religions and representative governments. In light of these findings, I close by arguing that the anthropological, psychological and economic sciences should transform into a unified evolutionary approach that considers not only how human nature influences our behavior and societies but also how the resulting institutions, technologies and languages subsequently shape our minds.  

       

      3.15 pm 

      What is learning? Cultural perspectives 

      Barbara Rogoff, UCSC Foundation Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California in Santa Cruz 

       

      Many people who have spent decades in Western schools take for granted a particular way of thinking of learning — as either receiving transmitted bits of information or acquiring it from an external world. In this presentation, I will argue for a paradigm shift, to seeing learning as a process of growth, as people transform their ways of participating in ongoing endeavors to become more competent and helpful contributors to the collective good of all, across time. My perspective is inspired and informed by research observations of a prevalent way of learning in many Indigenous-heritage communities of the Americas — Learning by Observing and Pitching In to family and community endeavors (LOPI). I will discuss some implications of these ways of conceiving of learning, based in studies of how Indigenous American communities often organize children’s learning, with associated distinctions in children’s helpfulness, ways of collaborating, and ways of learning. 

      Both speakers will join us in a GatherTown social following the event. Spots are limited to 10 graduate students and 10 faculty on a first come, first serve basis. Please email Dimitris Xygalatas, xygalatas@uconn.edu, if you are interested. 

      If you’d like to meet individually with Dr. Henrich during the day on 2/26, please email Dimitris Xygalatas, xygalatas@uconn.edu. If you’d like to meet with Dr. Rogoff, please email Letty Naigles, letitia.naigles@uconn.edu

      Responses for both GatherTown and one-on-ones are needed by Friday, 2/19

      Postdoctoral position at Harvard University

      A Post-doctoral position is available for a collaborative ongoing project on Machine Commonsense Reasoning, focusing on the origins of human common sense and core knowledge in early development. We are looking to fill the position in the Fall (note the relatively short deadline). The project involves a collaboration between Harvard, MIT, IBM, and Stanford. The position will primarily be supervised by Drs. Tomer Ullman and Elizabeth Spelke at Harvard, as well as Josh Tenenbaum at MIT.

      This funded position will include building models of cognitive development related to intuitive physics, intuitive psychology, and theory acquisition. We are particularly interested in candidates with an expertise in computational cognitive modeling, or research in cognitive development, with an interest in strengthening both. 

      Post-docs will have an opportunity to lead projects as well as to interact with a diverse group of experts, as well as access to computational resources, online testing, and administrative support. 

      Required qualifications:

      ·  Ph.D. in Cognitive Science, Psychology, Computer Science, or a related field

      ·  Experience with computational modeling / cognitive models, preferably in areas related to common sense reasoning

      ·  Experience gathering and analyzing data 

      ·  Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills

      To apply, please submit an application and CV to John Muchovej [jmuchovej@g.harvard.edu]. Reviews of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  

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      Harvard is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

       The Department of Psychology sits within the Division of Social Science, which is strongly committed to creating and supporting a diverse workforce. Respect and fairness, kindness and collegiality, and trust and transparency are among the values we espouse and promote in our workplace culture. We work hard to ensure a healthy, inclusive and positive environment where everyone does their best work in support of Harvard’s mission.