Awardees from the cog, neural, and behavioral division

General Discussion for SMART Scholarship Recipients

Awardees from the cog, neural, and behavioral division

Postby ClinicalNeuroPRISM » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:51 pm

Hello all!

I am a neuroscience applicant waiting to hear back from SMART this year. Sorry to post on the recipient forum, but it seemed like the best way to grab the attention from winners in this division.

I am trying to get an idea of what SMART facilities are looking for in applicants in this division in the very likely case that I need to reapply. Could you guys provide information on:

1) Degree (BA. MA/MS, PhD)
2) degree concentration, professional background in terms of experience at the time of application
3) Research area in and outside of smart
4) Facility location
5) were you a retention applicant?
6) Did the facility mention why you stood out? Do you have an idea?
7) advice?

Thanks,
P
ClinicalNeuroPRISM
 

Re: Awardees from the cog, neural, and behavioral division

Postby EliosHarg » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:52 pm

I am not an awardee, but I can provide some input based on my experience to date (this year and last year).

Last Year
1) Degree: B.A. Cognitive Science w/ Minor in Computer Science (sought 1 year; wrote about plan to apply for follow-up)
2) Professional background: at time of application ~6 months internship at a national lab working on software development mostly involving machine learning, ~3 months working in school research lab on cognitive decline while aging
3) Research area: Outside SMART: See above, in SMART: I wrote about my desire to work with brain-machine interfaces
4) Facility location: I picked SPAWAR Pacific, NSRDEC, and TARDEC as my preferred SFs
5) Retention applicant: No
6) Did the facility mention why you stood out? Never received an interview

This Year
1) Degree: PhD. Cognitive Neuroscience (seeking 5 years)
2) Professional background: at time of application ~18 months internship at a national lab working on software development mostly involving machine learning, ~15 months working in school research lab on cognitive decline while aging, ~6 months TA in psychology courses
3) Research area: Outside SMART: My honors thesis involves studying information dissemination over social media networks and the impacts on decision-making. I still work in the cognitive aging lab, but have proposed and am leading a side project to use machine-learning to predict assessment scores. Same research at the national lab. in SMART: I wrote about incorporating neural mechanism data into the thesis work as well as potentially moving into the area of BMI.
4) Facility location: I picked all the Army Research Lab facilities as my preferred SFs (I had heard they do far more work in CNB areas)
5) Retention applicant: No
6) Did the facility mention why you stood out? I was interviewed by one facility, it was not one of my preferred. They mentioned that they felt my research interests align well with the work they are doing. They introduced me to one of the PIs on-site that is working in an area very closely related to my thesis work.

7) Advice: I think that, for me, it came down to facilities wanting a PhD. student over an undergrad (who may or may not be able to get a follow-on award). Also, it seems that I got lucky in that my thesis research very closely aligns with the interests of one of the SFs investigators. Finally, it seems that the SF section of the site is not terribly good at letting people know what kind of research is happening at the facilities, so it will require some digging to see where you might fit in. I still may not receive an award, but just getting interviewed feels like a step up from last year.
EliosHarg
 


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