Student Life: Programs and Activities

Year Round

Superfriends: These senior student talks are held monthly throughout the academic year. Two senior students select a topic of choice, typically on the research that they are conducting, and present it to the larger student body. The purpose of these talks is to give students the opportunity to practice presenting their research; they also allow for meaningful interactions between the junior and senior students and fosters a sense of community within the program. Superfriends is announced to the Neurolist and is also posted on the Google calendar and the SNI calendar. Attendance at Superfriends is expected of all program students.

Neuroscience Happy Hour: The Neuroscience Program Community Representatives plan monthly(ish) Happy Hour gatherings for students and faculty to get together outside the lab and classroom.  

Gender in Neuroscience (GIN) - A group of Stanford neuroscientists gather monthly to discuss gender differences that could affect careers and focus on brainstorming strategies to overcome challenges that could limit success.


Orientation: New students are welcomed and orientated prior to the start of SIN Boot Camp.

All first and second year students are allotted travel funds, and many choose to spend those funds in order to attend the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) annual meeting. The abstract submission deadline for SfN is typically in early-May; advanced students giving a presentation are eligible for travel funds from the Biosciences office.

Neurosciences Program Student Retreat: Organized by students, this annual event in Monterey gives students an opportunity to build program unity. External guest speakers are nominated by the student body to participate.  


Admissions: All students help out during Interview Session by hosting interviewees and organizing and attending program functions.

NeuroSki: Students plan a trip to Lake Tahoe for some fun in the snow.

Brain Day: (Video) This popular community outreach event occurs each February – April. Program students visit local middle schools in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto to teach students about the brain. Organizers will email the student body well in advance so be looking for these emails if you would like to get involved.


Student Representative Elections: Student representatives play key roles within the program, helping to guide policy decisions through membership on committees, and with the coordination of important program activities. and Program Admins.

Neuroscience Program Town Hall Meeting: Each year the Program Director meets with all Neuroscience graduate students to discuss issues from the previous year as well as those upcoming topics for the following year. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Neuroscience Program End of Year Celebration: The program hosts a party at the end of Spring quarter to celebrate the successes of the academic year.


Stanford Summer Research Program (SSRP) is a fully funded research-intensive residential program that takes place on Stanford’s campus for a nine-week period. Participants are matched with a member of Stanford’s faculty. Program students can help by mentoring an undergraduate in their lab, by helping these visitors with questions about living at Stanford, by running professional development workshops, etc.

Stanford Institutes of Medicine Research (SIMR) is an eight-week program in which high school school students from diverse backgrounds are invited to perform basic research with Stanford faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students and researchers on a medically-oriented topic.

SPICE (Student Projects for Intellectual Community Enhancement) Grants

Awarded by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education to Neurosciences Students

Local Outreach Activities

Some of our students have recently been involved in various outreach such as teaching basic science to local youth, and helping with first-generation mentoring programs. Some to consider are:

SPLASH! brings high school and middle school students from everywhere to Stanford’s campus for a two-day learning extravaganza. Classes are taught by Stanford undergraduates, graduate students, and other community members.

Preparing Future Professors (PFP) is a shadowing program that offers doctoral students the opportunity to experience faculty life first-hand at a comprehensive, teaching-focused university or community college. Stanford students are paired with professors whom they shadow weekly. PFP broadens graduate students' perspectives on higher education and helps them compete for, and successfully teach in, jobs at undergraduate-focused institutions. Applications are due in August.