The University of Pennsylvania's Graduate-Led Initiatives and Activities (GLIA) committee is dedicated to the personal and professional development of Penn neuroscience graduate students. We believe that doctoral training is enhanced through extracurricular opportunities including teaching, volunteering, engaging in community outreach, and presenting independent research.  These activities foster a multifaceted neuroscience doctoral training and help increase public understanding of neuroscience. 


The activities and initiatives coordinated by GLIA are supported by the Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences (MINS) and fall broadly into the following categories:


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In coordination with the greater Penn community, and with financial support from the Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences (MINS), NGG students bring neuroscience to local elementary and high school students through the Kids Judge!, Elementary Outreach, and Upward Bound initiatives. More recently, we hosted the inaugural Penn Neuroscience Public Lecture as part of the international Brain Awareness Week. Learn to teach neuroscience at a layman’s level, and make a difference for Philadelphians – children and adults alike!

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Professional Development

Professional Development activities include three classes of workshops - one intended to develop teaching skills, one intended to develop scientific skills, and a student invited speaker series. All three initiatives provide NGG members with the opportunity to learn the tricks of the scientific trade from experienced researchers, both from UPenn and elsewhere, as well as to further develop essential scientific skill sets, such as coordinating a speaker’s visit.

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Community Building

Many opportunities exist for NGG students to get to know each other and the members of the faculty in a variety of contexts, both formal and informal.  These initiatives include the annual student-led retreat, student chalk talks, and lunch series. GLIA also maintains a database of Current Students’ Information (your fellow NGG folk are multi-talented; use them as a resource!) to facilitate conversation and promote mentorship opportunities within the NGG student body.