Neuroscience GIDP


Established by the Arizona Board of Regents: PhD 1988

The University of Arizona offers a Neuroscience through the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. The Program is designed to provide students with the knowledge and tools that they will need to embark on careers as educators and researchers in the field of neuroscience. Students participate in designing their own individually tailored programs that provide a thorough base of knowledge in the many facets of neuroscience as well as depth in chosen areas of specialization. Because of the breadth of expertise represented by faculty, students have access to education and research training opportunities in areas ranging from molecular, cellular, systems, behavioral, cognitive, theoretical, and clinical neuroscience.

Program Contacts

Patrick Ronaldson, Ph.D.
Arthur Riegel, Ph.D.
Vice Chair
Kirsten Cloutier Grabo
Program Coordinator, Sr.

Program Address

Neuroscience GIDP
The University of Arizona
1548 E. Drachman Street
GIDP North
P. O. Box 210476
Tucson, AZ 85721
Phone:  (520) 621-8380
Fax:  (520) 621-8282

Gene Alexander

John J. Allen

Trent Anderson

Jessica Andrews-Hanna

E. Fiona Bailey

Shaowen Bao

Carol A. Barnes

Roberta Diaz Brinton

Thomas G. Bever

Martha Bhattacharya

James Bibb
Department of Translational Neurosciences

Ross Buchan
Molecular & Cellular Biology

Haijiang Cai, Executive Committee

Ying-hui Chou

Megan Corty

Stephen Cowen, Executive Committee

Thomas P. Davis

Anna Dornhaus
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Kristian Doyle

Erika Eggers

Torsten Falk

Jean-Marc Fellous

Fabian Fernandez

Ralph F. Fregosi, Executive Committee

Andrew J Fuglevand

Amelia Gallitano-Mendel

Katalin Gothard

Michael Grandner

Philipp Gutruf
Biomedical Engineering

Charles M. Higgins

Rajesh Khanna

May Khanna

Anita Koshy

Kaveh Laksari
Biomedical Engineering

Richard Lane

Tally Largent-Milnes

Kevin Lin

Lalitha Madhavan, Executive Committee 

Laurent Martin
College of Medicine  - Anesthesiology

Julie E. Miller, Executive Committee

Janko Nikolich-Zugich

Paulo Pires

Robin Polt
Chemistry and Biochemistry

Frank Porreca

John W. Regan
Pharmacology & Toxicology

Linda L. Restifo

Arthur Riegel, Vice-Chair

Kathleen Rodgers

Patrick Ronaldson, Chair

Lee Ryan

Rita Sattler

Todd Schlenke

Rick Schnellmann

Jacob Schwartz
Chemistry and Biochemistry

Scott Sherman

Shang Song
Biomedical Engineering

Nicholas J. Strausfeld

John Streicher

George Sutphin
Molecular and Cellular Biology

Jennifer Teske
Nutritional Sciences

Todd W. Vanderah

Xinglong Wang
Pharmacology & Toxicology

Jean Marie Wilson (Bianchi)
Cellular & Molecular Medicine

Robert Wilson

Russell Witte
Medical Imaging

Melville Wohlgemuth

Fei Yin
Health Sciences

Jiawei "Calvin" Zhang

Haining Zhu
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Konrad Zinsmaier

Neuroscience Program Bylaws



I. Preamble

The Neuroscience Graduate Interdisciplinary Program is mandated to foster activities and communication among neuroscientists throughout the University and to offer graduate degrees in Neuroscience. The structure and organization of the programs conform to the guidelines for Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs. Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDPs) report to the Dean of the Graduate College through the Faculty Director of GIDPs.

The Neuroscience GIDP comprises faculty members from many departments throughout the University who are principally or exclusively engaged in research and teaching in the field of neuroscience. Leading the affairs of the program is an Executive Committee, which is chaired by the Chairperson of the Neuroscience GIDP and includes several other faculty members and a representative of the graduate students in the Program in Neuroscience. 

II. Faculty of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience

The GIDP in Neuroscience recognizes a distinction between a broad-based community of neuroscience researchers with overlapping interests who benefit from campus-wide program activities (“Affiliated Faculty"), and the specific roles of UA faculty who run this GIDP and mentor its students (“Core GIDP Faculty”). Both membership types, but especially the GIDP Faculty category, have specific criteria and expectations, and these are enforced through a periodic review mechanism.

1. Core Neuroscience GIDP Faculty

Graduate Interdisciplinary Program faculty members are proposed for appointment to the Faculty Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs by the Executive Committee, based on established criteria in Program Bylaws.

1.a. Criteria for membership. To become a member of the Core Neuroscience GIDP faculty, the following criteria must be met:

1.a.i. Appointment to a tenure-track, tenured, continuing status, or career track faculty position at the University of Arizona.

1.a.ii. Have an active research program in a neuroscience or neuroscience-related field (broadly defined) through which to supervise and mentor doctoral students (e.g., offer lab rotations and serve as major advisor).

1.a.iii. Indication of willingness to participate in GIDP activities including recruiting, teaching, and GIDP committee work per written statement to the program Chair.

1.a.v. Positive vote of Neuroscience GIDP faculty (simple majority of submitted votes). Meet expectations of membership (see section 1.c. below).

1.b. Benefits of membership. Core Neuroscience GIDP faculty will benefit in the following ways:

1.b.i. Listing on the Neuroscience GIDP website, research description, and link to homepage.

1.b.ii. Eligible to serve as major advisor for Neuroscience GIDP student.

1.b.iii. Eligible to vote on GIDP curriculum and policies.

1.b.iv. Eligible to serve on Executive Committee.

1.b.v. All other benefits of a Neuroscience affiliation (see section 2.b. below).

1.c. Expectations of membership. 

1.c.i. All Neuroscience GIDP faculty are expected to engage in ongoing active research in neuroscience.

1.c.ii. In addition, Program Faculty are expected to play substantive roles in the educational and research training mission of the Neuroscience Program, including participation in recruiting, mentoring, and teaching. High priority should be given to attendance at the weekly Neuroscience Colloquium events (currently scheduled on Tuesday afternoons), which include Neuroscience DataBlitz, student research seminars, invited seminar speakers, and journal club presentations. Faculty are requested to present their research at Neuroscience DataBlitz approximately once every two years. Other examples include participation on preliminary exam and thesis committees; willingness and ability to host graduate students for rotations and thesis research; participation in neuroscience courses (teaching, curriculum development); service on standing committees (Executive Committee, Seminar Committee, Admissions & Recruiting Committee); serving as Graduate Advisor; participation in recruitment activities (e.g., interviewing, presentation to candidates, attendance at social events); hosting Neuroscience seminar speaker; participation in annual Brain Awareness Week activities; attending the annual Neuroscience Faculty meeting; other ad hoc Neuroscience GIDP events.

1.c.iii. Annual membership renewal will be based on submission of a completed “Annual Report” that details participation in Neuroscience GIDP activities.

1.d. Review of membership. The EC will be responsible for review of Neuroscience GIDP Faculty membership.

1.d.i. Approximately one-third of the faculty will be reviewed each year.

1.d.ii. Each member will be reviewed every 3 years, based on a 3-year window of activity.

1.d.iii. If participation criteria are no longer met, or if the member is no longer able or willing to take graduate students, membership will be reclassified at the “Affiliate member” level (see section 2 below).

2. Affiliated Faculty

2.a. Criteria for membership. To become Affiliated Faculty of the program, the following criteria must be met:

2.a.i. Faculty-level appointment at UA, or at another nearby university, or at some other research facility.* This would include research faculty, instructors, and other non-tenure-track faculty.

2.a.ii. Strong interest in neuroscience research.

2.a.iii. Written request to the Chair explaining reasons for interest in membership.

2.a.iv. Positive vote of Executive Committee.

2.b. Benefits of membership. Affiliated Faculty will benefit in the following ways:

2.b.i. Listing on the Neuroscience website, brief research description, and link to homepage.

2.b.ii. Invitation to attend academic, community-outreach, and social activities.

2.b.iii. Eligible to nominate and host Neuroscience seminar speakers.

2.b.iv. Eligible to serve on Neuroscience graduate student advisory committees (but not as major advisor).

2.b.v. May be eligible to host Neuroscience GIDP students for lab rotations (students should confer with the Neuroscience Graduate Advisor in advance regarding the specifics of the research project to be carried out during the rotation). Affiliated Faculty may request transition to Neuroscience GIDP Faculty status if they are willing and able to meet those criteria (see section 1.a. above).

2.c. Expectations of membership.

2.c.i. Continued interest in neuroscience research.

2.c.ii. Periodically provide information about current neuroscience research activities for Neuroscience membership database.

III. Executive Committee of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience

The Executive Committee (EC) is charged with administration of the Neuroscience GIDP. The EC comprises at least seven members of the Neuroscience GIDP faculty, including the chairperson, the PI of the training grant, and one graduate student majoring in Neuroscience. Members of the EC should broadly represent the research interests of the GIDP faculty.

The chairperson of the Neuroscience GIDP chairs the EC. The chairperson is elected by the primary faculty of the Neuroscience GIDP and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College to a five-year term.  The chairperson may stand for re-election.

The chairperson may be assisted by a vice-chairperson. The vice chair is elected by the primary faculty of the Neuroscience GIDP and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College to renewable three-year terms.

With the exceptions noted below, EC faculty members are elected by the Neuroscience GIDP faculty and appointed by the Faculty Director of GIDPs to renewable three-year terms. The PI of the training grant is selected and appointed by the EC. The student representative is elected by the students of the Neuroscience GIDP and appointed to a one-year term by the EC. The faculty chairpersons of the GIDP’s two main standing committees, the Graduate Student Admissions and Recruitment Committee (GSARC) and the Graduate Student Advisory and Progress Committee (GSAPC), may be elected members of the EC or other Neuroscience GIDP faculty; if they are not elected members, they will be appointed to EC membership for the period of their service as committee chairpersons throughout their tenure.  A representative to GIDPAC will be a member of the Neuroscience EC and be determined by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. The term will be three years beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30.

In the event of the Program Chair taking a sabbatical or resigning, an interim chair will be appointed by the EC. The interim chair will serve a term of no more than one year while the chair is on sabbatical, or while preparations are made for the selection of a new chair.

1. The Executive Committee: 

a. develops and implements policies and procedures for the operation of the Program in Neuroscience and for associated teaching and research programs of the Neuroscience community;

b. evaluates nominations and applications for membership in the Neuroscience GIDP and reviews faculty appointments periodically;

c. appoints GIDP faculty members to serve on the standing committees;

d. acts on recommendations from the Graduate Student Admissions and Recruitment Committee regarding applications from prospective students;

e. acts on recommendations of the Graduate Student Advisory and Progress Committee regarding academic counsel to new students and evaluations of students at various stages of progress through the Program;

f. plans future developments in the area of neuroscience in the University;

g. ensures that regular reviews of the Program in Neuroscience, consistent with requirements of the Arizona Board of Regents, are carried out;

h. facilitates interaction and communication within the program and with interested parties in the University (such as the deans and the heads of related academic units);

i. seeks funding in support of the Program in Neuroscience; and

j. nominates GIDP faculty members for EC membership to ensure continuity over time.

The EC meets at least once each semester, and additional meetings are scheduled as needs arise. Decisions of the EC are made on the basis of majority votes; for this purpose, a quorum is a simple majority of the members of the EC, including the student member.

2. The Chairperson of the Executive Committee (and of its Program in Neuroscience):

a.  administers the Program in Neuroscience and the other activities of the EC with the assistance of the graduate coordinator of the GIDP;

b. convenes and chairs meetings of the EC;

c. acts on behalf of the Neuroscience GIDP to implement certain policies of the Program in Neuroscience (e.g. to sign requests to schedule examinations);

d. serves as representative of the Program to the University Administration, granting agencies, prospective students, etc.; and

e. prepares and submits an annual report of activities and accomplishments of the Program in Neuroscience according to University regulations.

The Chairperson may be assisted by a Vice-Chairperson. Specific responsibilities of the Vice Chair will be to co-chair the admission committee and oversee the recruitment of graduate students into the program. If needed, the vice-chair will assist with affairs of the program and ensure administration of the program during a potential absence. 

The Program’s graduate coordinator works closely with the Chairperson of the EC as well as the students, faculty, EC and standing committees to ensure timely fulfillment of the policies of the UA and the Program in Neuroscience, as well as the flow of information among all concerned.

IV. Meetings of the Faculty Members of the Neuroscience GIDP

A general meeting of the faculty members of the GIDP is called at least once per year, early in the fall semester. A second general meeting may also take place early in the winter/spring semester. Other meetings may he held by the EC as needs arise.

V. Standing Committees of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience

In addition to the EC, two standing committees carry important responsibilities for the operation and welfare of the Neuroscience GIDP.

1. Graduate Student Admissions and Recruitment Committee (GSARC)

The GSARC comprises at least four members of the Neuroscience GIDP faculty, one of whom serves as Chairperson. The Committee members and chairperson are appointed for renewable three-year terms by the EC. The GSARC is responsible for evaluating applications from prospective graduate students for admission to the Program in Neuroscience, organizing the campus visits of finalists, recommending students to the EC for admission to the Program, and coordinating efforts to recruit admitted students. The GSARC also advises the EC with respect to publicizing the Program.

2. Graduate Student Advisory and Progress Committee (GSAPC)

The GSAPC comprises at least two members of the of the Neuroscience GIDP faculty, one of whom serves as Chairperson. The Committee members and chairperson are appointed for renewable three-year terms by the EC. The GSAPC is responsible for advising students in the Program in Neuroscience in their first year of study, helping each student select a dissertation advisor and individual dissertation committee, monitoring the progress of more advanced students through annual review of student records and reports of individual advisory committees, making recommendations about student advancement, probation, or termination to the EC, and advising the EC regarding Program policies and procedures as well as revisions of the Program Handbook.

Other standing committees may be established as the EC sees fit.

VI. Changes to these Bylaws

Changes to the Bylaws of the Neuroscience GIDP may be proposed to the EC by any members of the Neuroscience GIDP and require approval by two-thirds of the full membership of the EC.

Revised: 02/21

Approved by GIDP Admin: 3/1

*For example, this could include full-time clinicians, researchers at Muscular Dystrophy Association or local biotechnology companies. It could also include Arizona State University faculty and research scientists at TGen (Translational Genomics Research Institute) or Barrow Neurological Institute.