Student Advisory Committee & Neuroscience Graduate Education Committee

Student progress throughout their thesis research will be monitored by a Student Advisory Committee (SAC). The purpose of the SAC is to provide critical feedback on the research plan, to assess experimental progress, and to advise the student when to write/defend the Thesis. The SAC is charged with aiding the student in moving efficiently towards the PhD degree, while at the same time maximizing the significance and impact of the thesis research.

The Neuroscience Graduate Education Committee (NGEC) regularly reviews SAC meeting notes to monitor committee concerns and to evaluate student progress. Students should note that SAC guidelines in the Department of Neuroscience are slightly different from those of other departments. It is essential that students follow the guidelines set below to reduce delayed receipt of meeting notes, avoid incompleteness and inconsistencies, and ultimately reduce time to graduation, as suggested by NIH guidelines. The NGEC Bylaws are available online.

Neuroscience SAC Guidelines

  1. The GEC must approve all new advisory committees. Students and mentors should submit a list of desired SAC members (minimum of 3 faculty) to the GEC within the first year of having declared a lab. Guidelines for selecting SAC members are:
    1. Associates, Instructors, or Postdoctoral Fellows may not serve on the SAC.
    2. The mentor or co-mentor are not considered members of the SAC.
    3. At least one SAC member should have an appointment in Neuroscience.
    4. At least one SAC member should be a senior faculty member (Associate or Professor) who has successfully mentored at least one graduate student.
  2. One member of the SAC must be designated chair. Scientific collaborators of the student thesis work may not serve as chair of the SAC.
  3. Students in their first three years after having declared a lab must have at least ONE advisory meeting per year. After that, students must have TWO meetings per year. The GEC will ensure that this schedule is met.
  4. Every committee member must fill out an advisory form during the meeting. Summaries from the SAC chair are helpful, but the Neuroscience GEC requests an assessment from each member. Assessments should be candid, and focus on student progress, problems, publications, and always mindful of a 5-year graduation goal.
  5. The GEC may suggest changes to advisory committees and will meet with students and mentors if SAC concerns are not being addressed.

Neuroscience Graduate Education Committee (GEC)

Committee Responsibilities

  • Reviewing the policies, guidelines and courses for the Graduate Program in Neuroscience
  • Liaison with the Einstein Graduate Division
  • Reviewing actions of the Student Advisory Committee
  • Ensure that all Departmental and Graduate School requirements are met prior to graduation