2018 Programs

High school, college and graduate students may apply for educational stipends and scholarships to participate in the 2018 Educational Research Program at the Brain Health Alliance Virtual Institute (BHAVI). As a virtual institute with programs that focus on software and computing and that conduct all meetings by televideo conferencing, BHAVI invites applications from students interested in Brain Imaging And Computing Sciences (BrainIACS), who are enthusastic brainiacs, and who reside anywhere in the world but have access to high-speed internet connections and the ability to telecommute and teleconference for participation in the virtual institute programs.

The BHAVI Educational Research Program continues throughout the year divided into four quarters:

Students are required to participate full-time in the summer quarter, but only part-time in the fall, winter and spring quarters. Students must demonstrate satisfactory progress in each quarter to continue in the next quarter of the BHAVI program.

Winter Application Quarter

The Winter Application Quarter begins 21 December 2017 and ends 19 March 2018. For new students, applications will be accepted throughout this quarter. For returning students who have already successfully completed a BHAVI program, applications will not be required. These returning students continue to work part-time through this quarter as an extension of work on their research projects in previous quarters.

Spring Evaluation Quarter

The Spring Evaluation Quarter will run from 20 March 2018 to 20 June 2018. During this quarter, new applicants will be required to complete a series of exercises which serve as an entrance evaluation of their skills and abilities prior to the start of the full-time BHAVI program in the summer. Satisfactory completion of these exercises will be required of each new student in order to enter the Summer Computation Quarter. Returning students continue to work part-time through this quarter as an extension of work on their research projects in previous quarters.

Summer Computation Quarter

The Summer Computation Quarter will run from 21 June 2018 to 22 September 2018. Accommodations in the calendar schedule will be made for those students whose academic school year conflicts with the start and end dates of the BHAVI summer quarter. This full-time program requires students to attend seminars by invited guest speakers, individual meetings with a research mentor, and team meetings with fellow students; to complete a course of supervised reading and study; to begin work on a research project; and to write a preliminary tech report documenting their project. Student participants are required to devote full-time to the summer quarter. Full-time at BHAVI is defined as a 40 hour work week, 8 hours per day during regular business days from Monday through Friday. Students may not be employed simultaneously at another company or organization during the summer quarter.

Fall Publication Quarter

The Fall Publication Quarter will run from 23 September 2018 to 20 December 2018. This part-time program requires students to attend individual meetings with a research mentor; to complete work on their research project; and to write a formal research paper documenting their project with the goal of publishing the paper at a professional conference or student competition. To be eligible to participate in the fall quarter, students must successfully complete the summer quarter. Student participants are expected to devote only part-time to the BHAVI fall quarter while prioritizing the course work required by their high school, college or university during the academic school year. Part-time at BHAVI is defined as one 8-hour day equivalent per week.

Research Projects

Students may choose a research topic related to at least one of the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with potential application to the Brain Health Alliance mission. One or more of the following fields may be considered: mathematics, statistics, computational science and engineering, biomedical signal and image processing, imaging informatics, biomedical informatics, clinical research informatics, digital graphic arts, software user interface engineering, human machine interface engineering, haptics for virtual reality, robotics for prosthetics, biomimicry for biomimetics, web-enabled database engineering, distributed systems and/or mobile computing. Students may submit their own proposal for research and work on that project if approved. Otherwise, students will be given a list of research problems from which to choose their primary project for work pursued as individuals. Students will interact with their project mentors and advisors. Students will also be required to interact with each other and devote some of their time to a secondary project for work pursued as a team.

Students may apply for the funded program in which they receive an educational stipend from BHAVI. Student activities in this funded program will be adjusted appropriately by BHAVI for each student according to their level of education, experience and current computing skills. Students may also apply for the non-funded program in which they volunteer at BHAVI and may receive academic credits for their school's internship or externship program. Student activities in this non-funded program will be adjusted appropriately by BHAVI for each student according to their school's requirements for obtaining academic credit. In this case, students must designate an appropriate administrative or faculty contact at their school who is responsible for establishing the requirements for the internship or externship program.

Educational Stipends and Prizes

Funded students who participate and finish all required tasks in the BHAVI 2018 Computation and Publication Programs will receive the following educational stipends: $5000 for graduate students, $3000 for college students and $1000 for high school students. Students who successfully complete the BHAVI 2018 Program will be eligible for the $2500 Mann Prize, the $2500 Siegler Sisters Prize or the $2500 Golub Prize. Both funded and non-funded students will be considered eligible for the prizes. However, students may be awarded only one prize per year. Prizes will be awarded by BHAVI Directors who will evaluate students' participation in the programs, their productive research work, and their contributions to the Brain Health Alliance mission.

Application Process

Prior exposure to brain biology or any of the neurosciences is not a requirement. There will be no wet-lab work. All activities will be computer-based so general familiarity and prior experience with computer software and hardware will be expected. Because the programs focus on software and computing, BHAVI will consider applications from students anywhere who have access to high-speed internet connections and the ability to telecommute and teleconference for participation in the virtual institute programs.

Student applicants should submit a transcript of their course work and a letter expressing their interest, describing their computing skills, and stating whether they are applying for a stipend from BHAVI in the funded program or for credits from their school in the volunteer program. If applying to the funded program, they should request two letters of recommendation from STEM professors or teachers who can comment on their problem-solving and computing skills. If applying to the volunteer program, then only one letter of recommendation is required. Electronic copies of submission materials should be emailed to admin@BrainHealthAlliance.net. Additional information may be obtained via the Contact Form.

For the funded program, applications including letters of reference must be completed by March 19. Students applying for the educational stipends will be contacted to schedule interviews via televideo as soon as their application is complete. Stipend offers will be emailed to selected applicants on a rolling admissions basis. Commitments from students to accept the stipend and participate in the full-time summer research program must be returned to BHAVI within 7 days of receipt of the offer. There are no application processing dates or deadlines for the volunteer program.

BHAVI does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, citizenship or country of residence. We welcome applications from students of all ethnicities, creeds, gender identities, and citizenries regardless of where they reside. Educational stipends in the US dollar amounts described below will be provided to students who are enrolled in academic degree programs at their schools and who participate full-time in the BHAVI Summer Education Program.

Graduate Students

Predoctoral students should be enrolled at their graduate school in a Master's or Doctoral program in a STEM field or else enrolled in a medical school studying medicine with an interest in brain disorders. Work on research projects during the 3 month summer internship will be mentored by BHAVI directors and advisors. Selected applicants, who demonstrate financial need, may receive $5000 educational stipends as funded students for their participation in BHAVI 2018.

College Students

Students should be enrolled at their college with a major in one of the STEM fields. Work on research projects during the 3 month summer internship will be mentored by BHAVI directors and advisors. Selected applicants, who demonstrate financial need, may receive $3000 educational stipends as funded students for their participation in BHAVI 2018.

High School Students

Students should be enrolled at their high schools in STEM courses, and be motivated to work on a STEM research project that could be entered in the Regeneron Science Talent Search or Intel International Science and Engineering Fair competitions administered by the Society for Science & the Public. Work on research projects during the internship will be mentored by BHAVI directors and advisors. Selected applicants, who demonstrate financial need, may receive $1000 educational stipends as funded students for their participation in BHAVI 2018.

Parents of high school student applicants should not contact BHAVI on behalf of their child. BHAVI programs require student applicants to possess sufficient interest, motivation and independence to apply on their own accord without parental assistance.

Program Announcement Updates

This announcement for the BHAVI 2018 programs may be revised. However, if updated, it will be finalized no later than Thursday 20 December 2017.