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Letter from the Co-Directors


A Letter from Nathan Urban and Marlene Behrmann



Dear Prospective Student,


The Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition offers an interdisciplinary graduate training program that provides an excellent foundation for a career at the interface between the cognitive and neural sciences. Funded initially by the National Science Foundation in 1990, and funded now both by the NSF and the National Institute of Mental Health, our program offers outstanding interdisciplinary training opportunities in collaboration with several Ph.D. programs at both Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. The core of the program is a set of shared educational experiences and research opportunities that complement the home departmental offerings. These experiences and research opportunities provide a firm basis for a research career that is grounded in an established discipline, and bridges to one or more allied disciplines.


Individuals with the kind of training we offer are in great demand, and we have had tremendous success both recruiting excellent students and placing our graduates in outstanding positions when they have completed the program. The program currently has 103 faculty and 135 graduate students. We began to train students in 1991 and there are now 38 graduates. All have obtained solid positions as post-doctoral researchers or assistant professors, and many are now working in some of the best laboratories and universities across the United States and around the world.


Students in our program must first be accepted into one of the affiliated Ph.D. programs (Center for Neuroscience , Mathematics, or Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh; Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Machine Learning, Psychology, Robotics, or Statistics at Carnegie Mellon). Students in other Ph.D. programs at either university may also participate in the CNBC's training program by special arrangement. As a general rule, a student in the CNBC program will work with an advisor who is affiliated with the home Ph.D. program and who is also a member of the CNBC faculty (see our research guide for a list). If you do choose to apply to the CNBC, be sure to send an application both to the CNBC and at least one affiliated Ph. D. program (click here for details). Please feel free to contact the CNBC ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you have any questions.


We hope you will consider joining us and look forward to receiving your application.




Nathan Urban

University of Pittsburgh

Marlene Behrmann

Carnegie Mellon University