Neuroscience is increasingly relevant to a number of professions and academic disciplines beyond its traditional medical applications. The Penn Neuroscience Boot Camp is designed to give participants a basic foundation in cognitive and affective neuroscience and to equip them to be informed consumers of neuroscience research.

Why Neuroscience Boot Camp?

Neuroscience is increasingly relevant to a number of professions and academic disciplines beyond its traditional medical applications. Lawyers, educators, economists and businesspeople as well as scholars of sociology, philosophy, applied ethics and policy are incorporating the concepts and methods of neuroscience into their work. For any field in which it is important to understand, predict or influence human behavior, neuroscience will play an increasing role. The Penn Neuroscience Boot Camp is designed to give participants a basic foundation in cognitive and affective neuroscience and to equip them to be informed consumers of neuroscience research.

Neuroscience Boot Camp will be on hiatus for 2015 and will resume in the summer of 2016. Please join our mailing list to receive information about applying in Fall 2015.

Through a combination of lectures, break-out groups, panel discussions and laboratory visits, participants will gain an understanding of the methods of neuroscience and key findings on the cognitive and social-emotional functions of the brain, lifespan development and disorders of brain function. Each lecture will be followed by extensive Q&A. Break-out groups will allow participants to delve more deeply into topics of relevance to their fields. Laboratory visits will include trips to an EEG/ERP lab and a transcranial magnetic stimulation lab. Participants will also have access to an extensive online library of copyrighted materials, including classic and review articles and textbook chapters in cognitive and affective neuroscience.
College and university faculty, professionals in journalism, law, government and advanced graduate students are encouraged to apply. The only prerequisites are a grasp of basic statistics and at least a dim recollection of high school biology and physics. (A short set of readings will be made available prior to the Boot Camp to remind you of the essentials.)
The cost of Boot Camp is $5,375, which includes tuition and fees, housing with breakfast and dinner, lunches and three evening receptions. For those who do not need housing the fee is $4,675. Limited scholarship aid is available. Participants will be housed at the new Hilton Homewood Suites-University City. Breakfast will be served at the hotel every morning, and dinner will be served by the hotel Monday-Thursday. Lunches will be eaten with the group.

The academic program spans eight days, Monday-Wednesday, with all of Sunday off. Each session will begin at 9:00a.m. and end at 6:00p.m. The program begins with a welcome reception on the evening of Monday, July 28th and concludes with a dinner party on the evening of Wednesday, August 6th.

All facilities at the Hilton Homewood Suites and the primary classroom site at the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science are ADA-compliant. The hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle service in order to assist participants in going from the hotel to the classroom site each day. The distance between Hilton Homewood Suites and IRCS is approximately 0.7mi. Neuroscience Bootcamp involves a number of on-campus field trips, which will require walks ranging from 5-20 minutes.

For details on distances and walking time between locations, please download this map (pdf). For additional questions regarding accessibility, please contact us.

All applicants should prepare the following documents. Complete applications will be due by  January 31, 2014 at 11:59pm, Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5).

  1. Brief (not more than 200 words) statement of interest – How is neuroscience relevant to your work and how would you apply what you learn at Boot Camp?
  2. CV
  3. Applicants who are students or completed their graduate/professional training in 2010 or later will also need to submit one recommendation letter. The letter should discuss the quality of your work and intellectual strengths and weaknesses. Recommendation letters may be submitted via the application site, or separately to bootcamp@neuroethics.upenn.edu with the subject line “Firstname Lastname Recommendation Letter” (e.g. Jane Smith Recommendation Letter).

Applicants applying for financial aid should submit a short statement explaining how much support is needed (including full support if necessary). Please also describe, to the best of your ability, how you would use what you learn at boot camp to further contribute to your professional or academic field. We also ask that you list potential sources of support, such as employers or graduate programs that you have approached, along with the result. 

Learn more about boot camp:

University of Pennsylvania Offers a Boot Camp on Brain Science‘, by Kevin Davis in American Bar Association Journal

Bloggin’ from Boot Camp: