Broadening the Representation of Academic Investigators in NeuroScience (BRAINS) is a national program dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion in neuroscience. BRAINS explicitly addresses the inclusion, retention, and advancement of early career (post Ph.D. and pre-tenure) neuroscientists from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups (URMGs: individuals from marginalized racial and ethnic identities and persons with disabilities).
BRAINS has pioneered a unique cohort-based professional development approach that positively impacts participants’ career trajectories, especially in academic neuroscience, and creates a perpetually empowering community. Specifically, the BRAINS program
- establishes a counterspace foundation where individuals belonging to historically marginalized groups in science are affirmed and valued;
- builds a cohort-based community and expanded professional network;
- enhances participants’ career skills and career self-efficacy;
- connects participants with senior scientists and peers; and
- offers structured ongoing engagement and professional development opportunities.
Not only are BRAINS participants succeeding in neuroscience and advancing in the field, they also remain active in the BRAINS community long after their initial cohort experience. The skills, relationships, and connections developed at BRAINS are everlasting.