Neuroscience Exploration Week

We host an annual Neuroscience Exploration Week in the summer for interested young scientists. More information is listed below.


Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Neuroscience Exploration Week?
Each June, brainLENS-West offers a week-long summer internship opportunity for undergraduate students during our Neuroscience Exploration Week. This week offers students exposure to research and to the fields of neuroscience, education, psychology, and medicine. 

How is Neuroscience Exploration Week unique?
Spending the week at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) provides the opportunity for students to get involved at a premier biomedical research institution. Over the course of the week, students will learn about our lab’s work and gain exposure to a wide range of relevant topics including conducting literature review, medical ethics, neuroimaging, neuropsychological assessment, and more! 

What do students do during Exploration Week?
The schedule and specific workshops change from year to year, but here is a sample of the kind of events students will have the opportunity to attend or participate in:
• Sheep brain dissection and introduction to neuroscience
• Introduction to neuroimaging and fMRI
• Tour of various labs at UCSF relevant to education, neuroscience, and neuroimaging
The week culminates in a unique opportunity for students to present their own projects on neuroimaging analyses guided and mentored by members of the brainLENS lab. 
See below for a link to a sample schedule.

How can I apply for this experience?
Applications for Summer 2018 (June 11 – June 15) have closed.
Applications for Summer 2019 will open September 1, 2018 and close March 1, 2019. Specific instructions for applications will be posted at that time. Students who are underrepresented in STEM fields (such as students with documented disabilities or first-generation college students) are particularly encouraged to apply.
Please send inquiries to

What is the application process after I apply, and what criteria are considered?
After you submit your application, you should expect to receive an email confirming receipt of your application within 48 hours. Someone may then reach out to schedule a phone or Skype interview, and letters of reference may be requested. All applicants will be notified by March 15, 2019. In evaluating your application, we consider applicants’ intellectual curiosity, goals related to STEM fields, and level of interest in the program. Anywhere from 4-6 students are accepted each year.

Do I need to attend for the full week?
Yes, you must be available to attend each day of the week from approximately 9:00am until 5:00pm or your application will not be considered. Dates for the internship week are typically announced by February of that year, but the week traditionally falls in the second week of June.


Support Neuroscience Exploration Week!

(For UCSF Faculty & Staff) Offer a tour 
We are always looking for more unique and exciting opportunities for our summer interns to gain exposure to other labs at UCSF. If you are a PI, Postdoc, or Research Associate, and you would like to offer our students a tour or demo at your lab, please reach out to us at 

Sponsor a Student (Suggested Donation of $100)
Student sponsorship is a meaningful way to get involved in our summer internship opportunity. BrainLENS continues to encourage all students to apply regardless of their background or identity, and it is important for this opportunity to be accessible for all students. Your donation will help cover the cost of student transportation, materials for the week (e.g. sheep brains for dissection experience), and tour demo costs (e.g. MRI scanning time).


Program Graduates

Cohort 2019
Isabelle Antolin
Kai Horkan
Samia Islam
Julia St. John
Anna Fritz
Eugenia Theodosopoulos

Cohort 2018
Zev Barasch
Tiffany Chen
Sam Grillo
Joel Hernandez
Chloe LeBlanc
Nikki Solanki

Cohort 2017
Alicia Leong
Alexis Metcalfe
Fleming Peck
Donya Zarrinnegar

Cohort 2016
Haley Friesch
Hannah McGowan
Keertana Namuduri
Denna Nazeem
Meera Santhanam
Rachel Solomon