2019 Programs

High school, college and graduate students may apply for educational stipends and scholarships to participate in the 2019 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 may reside anywhere in the world but who must 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. During the academic school year, student participants are expected to devote only part-time to the BHAVI program while prioritizing the course work required by their high school, college or university. 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. Full-time during summer quarter 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 working simultaneously at another company or organization during the summer quarter. Part-time during fall, winter and spring quarters at BHAVI is defined as a minimum of one 8-hour day equivalent per week. Students must demonstrate satisfactory progress in each quarter to continue in the next quarter of the BHAVI program.

Fall Application Quarter

The Fall Application Quarter begins 23 September 2018 and ends 20 December 2018. For new students, applications will be accepted throughout this quarter. For returning students who have already successfully completed the BHAVI program, applications will not be required. These returning students continue to work part-time through the quarter as an extension of work on their research projects in previous quarters.

Winter Evaluation Quarter

The Winter Evaluation Quarter will run from 21 December 2018 to 19 March 2019. During this quarter, new applicants will be required to complete a series of writing exercises which serve as an entrance evaluation of their language skills and abilities prior to continuing in subsequent quarters of the program. Satisfactory completion of these exercises will be required of each new student in order to enter the Spring Computation Quarter. Returning students continue to work part-time through this quarter as an extension of work on their research projects in previous quarters.

Spring Computation Quarter

The Spring Computation Quarter will run from 20 March 2019 to 20 June 2019. During this quarter, new students will be required to complete a series of computing exercises which serve as an evaluation of their engineering skills and abilities prior to continuing in subsequent quarters of the program. Satisfactory completion of these exercises will be required of each new student in order to enter the Summer Publication Quarter. Returning students continue to work part-time through this quarter as an extension of work on their research projects in previous quarters.

Summer Publication Quarter

The Summer Publication Quarter will run from 21 June 2019 to 22 September 2019. During this quarter, students will be required 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.

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 2019 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 2019 Program will be eligible for the $2500 Mann Prize, the $2500 Siegler Sisters Prize, the $2500 Golub Prize or the $2500 Keller 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. Letters of recommendation should be on letterhead stationery from the recommender's organization and should include the telephone number and email address for contacting the recommender with any follow-up questions. Electronic copies of submission materials (preferably in PDF file format) should be emailed to admin@BrainHealthAlliance.net.

For the funded program, applications including letters of reference must be completed by December 20. 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 BHAVI program must be returned within 7 days of receipt of the offer. There are no application processing dates or deadlines for the volunteer program.

Brain Health Alliance does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, citizenship or country of residence. We welcome applications from students of all ages, gender identities, ethnicities, creeds 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 Quarter 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 2019.

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 2019.

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 2019.

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.