Graduate Fellowships



The CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBACS) offers 3-month summer fellowships to graduate students working on topics with relevance (broadly construed) to the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (refer to the IBACS mission statement). Priority will be given to students working across traditional disciplinary boundaries. The fellowships provide full summer funding. IBACS Graduate Fellows will attend a short grant-writing workshop , tentatively the 2nd week of May 2019, aimed at writing NRSA pre- or post-doctoral fellowship applications, NSF GRFP or SBE applications, and equivalent. Fellows must spend at least one half-day each week at the Institute attending events and working on their applications. A writing mentor will be provided, who has experience of such applications. Fellows will also attend a mock review panel, styled after NIH review panels, at which they will review each other’s draft applications.  Non-US citizens ARE eligible to apply for an IBACS Graduate Fellowship (see below).

For Summer 2019 we anticipate approximately 12-15 Fellowships.



The deadline for submission of applications to the Summer 2019 IBACS Graduate Fellowship is Friday December 7, 2018. ***Due to technical issues which have now been resolved, the deadline has been extended to Friday, December 14th.***



  • Graduate Students at UConn working on topics related to the IBACS mission are eligible to apply, with priority given to students working across traditional disciplinary boundaries.
  • If you are in receipt of UConn or external funds for the summer period exceeding $4,000, (such as an NSF or NIH fellowship, teaching contract, etc.) or have fewer than 10 hours per week to dedicate to the fellowship,  you are not eligible to apply for an IBACS Graduate Fellowship. If in doubt, please contact us (see contact details below).
  • For U.S. Citizens, initial awards are funded at $4,000 (to be paid at the end of the Spring semester), and if the Fellow submits an application for external funding before March 1st of the following year, IBACS shall award an additional $1,000.  Non-U.S Citizens will be required to apply for external funding through their advisor. If applicants are in receipt of any other summer funding, IBACS will provide initial funds up to $4,000 (for example, if you have received $3,000 from elsewhere, we would give you $1,000 to bring your total summer funding to $4,000, but if you have no other summer funds, we would give you the full $4,000 initially– in each case Fellows would still receive that bonus $1,000 upon submission of that external grant/fellowship application.
  • If you were in past receipt of an IBACS Graduate Fellowship but you did not subsequently submit an external fellowship application (or for non-US citizens, your advisor did not subsequently submit an external grant application), you are not eligible for another fellowship unless there were mitigating circumstances.
  • Fellows must commit to attending a  grant-writing workshop, tentatively the 2nd week of May, 2019, aimed at writing NRSA pre- or post-doctoral fellowship applications, or NSF GRFP/SBE applications. In addition, they will attend the Institute at least one-half day each week (details to be determined) during which time they will work on their applications. A writing mentor will be provided, who has experience of such applications.
  • Fellows must commit to applying for external funding (e.g. a predoctoral or postdoctoral fellowship) that would support the fellow, if successful, for at least one year.
  • Fellows will normally be expected to submit their external fellowship applications in the fall following the summer of their fellowship.
  • Non-US citizens who are not eligible for federal funding (and cannot therefore apply for an NIH or NSF fellowship) can apply for an IBACS Graduate Fellowship, but their primary advisor will be expected to develop a grant proposal related to the Fellow’s research (typically, related to the student’s research, and naming that student as a collaborator).
  • Fellowships are appropriate for proposals initiated by a graduate student, or by eligible faculty wishing to nominate a graduate student. In each case, a statement will be required by both the student and the primary advisor.
  • Graduate Fellowships (20 hrs per week, over the 3 summer months) do not cover tuition fees (they are exempt) or other expenses.
  • Graduate students intending to apply who are not already IBACS affiliates should also fill out the affiliate membership form available here.



All applicants must submit a completed application, by any deadlines described above in the Key Dates section. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that their primary supervisor submit a supporting statement (see below):

  • The application form is to be filled in by the student here.
  • Applicants will be asked for
    • A tentative title for their research
    • A summary of work carried out to date (1/2 page max)
    • A summary plan of future work (1/2 page max)
    • A summary of the proposed topic for the externally funded (e.g. NRSA, NSF, etc) fellowship application on which the applicant will work during the fellowship (1 page max). For applicants ineligible for US federal funding, this summary should propose the topic for which the primary advisor intends to seek external funding.
    • An up-to-date CV
  • A copy of the application will be sent automatically to the applicant’s primary advisor for approval. The advisor will need to write a letter of support to complete the application process. Details will be provided once the application has been submitted.



Reviewers of full proposals will be asked to consider the following review criteria, as well as the advisor’s separate statement:

  • Does the topic of the proposed external fellowship application fall within the remit of the Institute’s mission and/or strategic priorities?
  • Is the applicant’s progress, achievements, and potential likely to meet the criteria for externally funded pre- or post-doctoral fellowships?
  • What is the intellectual merit of the proposal?



If you have trouble with any part of the application process, or you are unsure about eligibility or have questions about budgeting, you can contact or call our Program Assistant, Crystal Mastrangelo at 860-486-4937.