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CPIN Undergraduate Mentorship Program

The CPIN Undergraduate Mentorship Program is an initiative that provides senior undergraduate students who are keen on applying to graduate programs in neuroscience the opportunity to learn about the application process, receive advice on funding opportunities and support from their graduate student peers. The program runs from September 2017 – April 2018, and will include workshops in writing personal statements, preparing a CV, scholarship applications, interview skills, and more. 

Mentorship Program Website: http://cpinmentorship.wordpress.com

Click here to sign up to be a Undergraduate Student Mentee

Previous Events:

CPIN Undergraduate Mentorship Grant Writing Workshop Report

The CPIN Undergraduate Mentorship Program hosted its second event of the year, the Grant Writing Workshop,on Wednesday, November 21, 2018. The workshop was open to all students interested in learning more about the graduate application process, and was held from 4 – 5 pm at University College (Room 152). Executive members Aeen Amini, Jon Chio, Chantel Kowalchuk, Claire McSweeny, Joe Steinman, Anna Vasilevskaya, Raymond Wong, and Marija Zivcevska contributed to the preparation and execution of this event.

The Workshop kicked off with a brief presentation by Claire, Marija, and Anna that introduced the sources of available funding for undergraduate students applying to graduate school, and how to structure research proposals. Students were encouraged to come with rough drafts of their proposals. In the following interactive session, students divided into small groups to discuss their proposals with one of the Executive members. Students who did not prepare a draft proposal used this opportunity to have their specific graduate school questions answered.

An assortment of refreshments, prepared by Aeen, was served. The Workshop was well-received, with the majority of students staying past the official ending time of 5 pm. It was a great event for the Mentorship Program to wrap up Fall 2018!

(Event report by Raymond Wong)

CPIN Undergraduate Mentorship Panel Event Report 

On Thursday, October 18, the CPIN Undergraduate Mentorship Program hosted its first event of the year, the Graduate Student Q&A Panel. It was held from 5 – 6 pm in the Medical Sciences Building, Room 2170.

The Event featured a Graduate student panel that fielded numerous Grad school-related questions from an undergraduate audience. Questions covered the Grad school application process, life as a research student, selecting a PI, scholarship applications, interview prep, and more! Five CPIN students served as panelists: Jon Chio (PhD candidate, IMS and CPIN Mentorship Program Executive); Azin Esmaelbeigi (MSc candidate, Medical Biophysics); Dr. Zach Hall (Postdoc, Cell & Systems Biology); Claire McSweeny (MSc candidate, IMS); and Lindsey Thurston (PhD candidate, Psychology). Following the panel, there was a Networking and Mixing event with pizza and refreshments served. The undergraduates had the opportunity to interact informally with the panelists and the CPIN Director, Dr. Zhong-Ping Feng. CPIN Mentorship Executive members Aeen Amini, Joe Steinman, Raymond Wong, and Marija Zivcevska were present to help coordinate the evening. The event was a real success, with a number of the students staying well past the official ending time of 6:00. It was a great start to the Mentorship Program for the 2018/2019 year!

There was an important by-product to the evening’s success and its preparations. The event was heavily publicized by the Mentorship Executive via numerous posters around the U of T campus, Facebook posts, Twitter, and twice on the undergraduate department listservs. In addition to registering for the Panel, many undergraduates simultaneously registered as mentees for the program. Mentees receive a CPIN Graduate student mentor that provides advice throughout the Graduate application process. Given their interest in neuroscience, a number of these undergraduates may serve as CPIN students and executives in the future. As October 18 approached, more and more undergraduates registered as mentees. The process of matching mentees with mentors is underway, and the Executive is really looking forward to the next workshop! 

(Event report by Joe Steinman)