The midterm
The students will choose between writing either a review or a grant proposal

The review and grant should not be more than 5 pages (single spaced not including references). Either manuscript should stress novel and creative ideas about the material presented in class. The review should not be a simple rewrite of published reviews. It should instead expand on a new insight or perspective in one of the themes presented in class.

The grant proposal should focus on the next step of one of the subjects presented in class. It should include a summary with an outline of specific aims of the experiments proposed, an introduction with the background for the experimental plan, and a section with a summary of the experiments proposed (they should be feasible experiments based on published methods).

Here is a general guideline for the grant proposal:
1/2 page for an abstract with clearly outlined specific aims (may no be advisable to have more than 3 aims).
1 page introduction where you tell the reader why the topic is interesting and important and why the previous work leads to the questions posed in the proposal.
3 pages description of the experiments proposed, including specific hypothesis tested by each key experiment and possible alternative interpretations of the results.
1/2 page where you discuss possible problems with the proposed experiments and how you would get around them.

The final

There is a take home final exam


Please write no more than a page single page for each of the questions below. Remember to have fun with this exam!

1- A company recruits you as a consultant: They want to know where to invest in research and development (R&D) of novel neuroscience approaches for rodents. As a renowned neuroscience expert in learning and memory, they would like your opinion on future directions for this field. What types of new technologies would make the most impact in learning and memory? The company has teams of physicists, engineers, chemists, etc., all devoted to innovation. You do not have to be specific with details: Instead the company is looking for big picture advise and ideas for what is needed in learning and memory. Please write a brief report for the company.

2- After one of the lectures in the course, you come up with an exciting idea that brings together research in that professor’s laboratory and your own interests. You are so excited that you decide to email the professor and propose to write a collaborative grant. Please, write that email summarizing your ideas and convincing the professor to collaborate with you.

3- The Dean of a new University comes to you, an expert in Learning and Memory, for advise concerning a new program in Learning and Memory at the University. The University has decided to develop a state of the art program and they need your advise on what common learning and memory core facilities to develop (core facilities help labs with techniques that are widely used; For example, a behavioral core facility helps researchers carry out behavioral experiments). Please write a report summarizing and explaining your vision for the cores the department should have.

4- Nature Magazine contacts you because they are writing a feature article on the most important advances in learning and memory in the last 3 years. They contacted a few leading neuroscientists for comments and they very much want your opinion. You decide to write about three exciting discoveries in the last three years that had a considerable impact in the neuroscience of learning and memory. Please write that email to Nature Magazine.

5- Please, describe the thing you learned in the course, that will have the greatest impact in future research of learning and memory, and why.