Professional Development

Health Disparities in Neuroscience-related Disorders (HDND) MS Program at Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University Graduate School » Health Disparities in Neuroscience-related Disorders (HDND) MS Program

Annual Health Disparities in Neuroscience Symposium
Each year we hold a one-day Symposium.  Our goals are to expose students to research being performed at Wake Forest and offer a mix of speakers recruited from graduates from the CPTS program and neuroepidemiologists across the country.  Drs. Milligan and Bell have experience in coordinating symposium (e.g., Understanding ALS: current research approaches, 2014; Battered Brains, 2007; Cell Death in Health and Disease, 1999) and anticipate developing a highly interactive series of presentation that will be of interest a diverse array of faculty and students.

Formal Courses
The Neuroscience Program and the MACHE are very dedicated to student development and maximizing their ability to start a successful career upon completion of training.  In addition to the two required courses described above (Presentation and Grant Writing Skills and Career Development Workshops), students will participate in Graduate School sponsored course, Seminars in Professional and Career Development.

GRAD 701 – Seminars in Professional and Career Development: A monthly seminar course, primarily for first-year graduate students, in which invited speakers give a presentation on the training and career development that led them to their current professions.  Typically, there are four speakers per semester from a variety of organizations, such as undergraduate colleges, research institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, law firms, and scientific journal editorial offices.  In addition to the formal presentations, students also have the opportunity to interact with speakers in smaller groups over lunch and in other informal settings. Each student is required to write a short paper at the end of the semester describing a career track, other than the one for which they are currently training, and their plan for becoming a competitive job applicant in that area.

National Meetings
Additionally, students will be urged to attend one national meeting relevant to their research project and career goals each year (e.g., Society for Neuroscience, International Society for Hypertension in Blacks, the NIMHD’s Health Disparity Conference).

Individual Development Plan
A critical component for student development and mentoring will be the Individual Development Plan.  Upon entering the program, all students will complete the Science/AAAS MyIDP available on line (  Upon completion, the student will review the results with the program directors.  This resource is targeted for PhD students, but the results will help us identify students already with the goal of moving onto a PhD program and to ensure that all students are made aware of the option and career opportunities available with the PhD.  This free-access online tool allows one to identify interests, values and skills.  It also has a career exploration, goal setting and implementation tools.  Students will be required to re-evaluate their IDP at the end of each semester and discuss results with the Program Directors.  We have chosen to use this resource because we feel it will allow students a more objective evaluation for students in terms of individual career development.  The IDP does not substitute for regular meetings to evaluate student progress specific to the program.