Neurobiological Engineering Training & Certificate Programs
Program Description & Application Instructions

The MIT Neurobiological Engineering Training Program (NBETP) and associated Certificate Program (NBECP) aim to equip high quality students with outstanding expertise and leadership ability at the intersection of basic neuroscience and engineering. Students are selected from existing MIT graduate programs according to interests and research potential, and will participate for a minimum of two years. Special effort will be made to accept early stage students with risky and ambitious neurotechnology projects. An NIH-funded T32 grant will support NBETP students (four per year, US citizens and permanent residents only) during their first year of the training program, and will provide both stipend and funds to support professional travel. Additional NBECP students including independent fellowship holders will be able to participate without T32 funding, but with the benefits and recognition that come from inclusion in the combined program. All admitted students will earn a Certificate in Neurobiological Engineering following completion of their degree and fulfillment of six NBETP/CP requirements:

  1. Complete the core class 9.123J Neurotechnology in Action. We recommend that this course be taken as early as possible, even prior to joining the program, as it offers exposure to a broad cross-section of neurobiological engineering research at MIT.
  2. Complete a distribution requirement in neuroscience and engineering, consisting of neuroscience subjects 9.011 Systems Neuroscience, 9.013J Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Core I, and any two of the following engineering courses: 2.715J Optical Microscopy and Spectroscopy for Biology and Medicine, 6.021J Cellular Neurophysiology and Computing, 20.405J Principles of Synthetic Biology, 20.463J Biomaterials Science & Engineering, and 20.554J Frontiers in Chemical Biology. Substitutions are also considered; please justify if proposed.
  3. Form a thesis committee that includes joint expertise in neuroscience and engineering, and including at least one CNBE faculty member.
  4. Complete one-week training in the responsible conduct of research, IAP subject 9.901.
  5. Participate in an annual retreat, as well as other NBETP-associated activities.
  6. Contribute to organizing and hosting two annual conferences at MIT, including a neurotechnology methods conference and a workshop focused on scientific or practical applications of neuroengineering.

Additional elective subjects related to neurotechnology beyond the core and distribution requirements are encouraged, and may be specified on the cover sheet. Current electives include:2.710 Optics, 3.46 Photonic Materials & Devices, 6.374 Analysis & Design of Digital Integrated Circuits, 9.014 Quantitative Methods and Computational Models in Neuroscience, 9.015J Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Core II, 9.073J Statistics for Neuroscience Research, 9.422J Principles of Neuroengineering, 9.455J Revolutionary Ventures, 10.562J Pioneering Technologies for Interrogating Complex Biological Systems, 20.409 Biological Engineering II: Instrumentation & Measurement, 20.410J Molecular, Cellular, & Tissue Biomechanics, 20.430J Fields, Forces, & Flows in Biological Systems, HST.563 Imaging Biophysics and Clinical Applications, HST.580J Data Acquisition & Image Reconstruction in MRI, HST.582J Biomedical Signal & Image Processing, HST.583 Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Data Acquisition & Analysis, HST.584J Magnetic Resonance Analytic, Biochemical, & Imaging Techniques.

To apply to the NBETP and/or NBECP programs, please submit the following materials:

  • A. The attached cover sheet, filled out and signed by applicant and applicant’s advisor.
  • B. Applicant’s MIT transcript.
  • C. Applicant’s CV (≤ 2 pages, NIH biosketch format preferred).
  • D. A letter of support from the applicant’s MIT advisor.
  • E. A 1-2 page (single spaced, 11-12 point font) statement describing proposed dissertation research in neurotechnology, emphasizing innovative characteristics and impact on neuroscience or neuromedicine. Also include a 1 paragraph summary of applicant’s career plan.

Please organize the materials in order into a single PDF file, with filename beginning with the applicant’s last name, and submit this electronically to Darlene Ray ( by July 12th, 2019. Applicants will be considered NBETP/CP faculty and informed of decisions in August, 2019.

We gratefully acknowledge the NIH National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering for primary support of the NBETP program, through grant number T32 EB019940.