Inaugural SCGB 2021 Bridge to Independence Fellows Announced

The Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain (SCGB) is pleased to announce its inaugural class of Bridge to Independence (BTI) fellows.

The SCGB’s BTI Award program supports talented early-career scientists in systems and computational neuroscience as they transition to research independence by providing grant funding at the start of their professorships. Fellows are selected while in postdoctoral training positions and receive a commitment of $495,000 over three years, activated upon assumption of a tenure-track professorship. The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) created the Simons Foundation’s first BTI Award program in 2015, and the SCGB launched its own BTI Award this year. The program’s selection process is designed to enhance the BTI fellow’s job prospects by specifying the SCGB’s financial commitment contingent upon successful transition to a tenure-track research faculty position.

SCGB's inaugural Bridge to Independence Fellows. Clockwise from top left: Osama Ahmed, Rebecca Jordan, Cindy Poo and Agostina Palmigiano.

The awardees are Osama Ahmed, currently at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, Rebecca Jordan, currently at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland, Agostina Palmigiano, currently at the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia University in New York City, and Cindy Poo, currently at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal.

“I am excited to join a community of researchers with whom I share a perspective on how to approach brain research and whose work has been such an inspiration to me,” Palmigiano says. “This fellowship is a unique opportunity not only to start my line of independent research but to rapidly expand my scientific horizons, with the ultimate goal of achieving a more holistic understanding of the brain.”

SCGB BTI fellows are selected through a highly competitive process which includes review by the SCGB scientific staff and executive committee. Assessments are based on the applicant’s potential as a successful independent investigator and the potential merit and impact of their proposed project.

“We’re excited to support early-career investigators as they transition to start their own research groups,” says SCGB Director David Tank. “The four inaugural SCGB BTI fellows are studying the neural coding and dynamics underlying decision-making, sensorimotor control, spatial navigation and internal states. They will be outstanding additions to the SCGB scientific community.”

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