BHAVI 2023 Program
High school, college, and graduate students may apply to participate in the Educational Research Program at the Brain Health Alliance Virtual Institute (BHAVI). As a virtual institute that conducts all meetings by televideo conferencing, BHAVI invites applications from students interested in the BrainIACS disciplines of Brain Imaging And Computing Sciences and Brain Information And Communication Sciences. Student applicants may reside anywhere in the world but must have access to high-speed internet connections and the ability to telecommute and teleconference for participation in the virtual institute programs. Student applicants must be enthusiastic brainiacs who care about solving brain problems with imaging and computing tools and information and communication technologies for promoting brain health and curing brain disease.
The BHAVI Educational Research Program continues throughout the year divided into four quarters by the solstices and equinoxes :
- Winter (Q1) Wed 21 December to Sun 19 March
- Spring (Q2) Mon 20 March to Tue 20 June
- Summer (Q3) Wed 21 June to Fri 22 September
- Autumn (Q4) Sat 23 September to Wed 20 December
Students are required to participate full-time in the summer quarter, but only part-time in the autumn, winter, and spring quarters. During the academic school year, student participants are expected to devote only part-time to the BHAVI program while prioritizing the course work required by their high school, college, or university. Accommodations in the calendar schedule will be made for those students whose academic school year conflicts with the beginning and end dates of the BHAVI summer quarter. Full-time during summer quarter at BHAVI is defined as a 40-hour work week, 8 hours per day during the regular work week schedule Monday through Friday. Students may not be working simultaneously at another company or organization during the full-time summer quarter. Part-time during autumn, winter, and spring quarters at BHAVI is defined as a 20-hour work-week equivalent arranged flexibly according to each student's own independent schedule. Students may not be working simultaneously at another company or organization during the part-time autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Students must demonstrate satisfactory progress in each quarter to continue in the next quarter of the BHAVI program.
Students may choose a research topic related to at least one of the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with potential application to the Brain Health Alliance mission. One or more of the following fields may be considered: mathematics, statistics, computational science and engineering, biomedical signal and image processing, imaging informatics, biomedical informatics, clinical research informatics, digital graphic arts, software user interface engineering, human machine interface engineering, haptics for virtual reality, robotics for prosthetics, biomimicry for biomimetics, web-enabled database engineering, distributed systems, mobile computing and extended reality (XR) computing with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). Students may submit their own proposal for research and work on that project if approved. Otherwise, students will be given a list of research problems from which to choose their primary project for work pursued as individuals. Students will interact with their project mentors and advisors. Students will also be required to interact with each other and devote some of their time to a secondary project for work pursued as a team. Work on research projects will be mentored by BHAVI directors and advisors.
Educational Stipends and Prizes
Funded students who participate and finish all required tasks in BHAVI 2023 will receive the following educational stipends: $5000 for graduate students and $3000 for college students. Students who progress from newbie to rookie status, and who successfully complete a full year of the BHAVI programs, will be eligible for the $2500 Mann Prize, the $2500 Siegler Sisters Prize, or the $2500 Golub Prize. Students who participate in the BHAVI programs for more than a full year, and who progress from rookie to veteran status, will be eligible for the $10,000 Keller Prize. Students at all educational degree levels from high school to graduate school will be considered eligible for the prizes. However, students may be awarded only one prize per year. Prizes will be awarded by BHAVI Directors who will evaluate students' participation, their productive research work, and their contributions to the Brain Health Alliance mission.
Brain Health Alliance does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, citizenship or country of residence. We welcome applications from students of all ages, gender identities, ethnicities, creeds and citizenries regardless of where they reside. BHAVI program directors accept applications from students throughout the entire calendar year. If students meet our eligibility requirements, then they may join at any time during the calendar year.
Prior exposure to brain biology or any of the neurosciences is not a requirement. There will be no wet-lab work. All activities will be computer-based so general familiarity and prior experience with computer software and hardware will be expected. However, students may apply for an exemption with a waiver of this requirement if they can explain their need for educational assistance. Because the educational research program emphasizes work on software and computing, BHAVI will consider applications from students anywhere who have access to high-speed internet connections and the ability to telecommute and teleconference for participation in the virtual institute programs.
College and university students may apply for an educational stipend from BHAVI. Acitivities for funded students will be adjusted appropriately by BHAVI for each student according to their level of education, experience and current computing skills. Students may also apply to participate as volunteers at BHAVI and may receive academic credits for their school's internship or externship program. Activities for non-funded students will be adjusted appropriately by BHAVI for each student according to their school's requirements for obtaining academic credit. In this case, students must designate an appropriate administrative or faculty contact at their school who is responsible for establishing the requirements for the internship or externship program.
High school students may apply for a skills-based learning position in which they pay a tuition fee to BHAVI and earn an attendance certificate with performance evaluation upon satisfactory completion of all educational requirements. A summer tuition fee of $1800 for BHAVI 2023 must be paid in advance prior to the full-time quarter in the summer, and a school-year tuition fee of $1800 must be paid in advance prior to the part-time quarter sequence of autumn, winter, and spring during the academic school year. Students may pay a single fee of $3600 in advance for the entire year. All tuition fees are non-refundable once paid and will be retained as non-refundable donations to BHA in the event that a student resigns from the BHAVI program. Students may apply for an exemption with a waiver of these tuition fees if they can demonstrate their need for financial assistance.
Student applicants should submit a transcript of their course work and a letter expressing their interest, describing their computing skills, and discussing their future career goals in science, engineering, and/or medicine. If applying for a stipend, they should request two letters of recommendation from STEM professors or teachers who can comment on their problem-solving and computing skills. If not applying for a stipend, then only one letter of recommendation is required. Letters of recommendation should be on letterhead stationery from the recommender's organization and should include the telephone number and email address for contacting the recommender with any follow-up questions. Electronic copies of submission materials (preferably in PDF file format) should be emailed to admin@BrainHealthAlliance.net.
If applying for a stipend, applications including letters of reference must be completed and submitted by December 20. Students applying for the educational stipends will be contacted to schedule interviews via televideo as soon as their application is complete. Stipend offers will be emailed to selected applicants on a rolling admissions basis. Commitments from students to accept the stipend and participate in the BHAVI program must be returned within 7 days of receipt of the offer. If not applying for a stipend, there are no application processing dates or deadlines.
Predoctoral students should be enrolled at their graduate school in a Master's or Doctoral program in a STEM field or else enrolled in a medical school studying medicine with an interest in brain disorders. Selected applicants, who demonstrate financial need, may receive $5000 educational stipends as funded students for their participation in BHAVI 2023.
Students should be enrolled at their college with a major in one of the STEM fields. Selected applicants, who demonstrate financial need, may receive $3000 educational stipends as funded students for their participation in BHAVI 2023.
High School Students
Students should be enrolled at their high schools in STEM courses, and be motivated to work on a STEM research project that could be entered in the Regeneron Science Talent Search or Intel International Science and Engineering Fair competitions administered by the Society for Science & the Public. Selected applicants, who demonstrate financial hardship by submitting an additional application for financial aid, may be granted a waiver with exemption from payment of tuition fees. Parents of high school student applicants should not contact BHAVI on behalf of their child. BHAVI programs require student applicants to possess sufficient interest, motivation, and independence to apply on their own accord without parental assistance.