Long-term impact of intensive postgraduate laboratory training at the Cold Spring Harbor Neurobiology of Drosophila summer course Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • AbstractIntensive postgraduate courses provide an opportunity for junior and senior level scientists to learn concepts and techniques that will advance their training and research programs. It is commonly assumed that short intensive courses have positive impacts within fields of research; however, these assumptions are rarely tested. Here we describe the framework of a long running postgraduate summer course at Cold Spring Harbor and attempt to quantify the impact made over its history. For over three decades, the Drosophila Neurobiology: Genes, Circuits & Behavior Summer Course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories (CSHL) has provided participants with intense instruction on a wide variety of topics and techniques in integrative neuroscience using Drosophila as a model organism. Students are introduced to the latest approaches for studying nervous system development, activity and connectivity, as well as complex behaviors and diseases. The course has a long history of successful alumni, many of whom describe participation in the course as foundational to their training. Student surveys of recent participants indicate a high level of satisfaction, improved career outcomes, and direct impact on publications. Analysis of student success reveals that over 64% of participants obtain independent faculty positions. Further, we describe ongoing efforts to enhance diversity and encourage access to scientific research at undergraduate-focused institutions. Together, our findings suggest that laboratory-intensive postgraduate courses provide a highly effective mechanism for scientific training that has lasting positive impacts on trainees.

altmetric score

  • 38.564

author list (cited authors)

  • Ly, S., Kaun, K., Lee, C., Stewart, D., Pulver, S. R., & Keene, A. C.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Ly, Sarah||Kaun, Karla||Lee, Chi-Hon||Stewart, David||Pulver, Stefan R||Keene, Alex C

Book Title

  • bioRxiv

publication date

  • July 2018