NETP provides comprehensive and innovative training opportunities. To enhance their graduate school experience, trainees participate in a wide array of activities. These are listed in the table below, followed by descriptions of each program activity in subsequent text.

Co-curricular Program

Training Provided

NETP Seminar

Medical needs, biological basis of disease, standard-of-care, translational processes, emerging therapies, regulatory considerations

TNE Student Journal Club

Professional Communication, Critical Review, Rigorous statistical analysis, Experimental Design

NETP Annual Symposium

Professional Communication, current research, meeting organization

BIONIC (NETP Student Group)

Mentorship, Professional Communication and Networking, Community Outreach

Statistics workshop

Rigorous statistical analysis, Experimental Design

NETP Seminars provide training on fundamental disease mechanisms and translational processes in a format targeted for neural engineering and in a manner that encourages trainees participation.  External speakers include academic, industry, and government scientists or regulatory specialists. Internal speakers include NETP faculty, post-doctoral trainees, and clinical trainees from NETP labs. Topics include:

  • Neural engineering research talks
  • Clinical practice and the current “standard-of-care” for neurological disorders and other conditions that are targets for treatment with a bioelectronic intervention
  • Best practices for professional communication
  • Neuroscience of human disease
  • Case studies of clinical trials of neural engineering interventions, considering both those that met and failed to meet defined endpoints
  • Regulatory considerations for neuromodulation therapies

TNE Student Journal Club is an established, weekly meeting that has met continuously since 2012. The meeting is organized by a senior graduate student or postdoc in a NETP lab. Graduate students and post-docs present recent research papers or their own research. This provides an opportunity for the presenter to field questions about a topic from their peers and faculty.

The annual NETP symposium is organized and run by trainees, with guidance provided by NETP leadership. Trainees invite an external, keynote speaker and recruit internal speakers, some of whom are senior graduate students or post-docs in NETP labs.


The student group BIONIC holds social/learning events for trainees, including the events below.

  • Faculty coffee chats: Invited faculty members to discuss their paths through academia, give advice for career building, and give trainees opportunities to network with a broader group of faculty.
  • Lunch w/ non-traditional path PhDs: Hosted lunches with individuals with PhDs who pursued less common paths following doctoral studies (e.g. academic administration, biomedical sales, consulting).
  • Vendor show: Hosted a vendor show with the sales representatives from many Ann Arbor-based biomedical companies to provide research interactions and networking opportunities.
  • Ethics lunches: Hosted monthly lunches with faculty guests about the bioethical implications of the research activity in UM labs.
  • Research Day: Hosted a day-long celebration of the past year’s research consisting of scientific talks (from students, post-docs, and faculty), a career panel (consisting of a professor, consultant, sales representative, and administrator), a microposter symposium, and a social hour.

Statistics Workshop

The goal of this workshop is to instill trainees with the depth and breadth of statistical understanding necessary for them to appropriately apply statistical approaches as their experimental repertoire changes. Trainees will contribute their own data as use cases to demonstrate statistical methods applied to neural engineering data. Although trainees will have learned graduate level statistics in their first-year statistics course, regular reinforcement of fundamental concepts is critical to making statistical analysis a core competency. Thus, the first four days of the workshop will reinforce fundamental design and statistical concepts, reasoning, and tools, through a two-hour lecture followed by student presentations of their research in relation to what is presented on the same day. The fifth day will be reserved for a more advanced statistical topics that may differ each year. The topic on the fifth day will be selected by surveying the NETP trainees and their mentors to meet their needs. Guest lecturers who are statistical experts in the relevant area will be invited.