Neuroscience Graduate Education Committee (GEC) Bylaws


The Neuroscience Graduate Education Committee (GEC) is the faculty committee responsible for monitoring the academic activities of the graduate trainees as they progress through the Neuroscience program. This includes assigning faculty mentors during the initial rotation period, approving the student advisory committee (SAC), monitoring student progress and mediating mentor conflict, and evaluating the defensibility of a dissertation. The GEC also regularly reviews the content and rigor of Neuroscience courses and appoints course directors, recommending changes as needed.

GEC membership

The Chair of the GEC is typically a director of one of the major Graduate Neuroscience courses and is appointed by the Chair of the Department of Neuroscience (Neuro Chair), who is an ad hoc committee member. At least 4 members of the GEC must be course directors. Membership is discussed at least once per year, with changes recommended as needed, and new members are approved by unanimous vote.

Responsibilities of the GEC

  • The GEC meets typically once per month to discuss student progress, neuroscience courses, and other departmental and programmatic matters.
  • The GEC determines the courses required for students in the Department of Neuroscience.
  • The GEC assigns faculty mentors to new incoming neuroscience students. Faculty mentors help students select lab rotations and navigate the first year.
  • The GEC must approve all new student advisory committees (SAC).
  • The GEC recommends directors for the main Neuroscience Courses (Principles of Neuroscience I and Principles of Neuroscience II) to the Neuro Chair. The GEC discusses and approves other courses offered by the department of Neuroscience.
  • The GEC reviews SAC meeting notes to monitor committee concerns and to evaluate student progress.
  • The GEC works to ensure that SAC meetings are held on time.
  • The GEC may suggest changes to SAC membership and will meet with students and mentors if SAC concerns are not being addressed.
  • The GEC will intervene in cases of student/mentor conflict. In cases of substantial and unaddressed concerns regarding student progress, the GEC may recommend adding or changing mentors.
  • The GEC advises the Neuro Chair regarding the defensibility of a student thesis. Following receipt of the thesis, the GEC chair will assign a group of three GEC members to read and evaluate the written document. Reviewers present the work to the full GEC for evaluation and two thirds majority is required for approval.