Harvard Summer Program in Mind/Brain Sciences

IX edition

The deadline to submit applications is 23 March 2018
Versione stampabile

The Harvard Summer Program in Mind/Brain Sciences is an initiative of the Harvard Mind/Brain/Behavior (MBB) Interfaculty Initiative and the Harvard Summer School in collaboration with the University of Trento. This eight-week program enrolls American and Italian students and provides a unique opportunity to study neuroscience at the Center of Mind/Brain Science (CIMeC), University of Trento.


During the Summer Program students obtain credits eligible to be recognized by the Faculty Council of their University: it is the student's duty to request that these credits be recognized at his/her own University. Students can choose to follow the whole program: an introductory course (MBB S-101), and an in-depth course of study which constitutes the second part of the program (MBB S-93). The option of attending half of the program by following one of the two courses is also available. All courses are in English and all classes are held at Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, Trento Mattarello, Italy.

MBB S-101: Windows into the Structure of the Mind and Brain, Alfonso Caramazza & John A. Assad

UN Limited enrollment.

The mind/brain can be studied at multiple levels of description and with various methodologies. The course reviews methods from psycholinguistics perception and language processing to neuroimaging, and from computational modeling to cellular and clinical neuroscience. Each method is illustrated through laboratory demonstrations. This course is mandatory for all program participants, and it is meant to provide the neuroscience and cognitive science foundation necessary to explore specific topics in the field.

Prerequisite: none

MBB S-93: Neuroeconomics, Giorgio Coricelli

UN Limited enrollment.

Economists have produced remarkable theories describing how people make decisions, but, until recently, their approach treated the human brain as a "black box." The introduction of neuroscience tools (brain imaging, neuropsychological studies, single-cell recording) and the discovery of evidence about the importance of emotional and social states in economic decision making are revealing new perspectives in the field of behavioral economics. This new discipline combines economics, psychology, and neuroscience in order to study decision making in individual and social contexts. Students learn about economic decision-making principles (e.g., choice under risk and uncertainty, intertemporal choices, bargaining, cooperation, and competition); lectures and laboratory sessions cover contemporary theories of behavioral economics as well as the application of methods from neuroscience (e.g., single-cell recording, fMRI, TMS) to the study of decision making.

Prerequisite: none.


The School is intended for student enrolled, without exception in a three-year degree (2nd or 3rd year “Triennale”) or Master (1st year “Specialistica”) of an Italian University. Enrollment is possible for the complete program (2 courses) or half the program (1 course).

Courses are in English a proper understanding of the language is important; ideally a certification is useful to understand if the English level is enough to follow the program. Selected students will be invited for a Skype interview for this purpose.

The application window will be from January 23 to March 23, 2018. Admissions decisions will be announced by April 30. The maximum number of Italian participants is 5 and all applicants will be informed by e-mail about the results.

Students interested in participating at the Summer School are encouraged to fill out the application form and are asked to submit a Personal statement describing their interests in the area, their relevant coursework, their affiliation/interest in mind/brain sciences and to produce the transcript of grades. . Students are requested to provide two letters of recommendation in English that have to be sent directly by each recommender to harvardtrento [at] gmail.com (subject: Harvard%20Summer%20School%202017) .

The complete cost depends on the selected program (complete or half) and includes course material, accommodation, meals, extra-curricular activities. 

Financial aid is available, according to the ISEE indicator. The completed application form is available in the download box and must be submitted with the application. For further information on costs and scholarships available write to hss [at] cimec.unitn.it

The completed documents have to be sent to the address: HSS- CIMeC, via delle Regole 101, 38123 Trento Mattarello (TN) and must be received within the deadline.

Key information

  • Applicants must be enrolled, without exception, in a three-year degree (2nd or 3rd year) or Master (1st year), Italian University.
  • Enrollment is possible for the complete program (2 courses) or half program (1 course).
  • Students with disabilities should contact the organizational office as soon as possible.
  • Financial aid is available.
  • Two Letters of recommendation must be written in English and sent separately, directly by recommenders to harvardtrento [at] gmail.com (subject: Harvard%20Summer%20School%202017)
  • The application form and financial aid form must be sent to the address: HSS- CIMeC, via delle Regole 101, 38123 Trento Mattarello (TN) and must be received within the deadline
  • Application deadline is March 23, 2018