Get Involved
One of the best resources we have to fuel our research comes from the generous and visionary support of people like you – people who share our quest to improve the quality of learning for children. There are many ways to get involved, whether it be in the form of giving, research participation, or working in the lab!
Research Participation
Precision Learning (PrecL) Center

The Preciscion Learning Center (PrecL Center) is a new, innovative and cross-disciplinary ‘Precision Ed-Health’ center that started in 2017. PrecL consists of faculty and students from 6 UC campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, LA, Merced, SF) and Standord, with experts in medicine, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, statistics, education, bilingualism, and policy.
Our central mission is to tackle issues associated with education and health disparity with a particular emphasis on underrepresented populations, through high quality services, training, advocacy and research programs. The ultimate goal is to provide the best educational and health outcomes for ALL children regardless of their background.

We are looking to partner with schools, school districts, or other community organizations who work with children grades K-2 of lower socio-economic status or who are English Language Learners (ELLs). If you are interested in partnering with us on this exciting, important, and innovative mission, click the email link below:

Contact us! ➞
Family Brain Program

You know where your eye color and height came from, but do you wonder where your reading and language abilities came from? How are we shaped by our genes, environment and the complex interplay between them? Our research team at the University of California, San Francisco is tackling this problem for the first time using the latest, non-invasive neuroscience approaches. This program helps scientists disentangle genetic, prenatal, and postnatal environmental influences in brain networks underlying cognitive processes. Ultimately, this research will help us understand how we become the way we are.

This is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn about the cognitive traits of you, your partner, and your children, while helping to study some of the most intriguing mysteries of the human brain.

We are inviting families with a child born through assistive reproductive technology (ART) or natural conception (ages 5-12) to join a program that offers comprehensive information about their child’s cognitive abilities and a brain scan at no cost. Your participation will also help families by advancing scientific understanding of the effects of nature and nurture on cognitive, linguistic, emotional and academic development. Click to participate:

Participate in this study ➞
Learning Success Program

We are currently offering an exciting and limited opportunity at no cost for families with incoming kindergarteners. If your child is eligible, we will monitor progress of your child’s language, cognitive and motivational skills in detail every year from kindergarten to third grade, and provide information about strategies to (and in some cases tools that may) strengthen them. We are offering this opportunity for children who are planning to go to SFUSD Spanish or Cantonese immersion programs (or General Ed English programs). More broadly, we hope that the findings from this study will be helpful in planning better instruction for bilingual children.

Read More ➞
UCSF Dyslexia Center

The mission of the UCSF Dyslexia Center is to eliminate the debilitating effects of developmental dyslexia while preserving and even enhancing the relative strengths of each individual. In addition, the center aims to develop best practice protocols to implement individualized interventions in classrooms throughout the country.

Learn about opportunities to participate in research to help improve diagnosis and tools for people with dyslexia by clicking the link below.

Get Involved ➞
Full-time Research Assistant at UConn BIRC

The Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut (UConn) seeks a highly independent and
motivated full-time research assistant (RA) to support a foundation funded research project that is focused on socioemotional competencies in those with learning disabilities including dyslexia. The successful candidates will have the opportunity to be involved in other federally and non-federally funded-research projects in the brainLENS laboratory, gain experience in grant and manuscript writing and large-scale project management, outreach and community engagement projects, and access to a wealth of archival developmental and longitudinal behavioral and neuroimaging data on language, literacy and socio-emotional competencies. This is a one-year position with a high likelihood of renewal.

Read the Full Job Ad Here ➞
MRI Volunteer Assistant

Interested in joining our research team and administering assessments to children?
brainLENS (Hoeft Laboratory for Learning Engineering and Neural Systems, at
UCSF combines cutting edge, interdisciplinary research methods with a deep passion for
maximizing children’s potential in life. UCSF is a premier biomedical research institution, ranked second in the world for Neuroscience and Behavior by US News. UCSF brainLENS currently runs two studies:
- Learning Success Program (, evaluating language, cognitive,
and brain development in children in immersion and general education schools K-3rd Grade.
- Family Brain Program (, studying heritability of literacy, math, and cognitive brain networks in children and their parents.

We are in need of individuals to assist with MRI data collection on the weekends in Spring 2019. MRI assistants will administer fMRI training and assessments to young children, and support the scanning process. This is an excellent opportunity for those who are enthusiastic about: (1) working with children and their families, (2) learning more about neuroimaging and cognitive tasks, and (3) being involved in cutting edge interdisciplinary research.

Requirements: Availability on weekends, approximately 16 hours/month; Ability to commute to San Francisco; Must be able to start April 2019 for training.

If interested, please send your CV and a cover letter outlining your interests to with “[MRI Assistant] [Your Name] Application” in the subject line. Candidates may be asked to come in for interviews and provide letters of recommendation as next steps. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Read More about the Learning Success Program ➞
One Full-Time IT Staff Position @ UCONN brainLENS-East (Storrs, CT)

We are inviting applications for the position of Technical Support Consultant (Computer Technical Support Consultant 2, UCP VII) at Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC). This is a full-time, non-tenure track, renewable position with a yearly contract. UConn recently opened the 3,200 square foot neuroimaging center, dedicated to cognitive neuroscience research. The IT staff will support the computing infrastructure needs of BIRC’s day-to-day operations, by providing computing and information technology support services internally and to the BIRC community.

Interested candidates should view the full qualifications, application instructions, and description below.

Read Full Ad for Open Positions Here ➞
Neuroscience Exploration Week
Frequently Asked Questions

What is Neuroscience Exploration Week?
Each June, brainLENS-West offers a week-long summer internship opportunity for undergraduate students during our Neuroscience Exploration Week. This week offers students exposure to research and to the fields of neuroscience, education, psychology, and medicine.

How is Neuroscience Exploration Week unique?
Spending the week at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) provides the opportunity for students to get involved at a premier biomedical research institution. Over the course of the week, students will learn about our lab’s work and gain exposure to a wide range of relevant topics including conducting literature review, medical ethics, neuroimaging, neuropsychological assessment, and more!

What do students do during Exploration Week?
The schedule and specific workshops change from year to year, but here is a sample of the kind of events students will have the opportunity to attend or participate in:
• Sheep brain dissection and introduction to neuroscience
• Introduction to neuroimaging and fMRI
• Tour of various labs at UCSF relevant to education, neuroscience, and neuroimaging
The week culminates in a unique opportunity for students to present their own projects on neuroimaging analyses guided and mentored by members of the brainLENS lab.
See below for a link to a sample schedule.

How can I apply for this experience?
Applications for Summer 2018 (June 11 – June 15) have closed.
Applications for Summer 2019 will open September 1, 2018 and close March 1, 2019. Specific instructions for applications will be posted at that time. Students who are underrepresented in STEM fields (such as students with documented disabilities or first-generation college students) are particularly encouraged to apply.
The application cycle for Neuroscience Exploration Week 2019 has now ended.

What is the application process after I apply, and what criteria are considered?
After you submit your application, you should expect to receive an email confirming receipt of your application within 48 hours. Someone may then reach out to schedule a phone or Skype interview, and letters of reference may be requested. All applicants will be notified by March 15, 2019. In evaluating your application, we consider applicants’ intellectual curiosity, goals related to STEM fields, and level of interest in the program. Anywhere from 4-6 students are accepted each year.

Do I need to attend for the full week?
Yes, you must be available to attend each day of the week from approximately 9:00am until 5:00pm or your application will not be considered. Dates for the internship week are typically announced by February of that year, but the week traditionally falls in the second week of June.

Click Here for a Sample Schedule of Neuroscience Exploration Week ➞
Support Neuroscience Exploration Week!

(For UCSF Faculty & Staff) Offer a tour
We are always looking for more unique and exciting opportunities for our summer interns to gain exposure to other labs at UCSF. If you are a PI, Postdoc, or Research Associate, and you would like to offer our students a tour or demo at your lab, please reach out to us at

Sponsor a Student (Suggested Donation of $100)
Student sponsorship is a meaningful way to get involved in our summer internship opportunity. BrainLENS continues to encourage all students to apply regardless of their background or identity, and it is important for this opportunity to be accessible for all students. Your donation will help cover the cost of student transportation, materials for the week (e.g. sheep brains for dissection experience), and tour demo costs (e.g. MRI scanning time).

To Sponsor a Student, Visit Our Donation Page Here ➞
Program Graduates

Cohort 2018
Zev Barasch
Tiffany Chen
Sam Grillo
Joel Hernandez
Chloe LeBlanc
Nikki Solanki

Cohort 2017
Alicia Leong
Alexis Metcalfe
Fleming Peck
Donya Zarrinnegar

Cohort 2016
Haley Friesch
Hannah McGowan
Keertana Namuduri
Denna Nazeem
Meera Santhanam
Rachel Solomon

See About page for full list of lab alumni ➞
Reading Strategies Program
Reading Strategies Program

What is this program about?
This program aims to understand reading strategies in young adults with and without histories of dyslexia (a.k.a. reading disorder/disability [RD]).

What is involved?
• Visits to UConn Storrs campus BIRC (Phillips Bldg.)
• Participate in safe, non-invasive brain imaging sessions
• Receive cognitive/language/reading assessments, and answer questionnaires

Benefits to You:
• Compensation of $12/hour – Earn up to $150 plus
reimbursement of travel (if needed)
• Report of your neuropsychological assessments
• Opportunity to get a free picture of your brain
• You will help contribute to a better understanding of reading and dyslexia
• Free professional development or student seminar of your choice about learning disabilities, dyslexia, promoting resilience and compensatory skills
• Potential internship opportunities available

Please see the attached pdf for more information. To Sign Up click HERE.

Read the Full Ad Here ➞