Community Outreach

Public Awareness & Outreach Programs

A major role of the Neuroscience Initiative is to share the messages of brain health, safety, and the importance of neuroscience research to the public and community.

Brain Awareness Week

teaching students

Each year, the Neuroscience Initiative hosts Brain Awareness Week. Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a worldwide campaign organized by the Society for Neuroscience and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives to elevate public awareness about the benefits of brain research.

U of U Program in Neuroscience graduate students have brought BAW to the Wasatch Front every March since 1997. Over time, the University of Utah's Brain Awareness activities have expanded to include year-round events.

Request a Brain Awareness Week Event For Your School or Community Organization

Schools and community organizations are invited to request a neuroscience outreach visit by University of Utah Brain Awareness volunteers.

Note the following requirements:
  1. The school or community organization must be located in the Salt Lake City metro area;
  2. You must reserve a minimum of two hours for any visit;
  3. You must make sure a single room large enough to accommodate the planned activities and attendance is available; and
  4. Your school or community organization must provide supervision (e.g. a teacher must stay in the room at all times).

Unfortunately, due to timing and funding constraints, we are unable to accommodate every request.


2015-2017 Brain Awareness efforts are sponsored by the Eskuche Foundation, Castle Foundation, Medtronic, the Neuroscience Initiative at the University of Utah, and the Dana Alliance.

We thank our sponsors for their generous support.


Name: Christie Wnukowski

Brain Bee

brain bee logo

Brain Bee is an annual neuroscience competition for high school students with the aim of inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders. It consists of a competitive neuroscience-focused exam, lab tours, and Q&A with diverse members of the graduate school community. The SLC Brain Bee is hosted by the University of Utah and is free to students wishing to participate. Prizes included qualifying for the International Brain Bee competition and summer laboratory research experience.

competition still

2018 Winners

  • 1st Place: Viviana Tovar
  • 2nd Place: Karli Jenkins
  • 3rd Place: Sandra Paz

The 2019 SLC Brain Bee will be held on Saturday Feb 23rd.

To learn more or register, visit the SLC Brain Bee website.


Name: Ariadne Penalva

Lending Library at University of Utah

Our lending library at University of Utah has a wide variety of models, books, movies, activities, and lesson plans—all about the brain. These resources are free for any educator or volunteer in the Salt Lake Metro area.
The lending library is generously sponsored by the Castle Foundation, the Eskuche Foundation, and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.


Name: Ariadne Penalva

Events Calendar

Upcoming Events

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Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Director, Neuroscience Initiative

Contact Us
Neuroscience Initiative
383 Colorow, Room 307
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Sean Flynn, PhD
Associate Director, Neuroscience Initiative