Clinical Neuroscience Internship Experience (CNI-X)

Clinical Neuroscience Internship Experience (CNI-X) at Stanford University

The Clinical Neuroscience Internship Experience (CNI-X) at Stanford University is an intensive two-week summer program following the sophomore, junior, or senior years in high school.  Interns are introduced to the amazing breadth of research found in the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  Packed back-to-back are sessions and lab trips seeing how creativity is visualized with brain waves, miniature human brains are grown in dishes, apps and virtual reality are treating eating disorders,  cognition is studied in flight simulators, psychiatric testimony supports human rights at the World Court, and more.  Interactive seminars introduce the students to the principles of neuroscience, neuropsychiatric diagnosis, neuropsychological testing, and psychiatric epidemiology.  An adaptive and agile mind is encouraged as one session plumbs the intricacies of neuroscience, while the next involves diagnosis of a neuropsychiatric syndrome from a video, and then the following inspires one to find “flow” in one’s life.  Much of the material is clearly at a collegiate or higher level.

These hours of experiential and interactive learning with highly acclaimed faculty and researchers are complemented by homework assignments including written reflections on 13 relevant TED talks, articles, and attendance at a Stanford scientific poster session.  Self-reflection and self-directed learning are emphasized with independent inquiry assignments asking for students to write about their learning objectives and career goals and to draft a curriculum vitae.  Each student creates a project, often in a team, to self-express some lesson taken from the internship that is verbally presented at a final capstone session for themselves and their families.  The experience is fast paced, intense, challenging, creative, and bonding for the students.   Crucial to the internship is the intelligence, creativity, and curiosity of the interns themselves.  They all chose this intensive experience in clinical neuroscience, but their career aspirations are diverse, including law, sociology, medicine, psychology, engineering, business, and fine arts.

Interns complete online training relating to compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) relating to the protection of protected health information and with the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) relating to the protection of human research subjects.  These are the same training often required of Stanford clinical and research professionals and result in certificates of completion.

Examples of topics and activities

  • The NIRS Laboratory
  • Zebra Fish Laboratory
  • Eating Disorders
  • Pursuing Psychiatry: Coming from the Bay Area
  • Neuropsychology
  • Psychiatric Comorbidities in Medically Ill Patients
  • International Human Rights
  • Epidemiology & Science in Neuropsychiatric Conditions
  • Development and Testing of iPhone Apps
  • Aviation Lab
  • Early Detection of Mental Health
  • Psychiatric Diagnosis and the DSM-5
  • Empathic Understanding of Illness and Disability
  • Early Life Stress and Pediatric Anxiety Program
  • Utilizing Virtual Reality Technology in Health Care
  • Cardiac Behavioral Medicine
  • Reflections on Flow, Joy, Purpose and Meaning
  • Social Innovation Lab
  • HIV, the Brain and Human Behavior
  • Lyme Disease Related Stigma

The application process for 2016 CNI-X will be announced in January 2016.


Faculty and Presenters

Laura Roberts, M.D., M.A., Co-Director

Alan Louie, M.D., Co-Director

Steve Adelsheim, M.D.

Cara Bohon, Ph.D.

Jake Ballon, M.D., MPH

Alex Basile

Smita Das, M.D., Ph.D., MPH

Katie Sears Edwards, Ph.D.

Cheryl Koopman, Ph.D.

Anna Lembke, M.D.

Ryan Matlow, Ph.D.

Larry McGlynn, M.D.

Philippe Mourrain, Ph.D.

Oxana Palesh, Ph.D., MPH

Sergiu Pasca, M.D.

Daryn Reicherter, M.D.

Allyson Rosen, Ph.D.

Manish Saggar, Ph.D.

Joy Taylor, Ph.D.

Mickey Trockel, M.D., MPH

Nina Vasan, M.D.

Helen Wilson, Ph.D.


Megan Cid
Executive Assistant to Laura Roberts, M.D., M.A.
Chairman and Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University
School of Medicine
401 Quarry Road
Stanford, California  94304
650 723 8290 office
650 723 8216 fax