Navigating Mind, Brain, and Education: A Preconference for Aspiring Leaders.

Join us for a daylong IMBES Preconference in Los Angeles, California on September 27, 2018.

The IMBES leadership and the Jacobs Foundation welcome all IMBES Trainees (e.g., pre-service teachers; recent graduates across research, policy, and practice; postdocs; graduate students; undergraduates) to join us for a daylong preconference about MBE career trajectories, strategies to communicate interdisciplinary research to various audiences, exemplary MBE work conducted by trainees, and the unique opportunities and challenges for MBE trainees. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with senior scholars and other trainees.

Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.


Thanks to the support of the Jacobs Foundation, the preconference is free for all attendees. Attendees must be trainees who engage in research and/or practice and/or policy across the biological and social/behavioral sciences. Registration is limited, so register early to guarantee your spot!

Please note that registration for the main IMBES conference is required and must be completed first. The email confirmation for the main conference registration contains a link to the preconference registration form. If you have any questions about preconference registration, please email the Trainee Board at


Please see our awards page for details on how to apply for our research award, policy and practice award, and international travel award. All awards come with monetary prizes and other perks.


Time Event Session Host(s)
7:30 am 9:00 am Breakfast
8:45 am 9:00 am Introductory Remarks IMBES Trainee Board
9:00 am 9:45 am Presentations by Policy & Practice Award Winners
9:45 am 10:00 am Break
10:00 am 11:15 am Career Panel Dr. Melina Uncapher
Dr. Celia J. Gomez
Dr. Vera Blau-McCandliss
11:15 am 11:45 am Career Breakout Session Dr. Melina Uncapher
Dr. Celia J. Gomez
Dr. Vera Blau-McCandliss
11:45 am 1:05 pm Lunch with Leaders (Lunch provided)
1:05 pm 1:50 pm Peer Mentorship Session Peer partner (emailed to you)
1:50 pm 3:20 pm Writing Workshop Frameworks Institute
3:20 pm 3:50 pm Snack Break (Snacks provided)
3:50 pm 4:35 pm Presentations by Research Award Winners
4:35 pm 4:50 pm Closing Remarks IMBES Trainee Board
6:45 pm Reception at The Lab Gastropub (Snacks provided)

Location and Travel

The preconference will be held at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. We encourage attendees to check the main conference page for lodging and travel recommendations, as they become available.


Career Panelists

Dr. Melina Uncapher
Dr. Melina Uncapher is an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Neurology at UC San Francisco, and Director of Education for Neuroscape, a new center that bridges neuroscience and technology ( Dr. Uncapher has spent 16 years at the forefront of learning neuroscience, and now applies research to solve real-world problems in education and technology. Education: Dr. Uncapher leads a multi-university National Science Foundation-funded network studying how executive function contributes to academic achievement, and is leading an initiative to launch Learning Engineering as a new way to build research-practice partnerships. She co-founded and is CEO of a nonprofit that arms educators and students with practical tools based on learning science: Institute for Applied Neuroscience ( Technology: Dr. Uncapher runs a NIH-funded research program that investigates whether technology use is associated with neurocognitive changes in children. She co-chaired a 2015 National Academy of Sciences conference on children and technology, and sits on the board of the Institute of Digital Media and Child Development. She also holds an affiliation with Stanford’s Psychology Department and is a MacArthur Scholar. Her work has been highlighted in media outlets such as the New York Times, PBS, Forbes, and Frontline. Her science outreach work includes serving as Script Supervisor on the Emmy-nominated PBS TV series The Brain, and as scientific advisor on an award-winning short film about the brain.
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Dr. Celia J. Gomez
Dr. Celia J. Gomez is an Associate Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation. She is a scholar of applied human development, with experience as both a researcher and a practitioner in multiple early childhood, K-12 education, post-secondary education, and community-based settings. Her primary research interests focus on the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions and public policies that promote the well-being of young children and their families. Dr. Gomez is particularly interested in programs that serve low-income populations and communities of color, and policies that promote equity. She has expertise in quantitative research methods—including longitudinal data analysis, multi-level modeling, and impact analysis—as well as qualitative research methods—including in-depth interviews, observations, and applications of grounded theory. Dr. Gomez earned a B.A. in psychology and African American studies from Yale University, and holds an Ed.D. (Human Development and Education) and Ed.M.(Prevention Science and Practice) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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Dr. Vera Blau-McCandliss
Dr. Vera Blau-McCandliss is the Vice President of Education and Research at Square Panda.
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Lunch with Leaders


Writing Workshop

Facilitated by FrameWorks Institute

For More Information

Learn more about the Trainee Board and follow IMBES on Facebook and Twitter.

For questions about the preconference, please email the IMBES Trainee Board at

The 2018 IMBES Preconference sponsored by the Jacobs Foundation.

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