The UCLA Brain Research Institute (BRI) aims to extend scientific knowledge into the community, and educate and inspire K-12 students that are traditionally underserved educational populations, to pursue higher education and a career in neuroscience.
The BRI has active neuroscience education and outreach programs throughout the year, through which UCLA students visit K-12 schools around the Los Angeles neighborhoods to teach about the brain, or host them at the BRI research facilities. These programs include InterAxon, Project Brainstorm, and Brain Awareness Week, which are led by neuroscience undergraduate and graduate students and reach around 1000 K-12 students each year. The institute also co-sponsors the Drug Abuse and Society Program, which aims to present accurate, knowledgeable, and age-appropriate lectures on specific legal and illegal drugs of abuse to high school students, and co-hosts the Los Angeles Chapter of the International Brain Bee, an annual competition rewarding high school students with advanced knowledge of neuroscience.The CELL Scholar program started in 2022 partners with a local high school to enable research for Grade 11/12 students. Each year, the BRI also hosts summer research programs for undergraduate as well as high school students through its Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (BRI-SURE), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (UCLA-HBCU) and Neurocamp programs which bring a diverse group of students to UCLA for 8-weeks and engage them in research and career development activities.