Our history

A two-year initiative led by the College to introduce a modern neuroscience perspective into psychiatrists’ clinical work (summer 2016-18)

In 2016, the Gatsby/Wellcome Neuroscience Project established a Commission to conduct a full review and revision of the Neuroscience Syllabus for psychiatric Core Training in the UK to ensure that it reflected established, modern neuroscientific knowledge and understanding and was fit for purpose.

Members of the Neuroscience Commission

  • Professor Wendy Burn (co-Chair), President, RCPsych
  • Dr Mike Travis (co-Chair), UPMC, Pittsburgh
  • Dr Andrew Brittlebank, Specialist Adviser for Curriculum, RCPsych
  • Professor Ed Bullmore, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University, USA
  • Professor Eileen Joyce, UCL & Chair, Faculty of Neuropsychiatry, RCPsych
  • Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes, Imperial College London & Chair, Academic Faculty, RCPsych
  • Professor Jacky Hayden, former Dean of Postgraduate Medical Studies, HEE
  • Dr Mary-Ellen Lynall, Academic Clinical Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • Professor David Ross, Yale University, USA
  • Professor Jeffrey Lieberman, Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, USA
  • Professor Sir Simon Wessely, IoPPN and past President, RCPsych
  • Professor Ian Curran, Assistant Director of Education and Professional Standards, GMC
  • Dr Sarah Caddick, The Gatsby Charitable Foundation
  • Dr Andrew Welchman, Head of Neuroscience & Mental Health, The Wellcome Trust

In parallel, we updated the exam for membership of the RCPsych to reflect the content of the new syllabus.

Phase 2: Supporting the integration of modern neuroscience across the UK

In 2018, the sponsors of the Neuroscience Project rewarded our success in updating the neuroscience learnt by psychiatric trainees by awarding us funding for a further 3 years.

The focus of our work through to 2021 was on embedding the high-quality teaching and learning of modern neuroscience in psychiatric training throughout the UK.

The RCPsych Neuroscience Project is generously supported by The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and The Wellcome Trust

Visit our sponsor websites:

Gatsby / Wellcome

Based on a USA experience - NNCI

This programme was inspired by the National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative (NNCI) in the USA (www.nncionline.org). The NNCI emerged as a collaboration with the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training (AADPRT) in 2014.

The NNCI’s creators recognised that psychiatry programmes face many challenges in trying to teach neuroscience effectively. The overarching aim of the NNCI is to create, pilot, and disseminate a comprehensive set of shared teaching resources for neuroscience. These resources will be based upon the principles of adult learning and focused on the relevance of neuroscience to the clinical practice of psychiatry.

Ultimately, the resources will help train psychiatrists to integrate a modern neuroscience perspective into their clinical work.

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