Synapse Chapter Founder Applicant Guidelines

2019-20 Application Timeline

  • November 17, 2019: Written application final deadline at midnight PST
  • November 2019 - December 2019: Applicant interviews
  • January 5, 2020: Chapter Founders selected
  • January 12, 2020: Chapter Founder orientation
  • January 13, 2020: Official launch of new chapters

Our Mission

Synapse is a national organization with chapters at top universities that empowers undergraduates to become leaders in their communities. Chapter Founders are go-getters who collaborate with physicians and local partners on a routine basis to serve individuals with brain injury. Chapters provide individuals with brain injury a number of opportunities to connect with and learn from one another. Chapters also foster the formation of supportive relationships between undergraduates and individuals with brain injury, teaching students about the patient perspective. As a Synapse Chapter Founder, you will directly support individuals within your community, form a network of friends and mentors, and become advocates for those with brain injury.

We look forward to working with you through this application process and beyond!

What We Do

Synapse chapters primarily do three things:

  • Run a peer support group and organize events to provide individuals with brain injury with opportunities to connect with and support one another
  • Foster relationships between students and individuals with brain injury through a structured buddy program
  • Plan lectures by physicians and researchers to spread awareness about brain injury

This approach provides students with an opportunity to positively impact their communities through service and fosters their development as leaders. During their time in Synapse, students are encouraged to connect with other chapters to share their experiences and advice. By founding a Synapse chapter, you will join a network of future physicians, scientists, and policy makers who are passionate about improving care for brain injury.

Founder Expectations

  • Will be a sophomore, junior, or senior in the 2020-21 academic year
  • Physically present on campus during the entire 2020-21 academic year
  • Strong leadership and communication skills
  • A commitment to Synapse’s mission

The role of the Chapter Founder is to lay the foundation for a strong, student-led organization on your campus that will have a meaningful long-term impact on the local community. As a Chapter Founder, you will lead a team of peers to provide support for individuals with brain injury and to learn about and engage in dialogues about current issues in brain injury. You should expect to commit 8-10 hours per week to Synapse activities over the course of the year.

Founder Responsibilities

  • Attend Chapter Founder Orientation (1/12/20)
  • Attend all monthly Chapter Founder meetings
  • Meet with Synapse National Advisor on a monthly basis
  • Complete an update form every two weeks

Important Deadlines

Semester 1 (Spring 2020):

  • 2/23/20: Complete community needs assessment and action plan
  • Set up a google voice & gmail account for the group
  • 3/22/20: Obtain an official faculty advisor
  • Schedule twice-monthly peer support group meetings
  • Create a flyer with group info that can be shared with community partners
  • 4/5/20: Host an information session for interested students
  • 4/26/20: Host first peer support group meeting
  • 5/3/20: Select student cabinet
  • 6/14/20: Set up social media accounts for the group (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube)
  • Throughout: Outreach to the local community - at least 15 new contacts per month
  • Apply for university recognition (school specific deadlines)

Summer Break (Summer 2020):

  • 6/28/20: Set up a website for the group
  • Throughout: Continue to host peer support group meetings
  • Outreach to the local community - at least 15 new contacts per month
  • Host monthly cabinet meetings to plan for fall

Semester 2 (Fall 2020):

  • 9/6/20: Host an information session for interested students
  • Select additional student members, including buddies (if applicable)
  • 10/11/20: Match students with TBI individuals for buddy program
  • Throughout: Continue to host peer support group meetings
  • Outreach to the local community - at least 15 new contacts per month
  • Finalize official university recognition (school specific deadlines)

Semester 3 (Spring 2021):

  • 3/28/21: Select new cabinet/executive board
  • 4/11/21: Cabinet/executive board transitioning
  • Throughout: Continue to host peer support group meetings
  • Outreach to the local community - at least 15 new contacts per month
  • Expand buddy program

Apply Here

Please contact us at with any questions.

The Synapse team looks forward to reviewing your application.

Best of luck!