Brain Story Certification

Learn the scientific underpinnings of the Brain Story from leading experts and be eligible for credits with this free online course, developed by the AFWI.

brain story logo

What You’ll Learn

Lifelong health is determined by more than just our genes: experiences at sensitive periods of development change the brain in ways that increase or decrease risk for later physical and mental illness, including addiction. That finding is the premise of the Brain Story, which puts scientific concepts into a narrative that is salient to both expert and non-expert audiences. The Brain Story synthesizes decades of research and reflects a body of knowledge that experts agree is useful for policy-makers and citizens to understand.

The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) has developed two online courses to make Brain Story science available to professionals and the public. One course is available now. The second, more basic, course will be available in 2017.

The Courses

BRST 101

Brain story certification


Brain story certification

An in-depth course for professionals interested in the scientific underpinnings of the Brain Story.

  • 30 Hours of instruction time
  • Video of over 30 leading experts in neurobiology and mental health
  • Certification in Brain Story science

Brain Story Certification is a course endorsed by our Curriculum Committee. For a detailed description of the course contents, download the course outline

Brain Story Certification is open to anyone at no cost to the learner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Prerequisites?

There are no prerequisites for either course. Learners may find the content in the What We Know section of this website to be useful background.

Who is Providing these Courses?

Brain Story courses are provided by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative and its parent organization, the Palix Foundation (a private philanthropic organization based in Alberta, Canada).

Who Teaches the Content?

The course faculty for Brain Story Certification comprises 39 of North America's leading experts in neurobiological development and its connection to physical and mental health, including addiction. Their video lectures are excerpts from symposia hosted in Alberta between 2010 and 2015.

When Must the Courses Be Completed?

The courses are offered online. Complete them at your own rate.

Are these courses for me?

Brain Story Certification provides detailed science information for those seeking a deeper understanding of brain development and its consequences for lifelong health. The course is challenging but is designed to be interesting and comprehensible to ordinary intelligent people with or without a science background. This course is primarily designed for individuals seeking certification in professions such as health care, policy making, academia, justice, education, social work, and childcare. However, anyone interested in brain development, mental health, and addiction is likely to find the content interesting and is encouraged to enroll.

Brain Story for Beginners is designed to provide a high-level understanding of the Brain Story for decision-makers and citizens.

Are the courses graded?

Learners seeking certification will need to pass multiple choice quizzes.

To earn certification, learners answer 100% of the questions correctly, however, numerous attempts in the multiple choice evaluations are included in Brain Story Certification. Learners who are not seeking certification may choose to participate in some or all of the evaluation, or may skip the questions and focus exclusively on the learning content. 

Brain Story for Beginners is not graded.