Center for the Science of Psychedelics

The UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP) is an academic center focused on psychedelic research, training, and public education. The center, which was founded in September of 2020, is overseen by UC Berkeley faculty and supported by the generosity of donors. We are administratively housed within the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and our faculty brings together researchers from across UC Berkeley.

Together, BCSP works to improve health and well-being for all through culturally informed psychedelic research; psychedelic facilitation training for religious, spiritual-care, and health-care professionals; and accessible, accurate, and reliable public education.

In its research work, BCSP will leverage UC Berkeley’s strengths in basic neuroscience, psychology, and molecular biology to conduct studies to help elucidate the mechanistic bases of the actions of psychedelics and subjective psychedelic experiences, as well as their enduring effects. BCSP will also conduct social science research that analyzes contextual aspects of psychedelics, education, and related fields. Through research fellowships, BCSP will increase the number and diversity of individuals trained to produce rigorous psychedelic science and knowledge.

Through its training programs, BCSP will provide interdisciplinary training for advanced professionals, with an emphasis on spiritual care. Its Certificate Program in Psychedelic Facilitation is designed for advanced religious, spiritual-care, and health-care professionals working in areas such as chaplaincy, ministry, medicine, nursing, mental health counseling, psychiatry, and social work. Concurrent with this training program, BCSP’s FDA-approved research study will offer opportunities for healthy volunteers to access firsthand experiences with psilocybin. Medically eligible trainees may volunteer as participants in the study, thereby increasing their personal knowledge of psychedelic substances and their capacity to support others accessing psychedelic care.

BCSP’s public education program produces evidence-based, objective journalism, conversations, and courses about psychedelics. The Center’s public education program offers online courses, original reporting, and public dialogue to inform policy makers, journalists, businesses, potential patients, and anyone curious about psychedelics in the United States and around the world.

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