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Graduate programs at the BCCN Berlin
With the aim of fostering a new generation of scientists who have been trained in both mathematical / computational skills and neuroscientific methodologies, the Bernstein Center Berlin has set up two international, interdisciplinary graduate programs.
The Master program offers fifteen places per year and is delivered in partnership by the three Berlin universities as well as the Charité Medical School.
The final degree, Master of Science (M.Sc.), is jointly awarded by the Humboldt University and the Berlin University of Technology. The two-year program is fully taught in English and applicants with different backgrounds coming from the fields of computer science, cognitive sciences, mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering are accepted. The candidates should provide evidence for above-average mathematical skills as well as a strong interest in the neurosciences.
The curriculum is subdivided into ten modules, whose contents include theoretical neuroscience, advanced programming, data acquisition and computational analysis, machine learning and modeling of experimental data, with a strong focus on a complementary theoretical and experimental training. Each module is composed of different components thus integrating a theoretical lecture with practical lab experience and programming tutorials. Three lab rotations and a master thesis are accomplished in the second year. The aim of the program is to grant the students an interdisciplinary education and an early contact to the neurocomputational research environment. Graduates can extend their acquired abilities in the BCCN's Doctoral program for which scholarships are available each year.
The Doctoral Program is mainly conducted within the framework of the Research Training Group "Sensory Computation in Neural Systems" (GRK 1589/2) based at the Technische Universität Berlin and funded by the German Research Council. This training group gathers some of the current BCCN project leaders as well as further research groups and around 40 students including fellows and associates. Each student is jointly supervised by at least two principal investigators or associated junior researchers with complementary expertise and supported by a training program worth 25 ECTS credit points, which includes scientific courses and the teaching of transferable skills. The students attend an advanced lecture series held by the project leaders and autonomously organize regular events such as an informal PhD Meeting, a Training Group Colloquium with outstanding invited speakers and a Journal Club. Training in presentation and writing skills, grant writing, time and conflict management are offered by the program as well as through the infrastructure of the Berlin Universities.
Accepted fellows are granted a scholarship of approx. 1500 €/month and are financially supported by the program for visiting conferences and purchasing consumables and equipment for the thesis research. Doctoral students funded by other sources can apply for association to the training group provided that their research thematically fits the scope of the GRK.Graduate programs at the BCCN Berlin.