Monday, June 28, 2010

Women's Travel Award 2010 - Berlin School of Mind and Bra

Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin
Berlin School of Mind and Brain


The Berlin School of Mind and Brain is an international research school, which was founded in 2006 as part of Germany's Excellence Initiative. The School offers a unique three-year interdisciplinary doctoral program in English in the mind and brain sciences.

As part of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain's commitment to supporting women in science and the humanities, the School is delighted to announce a limited number of travel awards for female students who are interested in exploring the possibility of doctoral studies at the School.

Candidates will be invited to visit the School during the week of the 1-6 November 2010, and will have ample opportunities to meet with faculty and students relevant to their research interests, as well as have a chance to view the School's facilities, and to get a better sense of city itself. In addition, they will be encouraged to participate in Berlin Brain Days (1-3 November 2010), an annual event that brings together more than 200 doctoral students from across the neurosciences to discuss and present their work with senior international faculty. Successful applicants will receive partial reimbursement for travel expenses to help defray the costs of their visit.

In order to be eligible for this award you need to meet the basic eligibility criteria for applying to the School's doctoral program in January 2011 (in particular you need to have completed or be in the process of completing a Master's or equivalent degree in an area of study relevant to the School). Further details about eligibility criteria for study at the School can be found at: Applications (and questions) should be made to; please include a short 1-2 page letter of application (detailing your background and research interests), your academic CV, as well as a maximum of two letters of recommendation.

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2010.

Further details about the School and its program can be found below. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Research within the School focuses on the interface between the humanities and the neurosciences. Of particular interest are research areas that fall on the borders between the mind sciences (e.g., philosophy, linguistics, behavioral and cognitive science, economics), and the brain sciences (e.g., neurophysiology, computational neuroscience, neurology, and neurobiology). Major topics of research within the program include: 'conscious and unconscious perception', 'decision-making', 'language', 'brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny', 'mental disorders and brain dysfunction', and the 'philosophy of mind'. However, research is not limited to these areas, and students are strongly encouraged to develop and work at their own initiative on any projects that are relevant to interdisciplinary questions relating to mind and brain.

The School accepts eight-to-twelve doctoral candidates into its program each year. Here are some excellent reasons why students might wish to be considered for one of these highly sought after positions at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain:

* The School has a faculty comprised of 60 distinguished researchers, including four Max Planck directors, which cover the gamut of research within the mind and brain sciences.

* Research within the School is strongly embedded in the basic and clinical research conducted within the region allowing for strong synergistic research initiatives and opportunities. Hosted by the Humboldt University, the School's research program includes scientists from the Free University, the Technical University, the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Berlin), the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Leipzig), and the nearby universities of Potsdam and Magdeburg.

* Students acquire a strong foundation for interdisciplinary work by attending eight one-week classes during the first half of their doctoral program, which cover all fields relevant for mind/brain-related research, and allow students to explore research methods and topics that they have not been previously exposed to. Each doctoral candidate is assigned two professorial advisors - one from the brain sciences, one from the mind sciences - in order to maximize the interdisciplinary impact of their work.

* Students meet with leading international researchers via the School's Distinguished Lecture Series, interactions with its senior visiting faculty, as well as by attending international workshops and meetings. As part of the School's commitment to maximizing students' research opportunities, the School also encourages and provides assistance for students to spend time studying and conducting research abroad during the course of their doctoral candidacy.

* Extensive practical services to international doctoral candidates are available, including assistance with visa applications, matriculation, health insurance, local authorities, scientific soft skill courses, and language classes.

Finally, there are good financial reasons for studying at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain:

* There are no tuition fees associated with the program.

* Administrative fees are very low. Administrative fees for attending the Humboldt University come to only approximately 250 Euros per semester.

* The School offers generous scholarships to the best applicants. Students who were not successful in winning one of the school's own scholarships will receive support in obtaining alternative sources of funding (e.g. a research post within a university department or with one of the School's research groups, or help in finding alternative funding sources for a scholarship).

Recent progress in the neurosciences has opened up new and exciting avenues for research that raise challenging conceptual and ethical questions calling for an interdisciplinary approach. The Berlin School of Mind and Brain offers a unique research and training environment for doctoral candidates to work at this exciting interface between the sciences and the humanities.

Patrick Wilken, PhD

Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin
Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Luisenstraße 56
D-10099 Berlin

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