PhD in Systems Neuroscience

University of Göttingen

Program Description

PhD in Systems Neuroscience

University of Göttingen

PhD in Systems Neuroscience

The doctoral program "Systems Neuroscience" is a member of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB). It is hosted by the Center for Systems Neuroscience (CSN) and is conducted jointly by the University of Göttingen, the German Primate Center, the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, and the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine.

The research-oriented program is taught in English and open to students who hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in the life sciences, medicine, or related fields.

The scientific profile of the program is characterized by the three research foci of the Center for Sytems Neuroscience (CSN):

  1. Translational neuroscience focuses on research that enables the transfer of results from basic science to human diseases. Core topics include neurodegenerative diseases, schizophrenia and neuroprotection.

  2. Functional brain imaging techniques have developed into one of the most versatile tools in neuroscience. In Göttingen a cluster of EEG-labs flanks two groups that operate several MRI systems at different field strengths for the use on humans and experimental animals. Collaborative projects focus on research addressing human brain disorders (incl. rodent models) and sensory information processing.

  3. Primates as model organisms: The German Primate Center (DPZ) provides unique opportunities for systems level neuroscience research. Research foci include basic research into higher-level processes in the visual cortex (e.g. attention, motor planning) and clinical research on neurological and psychiatric human diseases (e.g. depression, stress, Parkinson).

The program was implemented in 2003 (with reduced training requirements) as a loose association under the umbrella of the former doctoral regulations of the Faculty of Biology and has now been revised and expanded to comply with the concept of GGNB.


The aim of the Center for Systems Neuroscience (CSN), which hosts this program, is to bring together a diverse group of more than 40 neuroscientists who share an interest in the neural basis of sensory, motor, and cognitive systems on all levels.

The scientific profile of the CSN is characterized by three foci: Translational neuroscience, functional brain imaging, and primates as model organisms.


The doctoral program "Systems Neuroscience" is a member of the Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB). The graduate school offers a joint modular training program to which the twelve doctoral programs of GGNB contribute and that is open to all GGNB students. In addition to a lecture and seminar program, training consists of (1) individual counselling by thesis committees, (2) intensive methods courses of 1-3 weeks in special training labs, (3) 2-3-day methods courses in the laboratories of the participating faculty, (4) professional skills courses such as scientific writing, presentation skills, intercultural communication, project management, team-leadership skills, conflict resolution, ethics, and career development, and (5) student-organized scientific meetings, industry excursions, and intercultural events. Students are able to tailor their individual curriculum by choosing from a large number of courses and events.

The training program provides solid basic knowledge of the main topics in systems neuroscience. Students have the opportunity to present and discuss their work outside their laboratory, to interact with senior scientists and to design and organize small, thematically focussed symposia.

The program offers seminars and methods courses (e.g. Methods of Behavioral Neuroscience, Human Psychophysics, Functional brain imaging techniques) and lecture series (Current Topics in Systems Neuroscience, Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience and Systems Neuroscience: From Vision to Action). Several mini-symposia per year deal with central scientific topics and methodological approaches in systems neuroscience.

Experimental research constitutes the major component of the doctoral studies and is conducted in the laboratory of a faculty member of the doctoral program. Doctoral research projects are complemented by a school-wide training program, offered to all GGNB students, who are members of a vibrant international research community. The language of the doctoral program is English.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated May 23, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2016
6 semesters
Full time
Start date Oct. 2016
Germany Göttingen, Lower Saxony
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 6 semesters
Price Request Info