When applying to the doctoral program, please make sure that you will be able to supply the following information with your online application:

(1) Academic background

To be able to apply for the doctoral program, students must have completed (or be in the process of completing) a

  • Master’s degree (with thesis, usually two years)
  • Diplom
  • Staatsexamen
  • Magister

in a field related/relevant to mind/brain research, e.g. philosophy, linguistics, psychology, neurology, psychiatry, computer science, biology, law, economics, or related fields.

(2) Research proposal

(a) The central requirement for admittance to the School is the applicant’s proposal for a doctoral project that was developed by themselves. All research proposals must have clear mind/brain relevance. The focus should be on the interface between the humanities and/or behavioral sciences with the neurosciences. Typical projects will investigate research questions that are of relevance to more than one discipline. The six research topics of the School pay tribute to that approach:

See also:

(b) A proposal must contain a detailed project idea, including:

  • Summary of previous research
  • Justification for the relevance of the current project and the proposed research methodology
  • Summary of the hypotheses and research questions to be addressed
  • Relevant bibliography
  • Clear exposition of ideas: All proposals will be reviewed by several faculty members some of whom may not be specialists in your field. Therefore, it will be of advantage to you if your research proposal is comprehensible also to non-specialist reviewers.

(c) Successful project proposals will draw on findings from the complementary side of mind and brain research. Results from the complementary field should play an essential role in achieving the objectives described in the research proposal such that “brain”-related research will also cover mental phenomena, and, conversely, “mind”-related projects incorporate findings from brain research. This requires sufficient grounding in the complementary field. Formal training or a degree in this field would be most welcome but is not mandatory.

Advice from our faculty for successful proposals: Read more (download pdf 50kb)

(d) Formal requirements for proposals:

  • Max. five pages. Please note: Excess text will be blacked out!
  • Single spaced
  • Font: Times New Roman
  • Size: 12 point
  • Margins: on all sides at least 2 cm
  • File format: PDF (do not password-protect or lock your file!)
  • File name: YOUR NAME_content (e.g., Miller_cv.pdf)

If in doubt, please turn to the admissions officer of the School, (Ms) Dr Inken Dose, for additional advice (mb-admission-please remove this

(3) Proof of proficiency in English for non-native speakers

Our doctoral program is conducted in English. If you are a non-native English speaker we require proof of your proficiency. During the online application, please upload a certificate providing proof of your English knowledge. The minimum demand is B2 which is equivalent to the following test scores:

  • UNIcert® II Certificate: 3,0
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 5,0
  • Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE): B-C
  • TOEFL: o Internet-based Test: 87, o Paper-based Test: 560
  • DAAD Language Certificate: C in all test sections (minimum requirement)



This page last updated on: 04 April 2016