Facts about the School
The Berlin School of Mind and Brain (M&B) is an international and interdisciplinary graduate research school. It was established in 2006 and receives its funding through the Excellence Initiative (an ongoing German Federal and State Governments initiative since 2006 to promote excellent science and research at German universities) and the Einstein Foundation Berlin. The school is a founding member of the recently established Einstein Center for Neurosciences (ECN) in Berlin.
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Facts & Figures
1 Since 2007, the Berlin School of Mind and Brain runs a highly successful three-year English-language doctoral program in English.
2 In 2017, the Berlin School of Mind and Brain won the first prize in the “Einstein Doctoral Programme 2017–2019” competition for the best structured doctoral programs at Berlin universities.
3 The Berlin School of Mind and Brain is a founding member of the recently established Einstein Center for Neurosciences (ECN) Berlin.
4 Since 2012, the Berlin School of Mind and Brain has been organizing a unique structured English-language postdoctoral program offering networking activities, support in the acquision of third-party funding for own workshops and conferences, teaching and supervision at Master's and doctoral levels, and many other career development opportunities.
5 In 2013, the Berlin School of Mind and Brain started a research-based English-language Master’s program “Mind and Brain” (two tracks, M.Sc. and M.A.). Applications are invited 1–31 May of each year.
6 The focus of research at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain is on the interface between the humanities and behavioral sciences with the neurosciences. Main topics of research are: ‘perception, attention, consciousness’, ‘decision-making’, ‘language’, ‘brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny’, ‘mental disorders and brain dysfunction’, and ‘human sociality and the brain (social cognition)’.
7 What do ‘mind’ or ‘brain’ in education and research stand for?
Mind: humanities and behavioral sciences such as philosophy, linguistics, behavioral and cognitive psychology, neuroeconomics, neurology and psychiatry (though depending on research question and methods).
Brain: neurosciences such as neurophysiology, computational neuroscience, neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry (though depending on research question and methods).
8 Interdisciplinary research: it is our mission to train outstanding young scientists to become experts in one of the relevant fields, to provide them with knowledge over the gamut of mind and brain research, and to give them the ability, and the opportunity, to cooperate with researchers from other disciplines. Find out more about our idea of interdisciplinarity.
9 The Master’s and doctoral training programs cover all fields relevant to mind/brain-related research. Doctoral candidates engage in a teaching program which lays the foundations for interdisciplinary work. Courses are held mainly during the first half of the doctoral program. Master’s students have their own study program.
10 Through funding awarded by the Excellence Initiative the Berlin School of Mind and Brain was able to establish and fund several additional teaching and research posts: a full professorship in philosophy of mind, a full professorship in social cognition, an adjunct professorship in lifespan ontogeny, an adjunct professorship in decison making, a junior professorship and an assistant professorship in medical psychology, two assistant professorships in philosophy of mind, one junior professorship in neurology and two assistant professorships in psychiatry.
11 Each year the Berlin School of Mind and Brain accepts 25–30 Master’s students and 10–15 doctoral candidates into its programs. In February 2017 the Berlin School of Mind and Brain had more than 100 master’s students (cohort 4 started in October 2016), 40 doctoral members (cohort 10 started in October 2016), 65 doctoral alumni, 55 faculty members, and 16 postdocs. There is also a continuously growing number of associated researchers and associated research groups.
12 Doctoral supervision: doctoral candidates will be supervised by (at least) two professors. Usually, one is from the ‘mind sciences’ and one from the ‘brain sciences’.
13 There are no tuition fees payable for this program. University administrative fees come to approx. 290 Euro per semester (six months) including a public transport travel pass for Berlin and Potsdam (obligatory for Master's students, optional for doctoral candidates). Master's students, doctoral candidates, and postdoctoral researchers on stipends will pay for their own health insurance and personal liabilty insurance.
14 Funding: Each year the Berlin School of Mind and Brain can offer a number of doctoral scholarships to the best applicants. These scholarships are highly competetive. Students who were not successful in winning one of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain’s own scholarships will receive support in obtaining an alternative source of funding (e.g. a research post within a university department or with one of the research groups, or an alternative scholarship).
15 Doctoral candidates will be offered academic soft-skill courses (e.g. scientific writing, grant-application writing, high-performance presentation), mentoring, and career counseling. Candidates are also obliged to take part in journal and methods clubs and to attend the Berlin School of Mind and Brain’s weekly lecture series.
16 The Berlin School of Mind and Brain is a founding member of Humboldt Graduate School (HGS) which was established in 2006. HGS is an umbrella support organization for doctoral and postdoctoral education at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. HGS offers services to doctoral candidates including academic soft-skill courses. In 2016, the Berlin School of Mind and Brain was invited to join Dahlem Research School, the equivalent umbrella institution at Freie Universität Berlin.
17 The Berlin School of Mind and Brain closely collaborates with neuroscience graduate schools in Berlin, especially with the two doctoral programs Medical Neurosciences and Computational Neuroscience. It is a member of the Network Neuroschools Germany and of the Network of European Neuroscience Schools (NENS).