In general

Neuroscience research at the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology (LIN) aims for a comprehensive understanding of the neural mechanisms enabling organisms to learn and to remember. The problem is approached at various levels, from molecular to behavioural, in humans and several animal models, and with a broad spectrum of state-of-the-art techniques.

Our PhD students thus have unique possibilities and options. They are challenged by not only having to invest their talents and curiosity into their specific sub-area of research (e.g. cellular neurobiology, systems neuroscience, behaviour, or computational neuroscience) but by also having to learn about concepts  and methodologies of other sub-areas within the field and to acquire “soft” skills enabling them to be competitive in todays’s research environments. The LIN-PhD program is focussed along this line, i.e., it is dedicated to high-level education of new generation neuroscientists within and beyond the scope of their respective PhD research project.

 

Particular emphasis is placed onto intense supervision throughout the 3-year core period of each project. For instance, next to the main supervisor at least one other expert (typically nominated from the board of senior neuroscientists at the LIN or its local partner institutions at the OvGU, the DZNE or ZENIT) will join into a thesis committee to lend any support required for successful thesis progression.

This includes a fair and constructive evaluation of a research proposal submitted by each PhD candidate after 6 to 12 months. Open to all PhD candidates, the program further offers a variety of lectures, colloquia, seminars, scientific training and short-term lab courses. While some of these courses are embedded into joined PhD programs on specialized issues, others address issues relevant to all ambitioned candidates who want to profit from the broad-range neuroscientific research and academic surroundings at the LIN.
 

Intention

In the old days, every PhD student was entirely dependent on a single supervisor. Consequently, many PhD students felt pretty much left alone for the decade to come. But the times they are changing. The LIN has installed a graduate programme whose structure ensures that the PhD students are guided by a group of 2-3 supervisors, the Thesis Committee, and that the thesis can be finished within a more acceptable time frame of about three years. A central component of this programme is a PhD agreement which specifies the rights and duties of the PhD student and the members of the committee.

 

Currently, an orienting phase of maximally six months offers the opportunity for the PhD candidate to explore the terrain and for the main supervisor to judge the candidate’s suitability. In the case that candidate and supervisor both feel comfortable with a continuation, the other members of the Thesis Committee have to be named, and, within the next half year, a research proposal has to be written by the PhD student. If approved by the Thesis Committee, the official phase of the PhD project starts by signing the PhD agreement.

 

 

Steps to do

An orienting phase of maximally six months offers the opportunity for the PhD candidate to explore the terrain and for the main supervisor to judge the candidate's suitability. In the case that candidate and supervisor both feel comfortable with a continuation, the other members of the Thesis Committee have to be named, and, within the next half year, a research proposal has to be written by the PhD student and approved by all members of the committee.

 

The proposal should summarize, on 5-7 pages, the aim of the project, the scientific background, and an outline of the working schedule. If the proposal is approved by the committee, the official phase of the PhD project can start by signing the PhD agreement. The attendance of only 25 such events per year is obligatory, but we are convinced you will want to benefit from many more.

 

 

Offerings

Particular emphasis is placed onto intense supervision throughout the 3-year core period of each project. For instance, next to the main supervisor at least one other expert (typically nominated from the board of senior neuro-scientists at LIN or its local partner institutions at the OvGU, the DZNE or ZENIT) will join into a thesis committee to lend any support required for successful thesis progression.

 

This includes a fair and constructive evaluation of a research proposal submitted by each PhD candidate after 6 to 12 months. Open to all PhD candidates, the program further offers a variety of lectures, colloquia, seminars, scientific training and short-term lab courses. While some of these courses are embedded into joined PhD programs on specialized issues others address issues relevant to all ambitioned candidates, who want to profit from the broad-range research and academic surroundings at LIN.