Graduate Program

IMPRS for Brain & Behavior
The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Brain & Behavior is a fully funded graduate program that offers excellent training in neuroethology and neuroscience using cutting-edge technologies. For the next generation of outstanding scientists.

Application round is open

The IMPRS for Brain and Behavior is a collaboration between the MPINB, the University of Bonn, and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn, Germany. The program aims to recruit outstanding doctoral students and immerse them in a stimulating environment that provides novel technologies to elucidate the function of brain circuits from molecules to animal behavior.

One of the central questions of biology is how brain circuitry enables animals to make sense of their environment by integrating relevant sensory signals to generate appropriate behaviors. Establishing the link between brain circuits and behavior is known as ‘neuroethology’, which aims to understand how the collective activity of the vast numbers of interconnected neurons in the brain gives rise to the diversity of animal behaviors. Gaining a full understanding of brain circuitry underlying a specific behavior requires the combination of research approaches focusing on different levels of detail - ranging from the anatomical reconstruction of neural circuits to the quantitative behavioral analysis of freely moving animals and natural behavior. The IMPRS for Brain and Behavior is unique and distinguishes itself from other graduate schools in the field of neuroscience by focusing its efforts on providing theoretical and methodological training in neuroethology and modern neuroscience methods.

The IMPRS for Brain and Behavior faculty guides students to develop the critical and creative mindset required for a successful scientific career. The comprehensive and diverse expertise of the faculty in the exploration of brain-circuit function using advanced imaging and optogenetic techniques combined with comprehensive training in fundamental neurobiology provides students with an exceptional level of knowledge to pursue a successful independent research career.

The current speaker is Kevin Briggman, one of the directors of the MPINB who manages the program together with the steering committee consisting of representatives of all partner institutes.

The concept of the IMPRS graduate schools

Since 2000, the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) have become a permanent part of the Max Planck Society's efforts to promote PhD students. Talented junior scientists are offered the opportunity to earn a doctorate under excellent research conditions. A shared characteristic of the graduate programs at Max Planck Institutes is a close collaboration with universities providing an extraordinary framework for the graduate students to work in interdisciplinary research projects, or in projects that require special equipment. Currently, approx. 80 Max Planck Institutes are associated with an IMPRS.