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Welcome to SMARTSTART - the joint training program in computational neuroscience

Ambitious research requires well-qualified scientists

To promote young researchers in Computational Neuroscience as early as possible, the Bernstein Network and the VolkswagenFoundation have launched the joint training program SMARTSTART.

SMARTSTART aims to support students during and after their Master’s degree to complement their previous studies with concepts, theories and techniques of Computational Neuroscience. SMARTSTART offers an individual training program, mentoring by experts and a personal travel budget for participation in courses, seasonal schools and conferences. Experts in more than 20 institutions all over Germany support the program.

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Participants came from a variety of disciplines, such as physics, mathematics, biology, computer sciences, engineering, psychology or medicine, and prepared for their career in computational neuroscience.



addresses students in the second year of their Masters' studies and want to widen their scope:

  • experienced faculty mentors advise and guide students in the selection of courses
  • financial support for accommodation and travel to carry out training visits at participating institutions




addresses students, who have already acquired their Masters' degree and are planning a doctorate:

  • one year fully funded pre-PhD position
  • collaborative project between two labs including exchange visits
  • voluntary attendance of lectures and courses offered by participating institutions