Personal tools


Target group

Participants of SMARTSTART 1 are…

  • … in the second year of their Master’s studies during the funding phase.
  • … enrolled in a study program with relevant links to computational neuroscience, such as informatics, mathematics, physics, medicine, or biology.
  • … preparing for a consecutive interdisciplinary PhD in the field of computational neuroscience and want to complement their studies and improve their research skills.

SMARTSTART 1 offers…

  • … the possibility to visit courses and lectures in all participating institutions.
  • … advice and guidance from a personal mentor in course selection and individual scientific skill development.
  • … 1,600€ personal travel budget to support participation in courses and events.


SMARTSTART 1 students are guided by a personal mentor throughout the 12-month program. The mentor advises them in choosing appropriate courses and events, based on the scientific needs, previous educational background and individual curiosity.

Students should identify and contact their prospective mentors from the SMARTSTART faculty before applying for the program. Ideally, the mentor is located at their home institution.


During the SMARTSTART year, the students benefit from basic, advanced and individual training opportunities in participating institutions and scientific events. 

They can choose their own curriculum from the SMARTSTART course catalogue, take part in summer schools and methodological workshops, and visit lab groups of participating institutions to get hands-on research experience.

The participation in scientific events such as conferences and symposia is strongly encouraged; this way the students start presenting their own work and establish their own scientific network.

All SMARTSTART students are provided with a personal travel budget which can be used for transportation, accommodation and participation fees in courses and events.


SMARTSTART fosters networking of participants with the SMARTSTART networking events, i.e. the kickoff meeting and a self-organized student’s retreat. It provides an internal communication channel as a special service to facilitate contact amongst fellow SMARTSTART students.


The SMARTSTART year starts in September each year, right before the Bernstein Conference and ends with the next Bernstein Conference the year after.