Graduate Programs

Computational Neuroscience is a young, growing discipline within the exciting field of neuroscience. It uses theoretical approaches from a variety of disciplines including mathematics, physics, computer science, and engineering to understand the brain. Computational Neuroscience integrates experiment, data analysis and modeling. Furthermore, it makes a scientific language available that can be used across disciplines and levels for neurobiology, cognitive science, and information technology. Computational Neuroscience may thus help to solve long-standing research questions, contribute to better prevention and treatment strategies for neural disorders, lead to unified concepts about biological processes, advance information technologies and human-machine interactions and, last but not least, provide new insight for designing efficient strategies for teaching and learning.

With the aim of fostering a new generation of scientists who have been trained in both mathematical / computational skills and neuroscientific methodologies the Bernstein Center Berlin has set up two international, interdisciplinary graduate programs:

a Master Program and a Doctoral Program.


Graduates of the MSc program


Chris Häusler

Country of origin: Australia

Previous studies: Bachelor of Information Technology, Software Engineering, Queensland University of Technology

Graduated in in the BCCN MSc Program in 2010
Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2014

Current occupation: data scientist

 "Coming to Berlin to do the BCCN MSc Program was a fantastic choice and if I had my time over I would do it again in a flash. The course offers a great study environment with an impressive lecturer to student ratio, a small but eclectic mix of students from around the world and administrative support from the course coordinators that is second to none. You'll get to take part in cutting edge research in one of the most exciting scientific disciplines around and along the way learn an array of transferrable technical skills that could land you research or analyst positions in academia and industry. apply now! ;-)"


Rafael Schultze-Kraft

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Bachelor, Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrueck

Graduated in in the BCCN MSc Program in 2013

Current occupation: Research Scientist / Data Analyst at EyeQuant


 "I couldn't have made a better decision by joining the BCCN MSc Program. What struck me most, was the diversity and richness in research fields and coursework provided through the BCCN. The large network of collaborating labs located in Berlin gave me the opportunity to get an insight into several areas of research, to work with world-renowned scientists, and to figure out what I wanted to specialize in - and what not. Moreover, I was able to strongly deepen my knowledge in mathematics, scientific programming, modelling, experimental work, advanced data analysis, and machine learning, which provided the optimal education for my job as research scientist and data analyst in Berlin's start-up world. Importantly, I experienced a very friendly and cooperative environment with fellow students, academics, and staff. On top of all that, by joining the BCCN MSc Program I got to live in Berlin -- the icing on the cake!"


Maria Kramarek

Country of origin: Poland

Previous studies: Software Development, Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland

Graduated in in the BCCN MSc Program in 2011

Current occupation: PhD Student in Cortex and Epilepsy Lab, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

 "I truly enjoyed studying computational neuroscience in BCCN. The courses were offered by scientists working in the field and were always very stimulating. They exposed many problems that neuroscience is facing nowadays and taught me how to find possible solutions. As part of the program, I could work in diverse labs which helped me to discover different areas of computational neuroscience. After completing my studies I had no problem finding PhD position in the area of my interest. Program was very well organized and we received great help whenever it was needed.

Atmosphere in BCCN was very friendly. Frequently we met with my classmates to discuss the problems posed in the classes. Those meetings were greatly engaging especially given our large variety of cultural and educational backgrounds. Our teachers often joined the social activities and we could discuss scientific and non-scientific problems in relaxed atmosphere. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in computational neuroscience or neuroscience."

Peter Diehl

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, TU Dortmund University

Graduated in the BCCN MSc Program in 2013

Current occupation: Doctoral Student at the Institut of Neuroinformatics, ETH Zürich and Universität Zürich


"I decided to do the BCCN MSc Program to gain a better understanding how intelligence arises in biological systems but I quickly realized that the program offers so much more than that. The limited number of students promotes a family-like feeling and the great student to teacher ratio enables teachers to help students individually. For me one of the best parts of the program are the numerous projects, which offer practical experience in project organization, teamwork and scientific writing. I especially enjoyed the possibility to visit research labs in Berlin, London and Zürich during the master.

My great experience in computational neuroscience led me to my current position as a doctoral student at the Institut of Neuroinformatics at ETH Zürich and Universität Zürich, where I study neural network models of relational learning."


Tiziano D'Albis

Country of origin: Italy

Previous studies: MSc in Computer Engineering, Politecnico di Milano

Graduated in in the BCCN MSc Program in 2012

Current occupation: PhD student in Computational Neuroscience, Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin.

 "I first came to Berlin with a formal training in computer science and a strong interest in the brain, but I had no background in computational neuroscience. The BCCN master program was for me a great opportunity to discover this exciting research field in a very stimulating environment for both study and research. Thanks to an excellent student-to-teacher ratio and the high quality of the research, learning in BCCN was very effective and even fun. I particularly enjoyed the international atmosphere and the social activities organized by the research center, which made my time spent in Berlin an invaluable life experience.

After finishing my master, I moved to France where I worked as a research engineer for almost two years. Now, I am back to Berlin, where I recently started a PhD in the group of Prof. Kempter. I study theoretical models of learning and memory in the brain, and I also collaborate in the teaching activities of the BCCN master program. I thus continue enjoying the great research environment of BCCN Berlin, and I would definitely recommend it to everybody."

Sophie Schneiderbauer

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Bachelor of Science, Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück

Graduated in in the BCCN MSc Program in 2011

"The Master's Program in Computational Neuroscience gave me a better understanding of how current research in this interdisciplinary field is done. In a group of international students with varying backgrounds, we learned the basics as well as state of the science knowledge, which we could then apply within the practical assignments.

The second part of the program was devoted to small projects in different labs, which could be chosen according to our own interests. These lab rotations really helped to gain more insight in the diverse areas and methods of Computational Neuroscience."


Katharina Glomb

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Humboldt University Berlin

Graduated in: 2013

Current occupation: PhD in Computational Neuroscience in Gustavo Deco's lab in Barcelona, Spain

 "Taking this degree was one of the best decisions I have ever made. My bachelor was in biology, so CNS is not an obvious choice and some of the courses were definitely a challenge. However, the diversity of topics, the depth in which we studied them, the small group size and the close contact with lecturers made it easy to discover the beauty in fields that seemed incomprehensible to me at first.

The program is thoroughly grounded in the exciting local research environment (this may sound messy, but the organization is actually close to perfect). This means two things: One, the methods and problems that are treated are used in ongoing research; two, a lot of it is going on in Berlin and we got the chance to get a taste of it through the internships that are part of the 2nd year. I also enjoyed the chance to realize my master's thesis in an external lab, namely that of Gustavo Deco in Barcelona; actually, I have just started my PhD in the same group. We combine data analysis and modelling to research human resting state."


Graduates of the PhD program


Kerstin Ritter

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Diplom Mathematics, HU Berlin

Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2012

Current occupation: Postdoc at the Charite Medical School, Berlin


"The BCCN PhD Program provides a fantastic scientific framework program. The activities such as the PhD meetings and the retreat were very inspiring and gave us the opportunity to exchange scientific information as well as views and opinions about scientific work in general. Also the many interesting soft skill courses such as writing research proposals or international communication that have been offered were very helpful in improving our scientific presentation and communication skills."


Evelin Wacker

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Diplom Bioinformatics, Jena University

Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2011

Current occupation: Research assistant at the Institute for Clinical Teratology and

Drug Risk Assessment in Pregnancy at Charite Medical School, Berlin


"Participating in the BCCN PhD Program was very gainful for me. The yearly research presentations and project reports were helpful for maintaining structure in the own work. The course work on advanced topics provided a very good basis for the own project and the soft skill courses contributed to the improvement of presentation, language and further personal skills. In addition, fruitful discussions with all the fellow students were a great source of inspiration for me."


Arno Onken

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Diplom Computer Science, TU Berlin

Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2011

Current occupation: postdoc position in the lab of Stefano Panzeri, University of Glasgow (UK)


"The BCCN PhD Program provided an animating scientific environment due to regular meetings with the other members of the Program. The topics of the PhD Program are interdisciplinary which is why discussions with the other members introduced fruitful new ideas that were relevant to my project. The Program also made it possible to travel to major conferences and to visit other labs, which gave me the opportunity to get in touch with important researchers from the field. I have to say that the workload of the Program was heavy at times. In addition to research and presentation of results at meetings and conferences, students are also urged to do coursework, teaching and to attend softskill seminars. In hindsight, however, the acquired skills were worth the additional burden and the workload was manageable at all times."