BCCN Berlin Pre-Doc Internship Program - Call for applications


The program

In this second round of our Pre-Doc Internship Program, we want to encourage and support especially talented students from developing countries in the transition from their master studies to their doctoral studies. Interns will have the chance to come to Berlin, Germany, for a paid, six-month Pre-Doc internship. The internship program provides access to first-class scientific labs and institutions, state-of-the-art research, and scientific network in one of Germany’s leading computational neuroscience research hubs.

During the internship, students will work on experimental, theoretical or clinical neuroscience research projects under the supervision of experienced BCCN Berlin scientists. The interns will get to know the neuroscientific environment of the BCCN Berlin as well as information about our doctoral program, the German academic system, and academic life. Furthermore, they will benefit from a close connection with the BCCN Berlin’s current master and PhD students and alumni network.

The BCCN Berlin will provide personal and administrative support prior to and during the stay. We will also support the interns in developing and writing a research project proposal for their doctoral thesis and/or applying for doctoral thesis fellowships. This may enhance the chance of their successful application to the BCCN Berlin PhD Program.

We offer up to four “Pre-Doc internship grants” to master students in their final phase or after their graduation, who completed their studies outside Germany. The grants include a travel budget and living costs for six months. The application deadline is strict and the grants will be awarded by a selection committee.

We thank the Einstein Foundation for the financial support of our Pre-Doc Internship Program through the Einstein Foundation Doctoral Program grant.


The Funding
  • Up to four fellowships for six months each.
  • Paid travel to Berlin, Germany (usually up to 1500,00 €; check the available fund with us).
  • 1468,00 €/month living costs incl. health and liability insurance and semester fee.


The Stay

During their stay the intern will profit from:

  • gaining experience in Computational Neuroscience research through a project,
  • contact with actual master and PhD students of our International Graduate Programs Computational Neuroscience,
  • participation in lectures series, retreat, and social events
  • participation in BCCN Berlin workshops if organized during their stay (e.g. doctoral proposal writing, grant writing, scientific presentation),
  • support by the BCCN Berlin coordination office.

Interns will work with supervisors towards their future PhD thesis and will have the chance to develop and prepare project ideas for submission to the BCCN Berlin PhD Program Computational Neuroscience and the Einstein Center for Neurosciences.


General information and Eligibility

The BCCN Berlin Pre-Doc Internship Program addresses motivated students who have a strong interest in Computational Neuroscience and want to join the BCCN Berlin doctoral program. Priority will be given to applicants from less developed countries and countries with a lower level of funding for research and higher education, especially in the area of computational neuroscience. Thus, we especially encourage students from these countries to apply.  Successful applicants will perform research in one of the BCCN Berlin member laboratories.

Exclusion criteria: We do not accept applications from students who have lived in Germany in the last three years or did their Bachelor or Master Degree in Germany.

The internships are open to students who meet our application criteria for the BCCN Berlin PhD Program Computational Neuroscience (https://www.bccn-berlin.de/doctoral-program-application.html), and who:

  • have not started their PhD degree by the start of the internship,
  • are in a final stage of their Master studies or have already graduated,
  • have a strong academic background,
  • have a strong motivation for research but have encountered difficulties in the transition to their doctoral studies,
  • have a strong mathematical background, preferably some programming skills, and a background in a field relevant to the proposed projects (e.g., mathematics, physics, neuroscience, computer science, engineering, psychology, cognitive science, biology),
  • have a very good command of the English language, both written and spoken,
  • and are available for the entire duration of six months.


The Pre-Doc internship fellowships will cover a substantial part of, or all of the travel to Berlin and living costs - including public transportation, rent, health and liability insurance.

Applicants have to contact the BCCN Berlin member laboratory with whom they would like to work with:

  • https://www.bccn-berlin.de/members-bccnberlin.html

The head/PI of the lab has to agree to the interns’ stay in their lab. A list of PIs who are interested in hosting Pre-Doc interns will be provided separately.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact our teaching coordination office: graduateprograms@bccn-berlin.de


The Timeline

Applications open: 15.7.2023

Deadline for applications: 15.10.2023, 23:59:59 hrs CEST

Virtual interviews for selected candidates: end of Nov/early Dec 2023

Notification of acceptance: end of Dec 2023

Start of internships: April 1, 2024


The Application (Please read carefully the instructions for application.)

Please send your complete application to "graduateprograms (at) bccn-berlin.de".
Please attach all required documents that are listed below (except the recommendation letter) in a single PDF file no larger than 6 MB named: Surname_Name_Predoc_2024.pdf to that email, stating:

  • planned start date,
  • planned end of stay,
  • estimated travel costs (flight, bus or train to Berlin).

List of required documents:

1. Your academic CV (max 1,5 pages).
2. Letter of motivation (Use the provided form for your motivation letter).
3. Transcripts and certificates of BSc/BA and MSc. If you have not completed your master, please include your current transcript.
4. Statement of acceptance by the BCCN Berlin member you want to visit, stating the planned starting and end date of your stay.
5. One letter of recommendation must be sent by your referee directly to graduateprograms (at) bccn-berlin.de .



We are very grateful to the Einstein Foundation for the financial support.