Applicant Information

A summary of our "Program Regulations" can be downloaded here.

Required Documentation

Candidates are expected to hold a Masters degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject (e.g., neuroscience, cognitive science, computer science, physics, …) and possess the required advanced mathematical background.

Applications must be uploaded through the BCCN application portal. The portal is now closed.

The deadline for applications was March 15.

For questions or in case of technical problems with the portal, contact: Darko Komnenić by email: graduateprograms AT

You will be required to submit the following documents:

  1. Curriculum vitae (including a list of publications, if applicable)
  2. Letter of motivation
  3. Copies of certificates and transcripts of records
  4. Proof of proficiency in English (same as for the Master Program: see "English" prerequisites for  "Master Program" application at the bottom of page for accepted scores - the other prerequisites (e.g. math) do not apply for the PhD Program
  5. Description of Master thesis or equivalent
  6. Project proposal for future PhD work (recommended approx 1000-1500 words including bibliography).
  7. Names of potential supervisors (candidates are strongly encouraged to contact potential supervisors and discuss potential projects with them prior to application).
  8. Two letters of reference must be sent by the referees by email within deadline directly to: Lisa Velenosi <graduateprograms AT bccn-berlin DOT de>. Please ask your referees to use "Reference letter for PhD applicant <your name>" as a subject line!



Successful applicants of the first round will be invited to Berlin for 2-3 days to meet their potential supervisors and present themselves to the faculty of the program by giving a short presentation and an interview. The applicants should prepare a 15 min presentation of their master or diploma thesis including a description of their motivation for the future PhD project.

*Note: Currently, we recommend that students who wish to complete a PhD with the BCCN first contact their preferred supervisors to agree on a project and secure funding. A list of possible BCCN supervisors can be found here, please contact your potential future supervisor if you want to do a PhD with them.

Selection criteria include:

  • competence and research experience in computational neuroscience/machine learning;
  • mathematical background;
  • scientific and educational track record;
  • research interests and motivation;
  • proficiency in English.



The BCCN Berlin does not offer scholarships. You can participate in our structured program with funding from other sources like PhD positions in a lab, fellowships from other institutions (e.g. DAAD scholarship finder, My Stipendium Data Base).



PhD positions

You can do your PhD in our structured program with a PhD position in one of our member labs. Please contact the labs you are interested in before preparing your application and confirm with the group leader that you will be accepted as PhD student and will receive a PhD position. Mention this in your application.



For any questions concerning the application procedure or the doctoral program, please contact the teaching coordinator Darko Komnenić by email to graduateprograms AT

For advice and first-hand experience from current doctoral students at the BCCN Berlin, you can contact Clémence Bergerot (clemence.bergerot AT, Noa Hedrich (noa-louise.hedrich AT, Alessandro Gifford (alessandro.gifford AT, or Agnessa Karapatian (agnessakarapetian AT