Testimonials of the PhD Program Computational Neuroscience


Raphael Holca

Country of origin: Canada

Previous studies: MSc Neural Systems and Computation

Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2017

Current occupation: mimica start-up founder

"The BCCN’s PhD programme strikes a remarkable balance. First, the balance of support and independence: regular lab presentations and peer meetings provide a reliable structure around on your own, independent project. Then the balance of hard and soft skills: technical courses are complemented with theatre and presentation workshops, teaching activities and trip to conferences. And finally, the balance between productivity and social: the BCCN attracts brilliant minds with whom it’s always a pleasure to discuss at the many BBQs, events and retreats. All-in-all it’s been a great time!"


Kerstin Ritter (nee Hackmack)

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Diplom Mathematics, HU Berlin

Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2012

Current occupation: Jun. Prof. 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."


Arno Onken

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Diplom Computer Science, TU Berlin

Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2011

Current occupation: Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

"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."


Evelin Beck (nee 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."