Curriculum requirements since 1st of January 2016


BIGS Neuroscience offers a broad and advanced curriculum. The core of PhD education consists of scientific research conducted in one of the participating research groups of the school. For completion and acceptance of a thesis, the work must represent a significant advance in the field of neuroscience or an adjacent area. To support the training of students, and to supplement their hands-on laboratory learning, the following curricular elements are offered:

Summer School: The BIGS Neuroscience summer school provides a systematic and broad introduction to central topics in neuroscience. The course is designed for first-year doctoral students from a variety of neuroscience – related fields, including biology, psychology, medicine, physics and computer science. The aim of this intense 10 days training is to allow students to achieve a basic understanding of fundamental topics and methods in modern neuroscience. It is structured in a series of long lectures covering neuronal cell biology and genetics, neuronal function, diseases of the nervous system, population studies and computational neuroscience. The models introduced include mouse and Drosophila, with a clear emphasis on human neurobiology. A major focus is on technical advances.

Method courses (Modules): BIGS Neuroscience offers a wide range of courses covering practical laboratory skills, basic neuroscience knowledge, and professional skills. Examples of these modules include hands-on imaging and electrophysiology modules, writing and publishing workshops, and introductory courses in genetics, physiology, and cell biology. These courses are offered on a rotating basis and BIGS students should participate in at least 1 module per year. Upon request, certain courses from other institutes (e.g. BFB) may also be accepted. Please contact the BIGS office with questions about eligible seminars. Current Courses

Lectures: Attendance is mandatory at 16 seminars per year (8 per semester).  Students can select the lectures relevant to their interests from The Bonn Neuroscience Seminar Series, DZNE Seminars, Immunosensation Lectures or Caesar Lectures.  Upon request, certain seminars from other institutes (e.g. Life & Brain, LIMES) may also be accepted. Please contact the BIGS office with questions about eligible seminars.

The Bonn Neuroscience Seminar Series is a scientific seminar series with high-profile external speakers from the following three fields:

  • Cellular and molecular neuroscience
  • Clinical neuroscience
  • Systems neuroscience / Bonn iMaging Seminar

Current Neuroscience Seminars
We recommend PhD students to subscribe to the email list in order to automatically receive the Neuroscience Seminar announcements.

Good Scientific Practice course: The one-day course on Good Scientific Practice based on the DFG-Memorandum “Proposals for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice” (2013) has to be attended by every PhD student in the first year of their doctoral thesis.

Additional courses in basic neuroscience (optional): We are pleased to offer additional lectures and seminars through the Master of Neurosciences program for students with a non-Neuroscience background. You can find the course offers for the WS 2018/2019 here. Participation is possible in lectures of the Compulsory Modules Neuromorphology, Neurophysiology, Molecular Neurobiology and Statistics but not practicals. Here is an overview of the course dates. If you wish to attend a module, please contact the respective lecturer in advance about your participation and inquire about the course venue.

PhD students who started their promotion before the 31st of December 2015 have to fulfill the former curriculum requirements (see picture below).

Former curriculum requirements (before 31st of December 2016)