Welcome to IMPRS for Brain & Behavior

The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Brain & Behavior is a fully-funded PhD program in Bonn, Germany that offers a competitive world-class PhD training and research program in the field of neuroethology and neuroscience. IMPRS for Brain & Behavior is a collaboration between caesar, the University of Bonn, and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease (DZNE) in Bonn.

Our research groups bring a unique combination of experimental and computational approaches to bear on the question of how the brain controls behavior across a variety of species. Establishing the link between brain circuits and behavior is known as ‘neuroethology’, which aims to understand how the collective activity of the vast numbers of interconnected neurons in the brain gives rise to the diversity of animal behaviors. To gain a full understanding of brain circuity underlying a specific behavior requires the combination of research approaches focusing on different levels of detail - ranging from the anatomical reconstruction of neural circuits to the quantitative behavioral analysis of freely moving animals and natural behavior.

The speaker is Dr. Kevin Briggman, scientific director at caesar, who manages the program together with the Steering Committee consisting of representative faculty members of all partner institutes. caesar hosts the IMPRS Coordination Office with the coordinator Ezgi Bulca.

The program aims to recruit outstanding doctoral students and immerse them in a stimulating environment that provides novel technologies to elucidate the function of brain circuits from molecules to animal behavior.

Out of a total of 39 PhD students in the program, 19 are currently working in all nine research groups at caesar. All caesar group leaders are faculty members of the IMPRS and they serve in the governing body of the program.

General Information on IMPRS

Since 2000, the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) have become a permanent part of the Max Planck Society’s efforts to promote PhD students. Talented junior scientists are offered the opportunity to earn a doctorate under excellent research conditions. A shared characteristic of the graduate programs at Max Planck Institutes is a close collaboration with universities.

Currently, there are 68 IMPRS. The research schools are established by one or several Max Planck Institutes and partner with universities and other research institutions. This provides an extraordinary framework for the graduate students to work in and is a great advantage in interdisciplinary research projects, or in projects that require special equipment. Currently, approx. 80 Max Planck Institutes are associated with an IMPRS.

In general, about half of the doctoral researchers who receive their training at an IMPRS are from Germany, and the other half are from around the world. The principal component of the 3-year study program is the doctoral thesis representing a major piece of independent research, mainly in an interdisciplinary topic. Doctoral students also benefit from regular workshops, which facilitate the exchange of information and provide students with the opportunity to see their research topic from different perspectives. The right to confer degrees remains with the respective university.

For more information, please contact our IMPRS coordinator Ezgi Bulca.

  • Ezgi Bulca

    IMPRS coordinator

    Ezgi Bulca
(c) Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
(c) Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
(c) Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience