International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Brain and Behavior offers a competitive world-class PhD training and research program. caesar is one of the four partner institutes that host the program together with the University of Bonn in Germany and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in the United States.
IMPRS for Brain and Behavior is the first of its kind in uniting universities and Max Planck Institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. The speaker is Dr. Jason Kerr, scientific director at caesar, who manages the program together with three co-speakers at each partner institute. caesar hosts the IMPRS Coordination Office in Bonn with the coordinator Ezgi Bulca.
Our research program addresses how sensory information is encoded in neural circuits and is transformed ultimately to behavior. The level of analysis ranges from understanding molecular signaling cascades in spines during learning to understanding how sensory and motor circuits are activated in awake behaving animals.
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 26 PhD students in Bonn and Florida, seven are currently working in five different groups at caesar. All caesar group leaders are faculty members of the IMPRS and they serve in the governing body of the program.
Since 2000, the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) have become a permanent part of our efforts to promote PhD students. Talented junior scientists are offered the opportunity to earn a doctorate under excellent research conditions. A shared characteristics of the graduate programs at Max Planck Institutes is a close collaboration with universities.
A state-of-the-art degree in research
There are currently 60 IMPRS in place; 26 in the Chemistry, Physics and Technology Section, 23 in the Biology and Medicine Section, and 11 in the Human and Social Sciences Section. 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, 80 Max Planck Institutes are associated with an IMPRS.
Innovative training programs
In general, about half of the junior researchers who receive their training at an IMPRS are from Germany and the other half 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 exchange of information and provide students with the opportunity to see their research topic from different perspectives.
For more information, please contact our IMPRS coordinator Ezgi Bulca.