Berlin School of Mind and Brain (Doctoral Programme)

    The Berlin School of Mind and Brain offers a three-year doctoral program.
    Research and training at the School takes place in English, and the focus is on the interface between the humanities and behavioral sciences with the neurosciences.


    When applying to the doctoral program, please make sure that you will be able to supply the following information with your online application:

    (1) Academic background

    To be able to apply for the doctoral program, students must have completed (or be in the process of completing) a

    • Master’s degree (with thesis, usually two years)

    • Diplom

    • Staatsexamen

    • Magister

    in a field related/relevant to mind/brain research, e.g. philosophy, linguistics, psychology, neurology, psychiatry, computer science, biology, law, economics, or related fields.

    (2) Research proposal

    (a) Please read this advice by our faculty on how to apply successfully: open or download (pdf 35 kb)

    (b) The central requirement for admittance to the School is the applicant’s proposal for a doctoral project that was developed by themselves. All research proposals must have clear mind/brain relevance. The focus should be on the interface between the humanities and/or behavioral sciences with the neurosciences. Typical projects will investigate research questions that are of relevance to more than one discipline. The six research topics of the School pay tribute to that approach:

    • Perception, attention and consciousness

    • Decision-making

    • Language

    • Brain plasticity and lifespan ontogeny

    • Brain disorders and mental dysfunction

    • Human sociality and the brain (social cognition)

    See also:

    • Interdisciplinarity

    • Philosophy

    • Rationality

    • Molecular and cellular neuroscience

    (c) A proposal must contain a detailed project idea, including:

    • Summary of previous research

    • Justification for the relevance of the current project and the proposed research methodology

    • Summary of the hypotheses and research questions to be addressed

    • Relevant bibliography

    • Clear exposition of ideas: All proposals will be reviewed by several faculty members some of whom may not be specialists in your field. Therefore, it will be of advantage to you if your research proposal is comprehensible also to non-specialist reviewers.

    (d) Formal requirements for proposals:

    • Max. five pages. Please note: Excess text will be blacked out!

    • Single spaced

    • Font: Times New Roman

    • Size: 12 point

    • Margins: on all sides at least 2 cm

    • File format: PDF (do not password-protect or lock your file!)

    • File name: YOUR NAME_content (e.g., Miller_cv.pdf)

    If in doubt, please turn to the admissions officer of the School, (Ms) Dr Inken Dose, for additional advice (

    (3) Proof of proficiency in English for non-native speakers

    Our doctoral program is conducted in English. If you are a non-native English speaker we require proof of your proficiency. During the online application, please upload a certificate providing proof of your English knowledge. The minimum demand is B2 which is equivalent with the following test scores:

    • UNIcert® II Certificate: 3,0

    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 5,0

    • Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE): B-C

    • TOEFL: o Internet-based Test: 87, o Paper-based Test: 560

    • DAAD Language Certificate: C in all test sections (minimum requirement)


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    Students will not be able to start the program until sufficient funding (min. 1,000 euro per month) has been secured for at least two years.

    Each year, the Berlin School of Mind and Brain can offer five to seven scholarships. Currently, monthly scholarships are set at 1,150 euro plus travel grant opportunities throughout the doctoral course.

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