SFB889 Cellular Mechanisms of Sensory Processing

Measures to promote young researchers

Mission statement: We are committed to excellent training in neurosensory research and promotion of young researchers at all stages of career.

Science training for pupils/XLAB In an effort to raise research interest at an early stage the University of Göttingen runs an active training program for German and international high school students (http://www.xlab-goettingen.de/) with an active contribution of PIs of the consortium.

Bachelor and Master students PIs of the consortium are actively involved in the undergraduate teaching. Besides the classical disciplines specific programs such as the Master course of the international MSc/PhD Neuroscience program (http://www.gpneuro.uni-goettingen.de/) are offered.

PhD students Training of graduate (PhD) students is of great importance to all faculty members of the CRC and finds excellent conditions, after transition towards structured PhD programs has been achieved. For obtaining a PhD-degree in natural and life sciences (Dr. rer. nat.), a student must be enrolled in the Georg August University School of Sciences (GAUSS) for the entire duration of the training. All but 3 PIs of the CRC are full faculty of GAUSS officially entitling them to direct PhD projects regardless of the PI’s affiliation. In 2007 the University of Göttingen founded the Göttingen Graduate School for Neuro- and Molecular Biosciences (GGNB), which operates under the roof of GAUSS and strives to provide a common training platform for all students working in the fields of molecular biology, neurosciences, biophysics, and adjacent areas of science. GGNB has been successful in its bid for funding as Graduate School in the framework of the German Excellence Initiative. In addition to offering training, establishing measures of quality control and providing administrative support, GGNB launches biannual recruitment campaigns in order to attract top students from around the world for its PhD programs. Availability of PhD fellowships is limited in GGNB (<10 % of the GGNB students). GGNB and its programs are regularly evaluated by an External Scientific Advisory Board.

Central to the CRC 889 is the GGNB doctoral program “Sensory and Motor Neuroscience” (coordinated by Moser) created in 2007. However, considering the interdisciplinary scope of the CRC, some students may also elect to join GGNB programs closer to their methodical expertise such as the Programs “Systems Neuroscience”, “Theoretical and computational Neuroscience”, “Molecular Physiology of the Brain”, “Physics and Advanced Microscopy of Biological Systems”, and “Biomolecules”. The research groups of the CRC offer theoretical courses (e.g. the annual course “Fundamental Principles in Sensory Processing” of the “Sensory and Motor Neuroscience” program) and both short method courses as well as intensive methods courses of 1-3 weeks in special training labs.

We also encourage highly motivated medical students to perform experimental (MD) thesis work within CRC projects. While presently MD-students cannot formally be admitted to GGNB, they will have access to the course program and seminars.

Postdocs In contrast to the US, postdoctoral training and career promotion is traditionally underdeveloped in Germany. The CRC will therefore make special efforts for promoting the careers of its postdocs (see also above). All courses offered by CRC members to graduate students will be open to postdocs of the CRC. Furthermore, it has been agreed that postdocs can also participate in the training courses in professional skills offered by GGNB.

Young principal investigators The CRC will offer excellent opportunities for young PIs with non-permanent positions to establish their scientific career. Young investigators at the junior group leader level represent 5 out of 19 of the participating PIs. Young PIs, who obtained competitive junior research group funding, are full faculty of GAUSS/GGNB. The other young PIs are associated GGNB faculty and supervise students with assistance of a senior PI. Improving the teaching skills will be fostered by the teachers training program of the University of Göttingen. Young investigators actively participate in shaping this CRC. We anticipate that in the future the CRC will attract further junior groups.

DFG - Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftGeorg-August-Universität Göttingen