Summer schools not to miss in 2018

You’re back from the Christmas holidays, slowly getting back to work. While you’re at it, you may want to note some of these summer schools down in your calendar (particularly if you have a knack for finding out about interesting summer schools 1-2 days before the deadline). Below are some of the neuroscience summer schools taking place this year, and importantly, the key dates not to miss. Note that some applications already close in January.

FENS Summer School

Neural stem cells, brain organoids and brain repair

  • When: 3 – 9 June
  • Where: Bertinoro, Italy
  • Deadline: 5 February


The Cajal Advanced Neuroscience Training Programme (Technical Skills)

Behaviour of Neural Systems

  • When: 15 July – 4 August
  • Where: Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Deadline: Applications open in January

Computational Neuroscience

  • When: 12 August – 1 September
  • Where: Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Deadline: Applications open in January

Neuroinflammation and how to study it

  • When: 25 June – 7 July
  • Where: Bordeaux Neurocampus, France
  • Deadline: 26 February

Advanced Imaging Methods for Cellular Neuroscience

  • When: 10 – 28 September
  • Where: Bordeaux Neurocampus, France
  • Deadline: Applications will open in April

Linking Neural Circuits and Behaviour

  • When: 8 – 26 October
  • Where: Bordeaux Neurocampus, France
  • Deadline: Applications will open in May


Marine Biological Laboratory


  • When: 31 May – 28 July
  • Where: Woods Hole, USA
  • Deadline: 1 February

For an account of my experience at the Neurobiology course in Woods Hole, see here

Neural Systems & Behavior

  • When: 3 June – 29 July
  • Where: Woods Hole, USA
  • Deadline: 1 February

Summer Program in Neuroscience, Excellence and Success (SPINES)

  • When: 14 June – 5 July
  • Where: Woods Hole, USA
  • Deadline: 23 February

Methods in Computational Neuroscience

  • When: 29 July – 24 August
  • Where: Woods Hole, USA
  • Deadline: 20 March

Brains, Minds & Machines

  • When: 9 – 30 August
  • Where: Woods Hole, USA
  • Deadline: 9 April

For more MBL courses, see here


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL)

Ion Channels in Synaptic and Neural Circuit Physiology

  • When: 5 – 25 June
  • Where: CSHL, USA
  • Deadline: 15 March

Workshop on Schizophrenia and related disorders

  • When: 6 – 13 June
  • Where: CSHL, USA
  • Deadline: 15 March

Advanced Techniques in Molecular Neuroscience

  • When: 29 June – 14 July
  • Where: CSHL, USA
  • Deadline: 31 March

Single Cell Analysis

  • When: 29 June – 14 July
  • Where: CSHL, USA
  • Deadline: 31 March

Drosophila Neurobiology: Genes, Circuits & Behavior

  • When: 29 June – 19 July
  • Where: CSHL, USA
  • Deadline: 31 March

Computational Neuroscience: Vision

  • When: 9 – 22 July
  • Where: CSHL, USA
  • Deadline: 31 March

Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System

  • When: 24 July – 13 August
  • Where: CHSL, USA
  • Deadline: 15 April

For more courses at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, see here


A Focus on Imaging & Electrophysiological Techniques

Transylvanian Experimental Neuroscience Summer School

  • When: 1 – 21 June
  • Where: The Pike Lake, Transylvania, Romania
  • Deadline: 15 March

Microelectrode Techniques for Cell Physiology

  • When: 29 August – 12 September
  • Where: Plymouth, UK
  • Deadline: 31 March

Frontiers in Neurophotonics (Advanced Optical Imaging & Photoactivation Techniques)

  • When: 10 – 20 June
  • Where: Neurophotonics Centre, Québec, Canada
  • Deadline: 1 March

Optical Imaging and Electrophysiological Recording in Neuroscience

  • When: 14 – 25 May
  • Where: Paris, France
  • Deadline: 11 February

New! Neuropixels Course

  • When: 23 – 25 April
  • Where: UCL, UK
  • Deadline: 26 February


Computational Neuroscience

Computational Neuroscience Course (Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology, OIST)

  • When: 25 June – 12 July
  • Where: OIST, Japan
  • Deadline: 3 February

Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience Summer School

  • When: 26 June – 19 July
  • Where: in 2017 the summer school took place on the campus of NYU-Shanghai in Shanghai, China
  • Deadline: Applications open in January

Summer Workshop on the Dynamic Brain

  • When: 19 August – 2 September
  • Where: Friday Harbor Laboratories, Washington State, USA
  • Deadline: 1 April

Cellular, Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience

  • When: 10 June – 6 July
  • Where: Princeton University, USA
  • Deadline: 1 March



This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but it points to some of the main neuroscience summer schools and courses. Feel free to add any courses you have attended or recommend in comments. Good luck!



Self generated sounds and the DCN

Let me introduce the protagonist: the DCN

DCN is the abbreviated form of dorsal cochlear nucleus. The DCN is a brainstem nucleus. DCN receives direct auditory input from the cochlea via the auditory nerve. The DCN also receives somatosensory input about the head, ear and jaw. Why do we have multisensory input at the first point at which auditory information is processed in the brain? This recent paper looks into the DCN, a multisensory hub.

Blog 8a

Continue reading “Self generated sounds and the DCN”

About Citizens, Science & Cheese

At the beginning of June, 44 PhD students from both sciences and humanities, selected from universities across Europe, participated in the LERU summer school “Citizen Science – nexus between research and public engagement” organised by the University of Zurich (UZH) – and I was one of the lucky nominees of LMU Munich. I must admit that before attending the summer school I didn’t know all too much about the topic. Within a week however, I had not only learned about the scope of citizen science projects, but I had even created one with other participants during the “Citizen Science Hack Day”! Therefore, I want to share my experiences and some of my newfound knowledge of citizen science. I will elaborate on whether you can use citizen science for your purposes (spoiler: you probably can), and I will also include some tips on what to do Zürich (spoiler: it involves cheese).

Continue reading “About Citizens, Science & Cheese”

Are stories distorting science?

In a recent opinion piece in Nature, cancer biologist Michele Pagano laments the ongoing “businessization” of science. He argues that mismanagement of scientific funding in the US is promoting a culture of “quantity over quality” in biomedical research, to the detriment of reliable science and academic rigour.

Pagano claims one aspect of “businessization” is the increasing volume of data that journals want in scientific papers, in order to make them appear more important. More important papers means more attention for the publishing journal, and ultimately greater profits. Particularly striking to me, Pagano notes the ever increasing use of the word “story” in reference to scientific papers, “a testament to the tabloidization of scientific information”, as he puts it.

Continue reading “Are stories distorting science?”

Nicotine avoidance and GLP-1 neurons

After stuffing your face with < enter favourite food >, you invariably feel full. You simply can’t eat anymore. This satiety is not an aversive experience, but rather an avoidance response.  Apparently, smokers also feel this satiety when it comes to their nicotine intake. They can titrate their nicotine intake to avoid the noxious effects of high levels of nicotine.

How does this come about?

The following paper from Tuesta et al., looks at the circuitry behind the phenomenon.

Continue reading “Nicotine avoidance and GLP-1 neurons”

PhD career development – what can you do?

Following Sara’s posts on post-PhD considerations and 20 alternative careers, I want to share the experience of some GSN students going through the post-PhD career questions in a group. So far I found this the most helpful way to work on that compared to all the workshops and career fairs, so I want to share the approach with you and really encourage you to try it out.

Continue reading “PhD career development – what can you do?”

Practise what you preach

The recent US election brought home once again the reluctance of large swathes of educated population to accept the ‘theory’ of evolution. A mere passing mention of the ceaseless creationist vs evolutionist debate triggers a stereotypical reaction from anyone who considers oneself even remotely related to scientific circles (graduate students, for example): a sigh, an awkward little laugh and apparent willingness to change subject, or – if you are lucky – a feat of righteous wrath and an impromptu lecture on the dire necessity of ‘educating the masses’. Continue reading “Practise what you preach”

Top 5 things to do as a neuroscience student in Munich this semester (SS 2017)

The summer semester is starting, so here are the top things to do as a neuroscience student in Munich  (in chronological order):

Continue reading “Top 5 things to do as a neuroscience student in Munich this semester (SS 2017)”

Top 20 alternative career paths

What comes after your PhD ? You might be wrapping up your PhD, set for a post-doc and suddenly having doubts about your career choice. Or, you might be just starting your PhD. It’s never too late, or too early, to give some thought to your career.

You can read about GSN student Sara’s  approach here.

Below is a list of top 20 alternative career paths, compiled by Cheekyscientist (from their free ebook).  Cheekyscientist is a platform that helps PhDs transfer from academia to the industry.

Continue reading “Top 20 alternative career paths”

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