The HBS program offers training on key knowledge and cutting-edge methodology in all research areas of the Hamburg Center of Neuroscience (HCNS), promotes the scientific dialogue among students and postdocs, familiarizes them with issues like good scientific practice and expands their personal and soft skills.

The program features lectures, seminars and courses on neuroscience topics, methods workshops and seminars, as well as courses for training of transferable skills. Training is also offered through workshops, conferences and other scientific meetings. In addition to the HBS faculty, visiting scientists also contribute to the lectures, seminars and journal clubs offered for doctoral students and postdocs.

Importantly, the HBS does not only host members based at the UKE, but also admits PhD students and postdocs in neuroscience and cognitive science from other faculties of Hamburg University and from the Helmut Schmidt University. Thus, the HBS supports Hamburg-wide synergies in neuroscience graduate training.

The HBS Training Program

The HBS offers training in all areas of neuroscience and cognitive science, ranging from molecular and cellular neuroscience, network and systems neuroscience to clinical neuroscience, modeling and artificial cognitive systems (for further details, see Research). The goal of the HBS curriculum is that doctoral students and postdocs receive an education enhancing and broadening their scientific scope beyond their research topic. Furthermore, junior researchers engage in an inter- and multidisciplinary exchange and in the development of their personal soft skills for future leadership positions both in science and the industry.

Research courses

cover background knowledge and current developments in all research areas the HBS groups are involved. We offer, among others, lecture series featuring international and highly renowned speakers, weekly journal clubs, networking workshops, retreats, symposia, and conferences.

Methods courses

provide knowledge and hands-on training in specific neuroscientific approaches, tools and data analysis techniques. In the HBS Methods Academy, renowned international speakers talk about state-of-the art tools and offer hands-on training sessions.

Soft skill courses

offer training in additional competences beyond the scientific core expertise, which are useful to enhance career opportunities. Key skill seminars cover, e.g., time and goal management, scientific writing, grant proposal writing, career planning, conflict management, and leadership skills.

Doctoral candidates and junior postdocs enrolled in the HBS can select courses, according to their personal preferences, in the research areas their project is located in. The HBS program offers a large choice of events, workshops, lectures, key skill seminars, and methods courses. In addition to the excellent neuroscientific research and graduate training possibilities, researchers can network among each other to build a strong foundation for their future careers.

Obtaining Your Degree

Key prerequisite for enrollment in the HBS program is that the doctoral thesis work is carried out in a group or institute that is part of the HCNS. A list of the HCNS member institutes can be found here. To students with a background in medicine, the UKE can award the medical doctorate (Dr. med.). Recently, the UKE has restructured and improved these regulations. To enhance the quality of supervision, progress reports, thesis committee meetings and a basic set of obligatory courses (e.g., on good scientific practice) have been introduced for the medical doctoral students.

For candidates with non-medical backgrounds, the UKE offers graduation with a PhD degree. Furthermore, the UKE offers an MD/PhD program that allows to award a PhD degree to MDs involved in the PhD program for another two years after their final state examination. PhD degrees in other subject areas are awarded by the respective faculties of Hamburg University (psychology, informatics, biology) or Helmut Schmidt University (psychology). Upon individual agreement, it is also possible to obtain the doctorate in cooperation with other universities.

Doctoral students of the HBS can collect credit points over the course of their thesis work by attending the training events they have selected. For graduation at the UKE, PhD and medical doctoral students need to collect 30 and 8 credit points, respectively, over the course of their graduate training. If you have further questions about the HBS training program, please feel free to contact us through email:

A full list of the courses provided by HBS is available upon request. Further instructions for submitting your application can be found here.