Connecting European Neuroscience

Computational Neuroscience

RESCHEDULED to 4-24 July 2021, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Portugal

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this course has been rescheduled to 4-24 July 2021.

The CAJAL Training Programme is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. 
More information here.

Computational Neuroscience is a rapidly evolving field whose methods and techniques are critical for understanding and modelling the brain, and also for designing and interpreting experiments. Mathematical modelling is an essential tool to cut through the vast complexity of neurobiological systems and their many interacting elements.

The course teaches the central ideas, methods, and practices of modern computational neuroscience through a combination of lectures and hands-on project work. During the course’s mornings, distinguished international faculty deliver lectures on topics across the entire breadth of experimental and computational neuroscience. For the remainder of the time, students work on research projects in teams of 2 to 3 people under close supervision of expert tutors and faculty. Research projects are proposed by faculty before the course, and include the modeling of neurons, neural systems, and behavior, the analysis of state-of-the-art neural data (behavioral data, multi-electrode recordings, calcium imaging data, connectomics data, etc.), and the development of theories to explain experimental observations.

Course directors

Brent Doiron
University of Chicago,
  Maria Geffen
University of Pennsylvania,
  Julijana Gjorgjieva
Max Planck Institute for Brain Research,

Joe Paton
Champalimaud Research,

Keynote Speakers

Alex Cayco-Gajic École Normale Supérieure, France
Ann Hermundstad Janelia Research Campus, USA
Gilles Laurent Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany
Máté Lengyel University of Cambridge, UK
Ashok Litwin-Kumar Columbia University, USA
Christian Machens Champalimaud Research, Portugal
Olivier Marre Vision Institute, France
Ken Miller Columbia University, USA
Mala Murthy Princeton Neuroscience Institute, USA
Srdjan Ostojic École Normale Supérieure, France
Anne-Marie Oswald University of Chicago, USA
Alfonso Renart Champalimaud Research, Portugal
Nathalie Rochefort University of Edinburgh, UK
Vanessa Ruta Rockefeller University, USA

For further information on the course programme, instructors and techniques go to the course local website.

Pre-school on Programming and Mathematics (1-3 July 2021)

The main course ‘Computational Neuroscience’ is aimed at students with a biological/experimental background (“experimentalists”) and with a quantitative background (“theorists”). Two of the primary objectives of the course are to help students cross the traditional discipline boundaries that most are still trained in, and to get experimentalists and theorists to collaborate on a research project.

As a consequence, the experimentalists will have to improve their level of mathematics and programming skills; and the theorists, their level of (neuro-)biology. To level the playing field, we wish to offer a pre-school to teach students with little or no programming skills the basics of modern programming languages (e.g., MATLAB or Python). Please find more information on the pre-school on the Cajal Couse in Computational Neuroscience local website.

Please note that the Pre-school is not included in the main course tuition fee and therefore, an extra fee of 400€ applies. In order to register for the pre-school, please click on the "yes" option under the "Do you wish to register for the Pre-school on Math and Programming?" question in the main application form. The fee will automatically be added to the registration costs for the course.


Fee : 2.500 € (includes tuition fee, accommodation and meals)
Pre-school fee: 400 €

The CAJAL programme offers 4 stipends per course (waived registration fee, not including travel expenses). Please apply through the course online application form. In order to identify candidates in real need of a stipend, any grant applicant is encouraged to first request funds from their lab, institution or government.

Kindly note that if you benefited from a Cajal stipend in the past, you are no longer eligible to receive this kind of funding. However other types of funding (such as partial travel grants from sponsors) might be made available after the participants selection process, depending on the course.

This course was originally schedulded on 10-28 August 2020. Applications were closed on 31st March 2020. Applications submitted in 2020 are considered for the 2021 edition. In case some slots remain open in early 2021, a call for applications will open in January 2021.


Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Portugal


For enquiries, please contact: