Jannis Born, Maryna Kapitonova, Jan Kirchner and Lukas Vogelsang, 2019

Organisers of the International Interdisciplinary Computational Cognitive Science Spring School in 2019 (Freiburg, Germany, 25 – 31 March).

“The first, but certainly not last, iteration of IICCSSS took place from the 25th to the 31st of March 2019 at the Bernstein Center in Freiburg. In this historic student friendly city in the southwest of Germany, a total of 68 students from cognitive and computational neuroscience, neuro engineering, psychology, computer science, physics and musicology (!) gathered for five days of lectures from 16 different speakers, grouped into three blocks: Bayesian Models of Cognition, Neural Networks in Cognitive Neuroscience and Signal Processing of Neural Data. Both our participants and our invited speakers were highly international, travelling from (among other countries) Sweden, Great Britain, Japan, India, or Brazil to present their research and to exchange ideas. Throughout the course, our participants, many of which had never attended a scientific meeting before, managed to maintain an atmosphere of excitement and scientific curiosity. This atmosphere enabled many intense and productive discussions about the concepts introduced throughout the day. In summary, we are confident that we were able to make an important first step towards the mission of our spring school: to convey an intuitive understanding of current trends and paradigms in computational cognitive neuroscience. This would not have been possible without the generous support of FENS and IBRO-PERC and, of course, the hosting NENS School, for which we are exceedingly grateful!”

Leonie Glitz, 2019

MSc student, UK, stipend awardee to the International Interdisciplinary Computational Cognitive Science Spring School in 2019 (Freiburg, Germany, 25 – 31 March).

“The spring school was wonderful and much exceeded my expectations. The organisers did an amazing job at putting everything together and ensuring the attendees interacted with them and one another and everyone was incredibly friendly. I felt like I learned a lot about computational cognitive modelling in all three parts of the spring school… There was a highly motivating atmosphere, with about 95% of all attendees attending every lecture (or, that is what it felt like), even the 8 am ones! This high attendance was great, and asking questions was very much encouraged as well.”

Daniel Twohig, 2019

PhD student, SE, stipend awardee to the Pathogenesis of Neurodegenerative Diseases – Finding a Common Ground course in 2019 (Braga, Portugal, 1 – 5 April).

“First of all I would like to thank FENS and IBRO-PERC for awarding me the stipend to attend the course, it is greatly appreciated. Regarding the course, it was very engaging and educational overall. A wide variety of lectures were given by individuals very knowledgeable in their respective fields, thus also making any subsequent discussions very easy and animated. Moreover, we did not finish on time most days due to very interesting and varied discussions that began during many of the lectures, which was fantastic. This showed that the topics were interesting, but more importantly that the experts giving the talks were very open to discussion and, for the most part, also open-minded. I learned many new things about neurodegenerative diseases that I knew little about before, including ALS and Huntington’s disease. I also feel that, as a whole, the class learned that there are many similarities across neurodegenerative diseases, for example when looking at mechanisms of inflammation. The organizers were also very knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and communicative with us, so from the second we started, we felt at ease. Additionally, I have made some great connections with a group of PhD students attending the course from around Europe. We were able to do some sightseeing in the evenings and had several meals together. Braga (Portugal) is a beautiful city with extremely friendly inhabitants, great food, and a lovely University and medical school. After one week in Braga, I will undeniably return to Portugal to explore more of this great country. Overall, the experience was educationally fulfilling and entirely enjoyable.”

Davide Momi, 2019

PhD student, IT, stipend awardee to the International Interdisciplinary Computational Cognitive Science Spring School in 2019 (Freiburg, Germany, 25 – 31 March).

“I had the pleasure to be awarded with a FENS and IBRO stipend to attend the “International Interdisciplinary Computational Cognitive Science Spring School”, held in Freiburg (Germany) from the 25th to the 31st March 2019.
I highly recommend students to apply for this School and I hope that I will be able to attend it again in the future. Indeed, the Spring School is well organized and provides both theoretical and practical classes on computational cognitive topics. I’ve really enjoyed the school and I’ve met numerous amazing people working in the neuroscience research field. (…) The school offers the opportunity to meet students from all over the world, with different backgrounds. This scenario allows to share knowledge and to entail collaborations, making everything extremely fulfilling. Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to attend the Spring School!”

Corette J. Wierenga, 2019

Course coordinator of the Summerschool on Neural Circuit Development and Plasticity in Utrecht, The Netherlands (15 – 19 July, 2019). 

“This summer I enjoyed again the pleasure of hosting a group of enthusiastic master and PhD students from all over the world (this year ranging from Japan to Colombia!) in Utrecht at our summer school. I always find it amazing to see how young scientists with completely different backgrounds (both cultural and scientific) find each other in their lover of science. We invite international scientists to give lectures in the morning and to provide informative workshops in the afternoon. It is never a problem to invite great scientists to teach at our summer school and they appreciate the interactions with the students just as much as vice versa. This year’s group was very enthusiastic, asked a lot of questions, and was clearly eager to learn as much as possible about neuroscience. On the last afternoon, they presented their own ambitious (and sometimes wild) ideas for future research projects based on what they heard in Utrecht. Who knows, perhaps I will invite some of them as a lecturer in the future…”

Anna Gruzdeva, 2019

PhD student, RU, stipend awardee to the Transylvanian Experimental Neuroscience Summer School – TENSS 2019  in 2019 (Pike Lake, Romania, 1-21 June).

“Thank you NENS and FENS for the support! The participation at the TENSS 2019 was very fruitful for my work and me in general. Three weeks of this summer school were very interesting and eventful. I am really happy that I had this experience! The course exceeded my expectations, it was very helpful for my current and future work. We had many absorbing lectures and practical lab sessions. It was very easy for me to communicate with the TENSS organizers and get the award from them.”

Magadalena Pereyra, 2019

PhD student, AR, stipend awardee to the Neural Circuit Development and Plasticity course in 2019 (Utrecht, The Netherlands, 15 – 19 July).

“The Neural Circuit Development and Plasticity course met my expectations, it was a great opportunity to interact with outstanding researchers and get to know their work. Everyone was really friendly and accessible for all students. The course contents were very inspiring and useful for my thesis. The organisers and FENS were available for all the doubts, the rooms were very comfortable and allowed us to work there. The group was nice and it was a great experience. I would definitely recommend the course to my colleagues.”

Laszlo Szente, 2019

PhD student, HU, stipend awardee to the Baltic Summer School on Behavioural Characterization of Rodent Models of Major Brain Disorders in 2019 (Tartu/Puhajarve, Estonia, 25 – 30 August).

“The course maximally fulfilled all my expectations. The lectures were really interesting for me, mostly those which gave us practical advices about some well-known, and other, behavioral tests. However, it was also very promising to see how senior researchers tried to encourage us to make science even better in the future. And it was really helpful for me that I had the opportunity to present my PhD research at the summer school. The communication with FENS and the course organizers was perfect. They always sent me the most updated information about the course. In my view, the most relevant thing to consider is to always talk with postdocs after their lectures or fellow students during the time of the course, because you can exchange great ideas for future experiments, you can keep in contact with each other, and last but not least, make friends.”

Raul C. Muresan, 2017

Course coordinator of Transylvanian Experimental Neuroscience Summer School – TENSS 2017 course (Pike Lake, Romania, 1-19 June).

“The Transylvanian Experimental Neuroscience Summer School (TENSS) has started in 2012 and has reached its sixth edition in 2017, with the seventh being due during June 1-21, 2018. TENSS is a testimony of what creative and enthusiastic neuroscientists can do: it brings together 12-14 students from all corners of the world, with 20 teaching assistants and organizers, and about 20 lecturers from top labs, in a remote, beautiful place in Transylvania. Its main mission is to chase away fear: students learn in 3 weeks that they can build, from scratch, the most complex experimental setups to study how brain circuits work – and do this in the middle of wild Transylvania, far away from civilization and with no lab “next door” as a backup. They have to solve all the technical hurdles, overcome infrastructure limitations, and compensate by being innovative, creative, and bold!”.


Marissa Giovannas Schamne, 2017

Ph.D. student, BRstipend awardee to  Psychopharmacology: from laboratory to clinic course 2017 (University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece, 7-11 October).

“The workshop was really nice and well organized. Good lectures and excellent networking with all the research and participants. The communication with the organizers was very simple and easy, and regarding the founding, it was very easy to communicate with Arjan Bokland. The stipend was really nice and important for students to participate in meetings like that, making possible to attend and travel. I think the way that the applications run is good and self explanatory for everyone who wants to participate.”