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Details for Application

Applications for 13 PhD students in Neuroscience at the University of Regensburg open!

Neuroscience Research Training Group

“Neurobiology of Social and Emotional Dysfunctions“

funded by the German Research Council

Psychopathologies associated with social and emotional dysfunctions, such as anxiety disorder and depression, create a high personal and socio-economic burden. Often, specific treatment options for these psychopathologies are limited mostly due to our still limited knowledge of underlying neurobiological mechanisms. The doctoral projects of our GRK, which exists since 2017, aim to yield in-depth insights into some molecular, neuronal and neuroendocrine aspects of socio-emotional dysfunctions using a translational approach and state-of-the art methodology. The scientific projects will be performed in either rodents or humans and are anchored in either the Department of Neurobiology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Neurology, Biochemistry or Psychology of the University.

You will be supervised by 2 experienced principle investigators (tandem supervision) in a lively and interdisciplinary scientific environment, and acquire important academic and soft skills for your future career in neuroscience. We offer the option for a 3 -month research stay in an international collaborative lab, and active participations in GRK retreats and international congresses, which will promote your integration into the neuroscience community.

Your Profile

  • Diploma, Master or equivalent degree in Biochemistry, Biology, Biophysics, Chemistry, Physics, Molecular Medicine, Pharmacy or related fields
  • Proven qualifications with particular emphasis on subjects related to the projects of the GRK
  • High motivation and commitment
  • Interest in active participation to the GRK program
  • Very good written and spoken English skills

What we offer

All positions are funded for up to three years, according to the German pay scale TV-L E13 (65%).

Your application

Please provide the following files (PDF preferred) attached to one single email addressed to grk.emotions@ur.de

  • a letter of motivation (200-500 words) with highlighted list of max. three preferred projects offered in the GRK
  • a short essay on the preferred GRK PhD research project (max. 1000 words main text plus literature)
  • a CV including academic achievements and grades
  • a short summary of the master thesis (max. 250 words)
  • documents and certificates like MSc certificate etc. (in case the Master certificate has not been acquired yet, we would appreciate a letter of reference from the supervisor stating that the Master thesis will be finished on time for the start of the PhD and with high grades)
  • reference letters from two independent referees who can objectively evaluate your scientific and personal skills

Application Deadline: There are project-specific deadlines for each PhD positions.

Selection of PhD project: We encourage applicants to browse through all open GRK projects, as you can apply for up to 3 priority projects. 

In case you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us: grk.emotions@ur.de

List of planned doctoral  projects starting in 2023

GRK/C Project

Potential Title of GRK/C project



Astrocyte-mediated synaptic phagocytosis in emotional and social dysfunctions (Link)

Di Benedetto, Neumann


Neuroendocrine and emotional consequences in orphaned rat mothers (Link)

Bosch, Di Benedetto


Identification of adolescents at high versus low risk for anxiety and depressive disorders using neuroendocrine & imaging connectome markers (Link)

Brunner, Neumann


Project already assigned

Egger, Brunner


Neurobiology of learning, memory and emotions: a bottom-up approach studying SPIRE/FMN actin nucleators in the sea anemone nerve net (Link)

Kerkhoff, Neumann


Determinants of individualized socio-affective space and effects of psychosocial stress (Link)

Kudielka, Schwarzbach


The role of coding and non-coding RNAs and their downstream signaling in social fear in mice (Link)

Meister, Neumann


Neuronal circuits underlying social fear in mice: Role of septal OXT and CRF signaling (Link)

Menon, Neumann


Choosing between competing rewards: modulation by social stressors in rodents (Link)

Neumann, Grinevich


Brain circuits and social factors regulating empathy in rodents: focus on dopamine and oxytocin (Link)



Changes in brain communication and cognition in depressive patients who undergo electroconvulsive therapy (Link)

Nothdurfter, Schwarzbach


Modulating emotional states by means of fMRI-neurofeedback in humans

Schwarzbach, Rupprecht


Identification of molecular pathomechanisms in a human cellular model of major depressive disorder: From bioenergetics to network activity

Wetzel, Schwarzbach



Graduate Programme: "Neurobiology of Social & Emotional Dysfunctions"

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