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European Union awards Marie Curie Action “FACETS-ITN” to the Bernstein Center Freiburg

02.12.2009: Embarking on a research career is not always easy. The European Commission seeks to support young researchers in this endeavour through the Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) Program. The Bernstein Center at Freiburg University was now awarded financial support that will allow 21 selected Ph.D. students to conduct their research in a highly interdisciplinary field that spans from neurobiology to electrical engineering and computer science.

FACETS-ITN is a research and training network involving partners from 11 universities and research centres, 3 industrial companies, and semi-industrial research centres from 6 European countries. It combines competences in neurobiology, computational neuroscience, computer science, physics and electrical engineering. The scientific goal is to experimentally and theoretically explore the structure and the computational principles of biological neural circuits using in-vitro and in-vivo neurobiological experiments as well as analytical approaches, model building and simulation techniques. The concepts of learning and plasticity will be of particular importance. Based on the input from biology and modelling, it is expected to prepare the grounds for novel hardware based computing devices that make use of such principles. Such devices will be built and operated in the form of large scale demonstrators as part of the research plan.

Within the training network, 21 selected Ph.D. students will be integrated into an existing international research environment and receive a strongly interdisciplinary training. The training comprises an intense exchange and visiting programme, specific training workshops for all scientific areas covered, as well as in non-scientific key competencies. This training concept will enhance the students’ original academic education in order to cope with the challenges of this diverse international research environment. The training programme will be closely coupled to existing research projects as well as graduate programmes of participating universities. It will create a sustained infrastructure based on web-based learning as well as on scientific interdisciplinary networks and the intersectional exchange with industry. The community building among Ph.D. students from different disciplines will include students from other projects, in particular the current FACETS integrated project and its planned successor.


Further information on the FACETS-ITN website:



Dr. Janina Kirsch
Bernstein Center Freiburg
Universität Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-9575
Fax: 0761/203-9559


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