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The BENEFRI Neuroscience Program

BENEFRI Neuroscience is a convention between the Universities of Bern and Fribourg . Its purpose is the organization of joint postgraduate courses and lectures for PhD students in Neuroscience at the two Universities. At the moment it includes the Faculty of Medicine in Bern and the Faculty of Science in Fribourg.

The program is directed by a commission consisting of four members, two from the University of Bern and two from the University of Fribourg.

To apply for the program the candidates must have a funded appointment and a supervisor in one of the participating research groups and they must be accepted as PhD students and matriculated by the University of Bern or Fribourg. In Bern they must be accepted in one of the Graduate Schools of the Medical Faculty, either the Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB , Neuroscience PhD program) or the Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS ). Applications are sent to one of the commission members .

The BENEFRI Neuroscience Program organises yearly block courses (BENEFRI Neuroscience Workshops) and oral examinations in structural and functional neuroscience. The workshops last for 3 days in February and cover various aspects of the neurosciences. They are obligatory for all students in the program. To obtain credits for basic knowledge in neuroscience the students must in addition pass the two obligatory exams . From summer 2023, the BENEFRI Hands-on Workshop will be held in Bern to provide students with lectures and practical sessions covering current techniques in neuroscience research. Workshops and exams are awarded with a total of 19 ECTS credits. This credits are recognized for the PhD formation by the Science Faculty in Fribourg as well as by the Graduate Schools (GCB and GHS) in Bern.

In addition to the to the mandatory workshops and exams the program gives ECTS credits for lectures, seminars, journal clubs, courses and skills about basic techniques that are acquired during the PhD thesis. Together with the supervisors the students can propose a personal curriculum to acquire these credits.

Completion of the program with 26 credits will be approved with a certificate.

The PhD will be awarded by the faculties according to their rules.