Brains for Brains Young Researcher Award

Since 2010, the Bernstein Network Computational Neuroscience presents the Brains for Brains Award, which recognizes the special achievements of young scientists who have shown their outstanding potential at a very early career stage – even before starting their doctoral studies. It is one of two prizes awarded by the Bernstein Network. This award aims to attract young international researchers to Germany.

International applicants should plan to pursue a research career in Computational Neuroscience to be eligible for the award. They should have at least one peer-reviewed publication as co-author or peer-reviewed conference abstract as first author. These must have been submitted before applicants started their doctoral studies as well as accepted or published in the year or preceding year of the call for applications.

Since 2017, the award is presented on a biennial basis, alternating with the Valentin Braitenberg Award. It is endowed with a travel grant of 2.000 € allowing the awardee a one-week trip to Germany including individually planned visits to laboratories within the Bernstein Network Computational Neuroscience. The award ceremony takes place during the Bernstein Conference where the awardee will present her/his research in a short talk to the scientific community.

Call 2024

The application phase for the Brains for Brains Award 2024 is closed.

closed (April 21, 2024, 23:59 CEST)

International students of all nationalities from relevant disciplines (biology, medicine, physics, mathematics, computer science, engineering, psychology, etc.) who plan to pursue a research career in Computational Neuroscience and who have at least one peer reviewed publication (as co-author) or peer reviewed conference abstract (as first author).
  • accepted by a journal or at a conference that peer reviews contributions prior to acceptance
  • submitted before starting doctoral studies
  • accepted or published in 2023 or 2024
  • written in English
  • a travel grant of 2.000 € for a one-week trip to Germany, incl. free participation at the Bernstein Conference 2024 in Frankfurt
  • the chance to present your research as a talk and as a poster at the Bernstein Conference 2024
  • individually planned visits to labs of the Bernstein Network Computational Neuroscience

Please send the following documents as a single PDF-file to

  • letter of motivation (stating your scientific interests, why you would like to participate in the Bernstein Conference and which labs you would like to visit)
  • copy of the peer reviewed publication or peer reviewed conference abstract with which you apply for the award (if publication or conference abstract is not published yet: copy of acceptance letter)
  • highlight and describe your contribution to the peer reviewed publication or conference abstract you apply with
  • academic curriculum vitae
  • copies of degree certificates

In addition, the supervisor must send directly to

  • recommendation letter (with confirmation that the publication/conference abstract with which you are applying for the award was submitted before you began your doctoral studies)

In order to be considered for the award, applications must be written in English, complete, and strictly follow the application guidelines.

  • Armin Bahl, University of Konstanz
  • Dorthe Kaufhold, Bernstein Coordination Site
  • Torben Ott, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Eleonora Russo, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
  • Anna Stöckel, University of Konstanz
For further questions, feel free to contact the Bernstein Coordination Site:

In parts prizes have been supported by donations from the companies Multi Channel Systems MCS GmbH, Brain Products GmbH, Thomas Recording GmbH, Circular Informationssysteme GmbH, NVIDIA, neuroConn GmbH, and npi electronic GmbH.