Best Neuroscience PhD Programs In Europe

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Team College Learners

Neuroscience PhD programs in Europe have fast gained popularity among American students, who used to go only to the UK and Germany. In the past decade or so, a number of universities in Eastern Europe have started offering Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in Neuroscience. So if you want one of the Best Neuroscience PhD Programs In Europe, this is it!

The field of Neurosciences is rapidly growing and evolving, with Germany at the forefront of research and innovations in this area. As the study of the nervous system, including the brain and neurons, neuroscience plays a crucial role in understanding the complexities of the human mind and body. For individuals looking to further their education and expertise in this field, it is essential to explore the best neuroscience PhD programs in Europe, specifically in Germany, which offers top-tier universities and research opportunities.

Admission requirements for neuroscience PhD programs in Germany typically include a master’s degree in a related field, such as biology, psychology, or neuroscience. Additionally, applicants are usually required to submit academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a resume detailing relevant research experience. Some programs may also require standardized test scores, such as the GRE or GMAT, and proof of proficiency in the English or German language, depending on the language of instruction.

When applying to top neuroscience PhD programs in Germany, such as the ones offered at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich or Heidelberg University, candidates can expect a competitive admissions process. This may involve submitting a comprehensive application package, participating in interviews or assessments, and demonstrating a strong academic background and research potential. As Germany continues to be a hub for neuroscience research, pursuing a PhD in this field at a reputable university in the country can open doors to cutting-edge research opportunities and professional growth.

Best Neuroscience PhD Programs In Europe

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, which includes the brain, neurons, nerves, and a variety of other components. This field of study may also deal with related subjects, such as psychology, anatomy, medicine, or even engineering. There are more than four thousand higher education organizations in Europe, from leading research institutions to small, teaching-focused universities.

See the Top 10 Global Universities for Neuroscience and Behavior | Best  Global Universities | US News

1. PhD in Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences

IMT School for Advanced Studies LuccaLucca, Italy

One of the four field-specific tracks is Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences, which is under the “Cognitive and Cultural Systems” PhD Program.

2. Official doctoral program in neurosciences

Universidade da CoruñaA Coruña, Spain

Research Lines These are the research lines of this doctoral program: Anti-inflammatory drugs Cellular and circuital bases of Epilepsy. Control of excitability and modifications of synaptic plasticity.

3. PhD in Longevity Studies

Faculty of Humanities, Charles University

Prague, Czech Republic

The Ph.D. Longevity studies produce highly skilled and knowledgeable specialists in research, expertise, and transference of knowledge into practice. On the scientific level, they are able to tackle problems related to the longevity of human life. They are aware and able to use relevant scientific methods, to coordinate interdisciplinary teams. And furthermore, able to publish both scientific publications and materials for decision making at all levels and problems related to longevity. 

4. PhD in Neural and Cognitive Sciences

University of Trieste

Trieste, Italy

The Ph.D. program in Neural and Cognitive Sciences (NCS) provides advanced research training focused on the interdisciplinary study of the central and peripheral nervous systems, the mind/brain system, cognition, and on applications in clinical, social, ergonomic, and sports contexts. 

5. Ph.D. International Max Planck Research School for Neural Circuits

Max Planck Institute for Brain ResearchFrankfurt, Germany

The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Neural Circuits was established in 2011 and offers around ten fully-funded doctoral fellowships every year for talented students holding a relevant Master´s or Bachelor´s degree as their highest degree. The program is taught in English.

6. Ph.D. in Neurobiology

Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology PAS

Warsaw, Poland

Cooperation with excellent neurobiologists, molecular biologists, and biochemists. Scholarships for all doctoral students. Trips to conferences abroad. Emphasis on ambitious experiments, with lectures limited as much as possible. In short, this is how the path to the Ph.D. title at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology at the Polish Academy of Sciences looks like. 

7. PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience

International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA)

Trieste, Italy

The Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience at SISSA aims at providing students with the fundamental knowledge and skills for conducting cutting-edge research in the field, covering topics as diverse as perception, language, memory, action, and social behavior. 

8. PhD in Neurobiology

International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA)

Trieste, Italy

The aim of the Lectures of the Ph.D. program in Neurobiology is to provide students with a common framework starting from different backgrounds.

Best Universities For Neuroscience In Europe

Top Universities for Neuroscience in the UK - Study in UK

Neuroscience Doctoral Programs Europe

  • University College London (UCL), the UK
  • University of Oxford, the UK
  • University of Cambridge, the UK
  • King’s College London, the UK
  • Karolinska Institute, Sweden
  • Heidelberg University, Germany
  • LMU Munich, Germany
  • Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany
  • University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • University of Edinburgh, the UK

uCL neuroscience PhD

University College London (UCL) offers unrivalled opportunities for PhD research in all aspects of neuroscience. Specimen PhD projects are given below: the subjects studied range from the molecular biology of neuronal proteins, through cellular neuroscience, to the behaviour of sensory and motor systems and brain imaging. Neuroscience research is carried out in all of the College’s biomedical departments, by researchers who are among the leaders of their fields, using the most modern techniques to address important problems of basic and clinical neuroscience.  Research labs are well-funded, so that PhD students have the best chance of getting off to a productive start in their research. 

UCL produces the highest quality neuroscience research of any university in the country. A Rand Report has shown that it produces the highest quality neuroscience research of any UK university. For neuroscience it generates the highest percentage (18%) of England’s contribution to the world’s most highly cited publications, which is twice as much as Cambridge or Oxford.

For neuroimaging it also produces the highest percentage (21%) of England’s contribution to the world’s highly cited papers, which is 70% larger than Oxford and three times more than Cambridge. Confirming this analysis, Thomson ISI (Web of Science – Essential Science Indicators) rate UCL as the 2nd university in the world and 1st university in Europe for number of citations to research papers in Neuroscience & Behaviour over 2008-2018. Accordingly it is an outstanding place to train the next generation of neuroscience researchers.

best country for neuroscience research

List of 25 Neurosciences Universities in Germany ?️

1. United States of America

The United States is the most prolific publisher of high-quality science in the world, but China is closing the gap with astonishing rapidity.

Output from the US was down in 2018 compared with 2017, but it continues to be bolstered by its top-performing institutes: Harvard University, Stanford University, MIT and the National Institutes of Health.

The life sciences accounts for almost 50% of the nation’s output in the natural sciences, followed by chemistry, physical sciences, and Earth and environmental sciences, respectively.

In 2018, its biggest collaborative partners were China, the United Kingdom and Germany, while smaller countries, Australia and Switzerland, also made it into its top 10 collaborators list.

In the 2019 Nature Index Biomedical Sciences supplement, the US dominated the Top 200 Institutions table, counting seven of the top 10 institutions, and 15 of the top 20.

2. China

China’s rise in the research rankings is a well-told story, but that doesn’t make it any less remarkable. Its increase in FC in 2018 has been meteoric, and it’s got the whole world’s attention.

While chemistry accounts for around 50% of China’s output in the Nature Index, the physical sciences are also a major strength. Its top five performing institutes are the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peking University, Nanjing University, Tsinghua University, and the University of Science and Technology of China.

In early 2018, the US National Science Foundation released a report showing that, as far back as 2016, China overtook the US as the top producer of science and engineering articles tracked by Scopus. But in terms of high-quality natural sciences research output tracked by the Nature Index, the US still reigns supreme.

3. Germany

With two institutions in the Nature Index Top 100 Global Institutions table, Germany is a force in high-quality research publishing.

Its top institutions, the Max Planck Society and Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, are among the top 10 in the physical sciences, chemistry, life sciences, Earth and environmental sciences, and global research institutes categories for 2018.

In recent years, the country has become known as a desired destination for researchers, boasting a relatively low cost of living, stable growth and high research and development (R&D) spending.

It also counts more than 270 collaborative research centres that are funded by the German Research Foundation for up to 12-year periods, which allow researchers to commit to complex, long-term, multidisciplinary projects across universities and institutes.

4. United Kingdom

As Nature reported in April, Brexit has already damaged research in the UK. That said, it remains one of the world’s best in producing high-quality research in the natural sciences, retaining its long-standing fourth rank in the Nature Index Top 50 Countries/Territories table.

The UK’s top institutions include the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and University College London, and its top collaborators for 2018 were the US, Germany and France.

In recent months, the closure of key animal-research facilities in the UK has sparked outcry from affected scientists, raising questions around the UK’s contribution to global mouse genetics research. Now, as Brexit lurches uncertainly onwards, the world is taking a closer look at the important research that goes on around it.

5. Japan

With an impressive standing among the world’s best research publishers, Japan is working hard to retain its position. While its strategy of funding selected institutions to boost their overseas collaboration is starting to bear fruit, it continues to look outwards in an effort to arrest the alarming decline in its high-quality scientific research.

Its top-performing institute, the University of Tokyo, also ranked highly in the 2019 Nature Index Annual tables in the physical sciences, academic institutions, and top 100 global institutions categories. Kyoto University, Osaka University and RIKEN round out the country’s top four.

Japan’s research performance was the focus of a recent Nature Index supplement, which revealed how its proportion of articles co-authored with international researchers has increased, but correcting the slide in overall output is proving difficult for the nation.

PhD | Koç University

6. France

France’s strengths in the natural sciences are diverse, with chemistry, physical sciences, and life sciences accounting for roughly equal shares in its high-quality research output, followed by Earth and environmental sciences.

In 2018, its highest-performing institute, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), had more than six times the fractional count (FC) of its second highest- performing institute, the Pierre and Marie Curie University.

The CNRS is not only France’s premier research institute, it also shines on the world stage, ranking highly in the physical sciences, Earth and environmental sciences, chemistry, and top 100 global institutions categories for 2018.

In February, France announced plans for its national strategy for research, promising funding stability and better career prospects for young researchers. But, as Nature reported, scientists say significant new investment will be crucial.

7. Canada

Universities across Canada might have reported a deluge of applications in 2017, as students and researchers sought respite from the anti-science stance of the Trump administration in the US and the disruption of Brexit in Europe, but this has yet to impact on its high-quality research output. Canada is one of a number of high-ranking countries in 2018 that saw a downturn in FC, compared with 2017.

Canada’s best-performing institute, the University of Toronto, reportedly saw an 81% increase in acceptance numbers from American students in 2017 compared to 2016, and the University of Alberta, ranked fourth in Canada by FC, saw international graduate student applications rise by 80%.

More recently, the country’s budget decisions around research for 2019 have been controversial, with small spending bumps for genomics and physics presenting a stark contrast to the $4-billion (US$3-billion) boost for basic science and research in 2018.

8. Switzerland

For a nation of just 8.4 million, Switzerland punches well above its weight in high-quality research output.

In 2018, an analysis by the United States National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) found that it contributed nearly three times more articles to the 1% of highly cited papers indexed by the Scopus database in 2013 than would be expected given its total output, due to factors such as its comparatively large research investment and hosting of the Large Hadron Collider.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), the institution with the highest output of high-quality research in the natural sciences in the country, had almost twice the output of the second most prolific institution, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL).

In 2018, ETH Zurich’s total revenue rose to CHF 1.8 billion (US$1.8 billion), with the federal government contributing CHF 1.3 billion to its funds.

Switzerland is also home to F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG and Novartis International AG, two multinational heavyweights in the pharmaceutical sector, signifying the country’s strength in the biomedical sciences.

9. South Korea

Thanks in no small part to its high R&D spending, South Korea’s strengths lie in the physical sciences and chemistry, and, as a 2018 study by Canadian researcher Mikko Packalen showed, in developing novel biomedical concepts.

Its biggest collaborative partners in 2018 were the US, China and Japan, and Seoul National University and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology were its top performers.

In mid-2018, Nature reported that, while the country’s research was flourishing in some ways, it was struggling in others.

Academic publishing has been booming, and national R&D spending by industry and government was 4.24% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, which was the second-highest percentage for any country worldwide. But many scientists – particularly those in smaller research groups – have communicated their dissatisfaction with the country’s funding decisions.

10. Australia

Australia has the rare distinction of being the only country to shake up the top 10 in the 2019 Nature Index Top 50 Countries/Territories table, and the only country in the top 10 apart from China where FC increased in 2018. While the top nine has remained unchanged for three years, Australia jostled Spain out of the 10th slot, up from rank 11 in 2017.

The country’s output by subject is fairly evenly spread, with the life sciences contributing the largest share to its high-quality research output, as tracked by the Nature Index. The University of Queensland is the best performing Australian research institute, followed by UNSW Sydney and Monash University in Melbourne.

But it’s not all good news. In late 2018, Australian scientists expressed disappointment over a budget update that cuts $328.5 million (US$230 million) from research funding that had been expected over the next four years, setting government investment in R&D at its lowest in 40 years.

Graduate Program in Neuroscience – University of Copenhagen

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