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Join the NeuroSchool PhD program in neuroscience for a successful international career!
Open to AMU neuroscience PhD students, this unique training (in English) aims to broaden and improve your knowledge and skills, and your professional network. It also introduces you to the world of business and medicine with practical, clinical and scientific training.
Joining NeuroSchool PhD program is an opportunity offered to PhD students at Aix-Marseille University (AMU) who are enrolled in the Life and Health Sciences Doctoral School.
If you wish to do a PhD but are not enrolled yet as such at AMU, please check this page for advice about how to do a PhD.
While the Doctoral School is AMU educational structure providing PhD students with doctoral training in the general field of Life and Health Sciences, the NeuroSchool PhD program offers additional training tailored to neuroscience students. PhD students from other AMU Doctoral Schools can also join the NeuroSchool PhD Program if their Doctoral School agrees.
Through the NeuroSchool PhD program, PhD students have access to training dedicated to neuroscience and join a smaller and more targeted community. They benefit from a variety of scientific events (basic and specialized courses, monthly tutored seminars, clinical training…), as well as professional, social and networking events in which they can actively participate in and/or organize (NeuroDays, special events).
These events are constantly evolving and are selected each year to best meet the needs of our PhD students.
Watch our short videos to learn more about our actions.
Discover the PhD Program team
The NeuroSchool PhD program was created through true teamwork. It continues to evolve every day under the impulse of the pedagogical team and the PhD students themselves.
Goals of the PhD Program
Supporting PhD students in neuroscience
The PhD Program pursues the following goals:
- propose training for helping students in their research
- preparing students for the study-to-work transition of neuroscience graduate students into academic, clinical and corporate worlds,
- broadening students’ scientific culture and developing their critical sense,
- building a professional network, locally and internationally.
An important objective of the PhD Program is to foster the interdisciplinary, translational and multi-cultural nature of the neurosciences at AMU. This is why NeuroSchool funds each year:
- 2-3 mobility grants to finance PhD students’ participation in summer schools
- 3 doctoral contracts for international co-supervised PhDs
- 3 doctoral contracts for international PhD students (who have obtained a master’s degree at a foreign university)
- 5 six-month-long PhD extensions
- 1 year of salary for 1 intern or young MD or PharmD wishing to devote a year to research as part of a PhD in neuroscience in an AMU laboratory
- 1-2 postdoctoral fellowships in biotech companies for young AMU graduates
Students benefit from a triple training: scientific, professional and clinical.
A pedagogy based on student involvement
At the PhD level, students already work every day in a research laboratory. Our PhD program developed even more robust interactions with researchers through events involving all neuroscience laboratories, such as the monthly tutored seminars or the organisation of the annual NeuroDays, and through common courses crossing all Aix-Marseille University neuroscience subfields.
These events and courses allow students to get a wider understanding of neuroscience and to get to know researchers and fellow graduate students better. In order to complete our students’ training in highly-specialized fields, we also offer our PhD students mobility fellowships to attend international summer/winter schools.
150 registered students
By enrolling in the NeuroSchool PhD program, students benefit from a triple training: scientific, professional and clinical.
Basic and specialized courses
Three courses are usually offered each year, and we accept students’ suggestions for new courses. They are usually of an advanced level but we sometimes offer more basic courses to standardize the levels of knowledge about the different areas and techniques of neuroscience, especially from students coming from backgrounds other than neuroscience.
NeuroSchool PhD program regular courses
If possible, we open our courses to master’s students and postdocs.
- Python programming for statistics (Every year in June)
- A review of the most recent advances in nervous system development (Every 2 years in winter in alternance with functional neuro-anatomy)
- Functional neuro-anatomy: an overview of the main brain systems (Every 2 years in winter in alternance with neurodevelopment)
- Developing critical thinking in neurophysiology (Every 2 years in the fall in alternance with Computational neuroscience)
- Advanced computational neuroscience (Every 2 years in the fall in alternance with Developing critical thinking)
- Brainhack (Every year in December)
- The Good Reviewer’s Guide to the Publishing Galaxy
- Human experimentation and ethics
- Neuroscience and philosophy
- Neuroscience and the ecological crisis
Courses from other institutions open to our PhD students
- M1-level introductory computational neuroscience course (around March; in French until 2024)
- ADUM list of courses
- NEW : CEDRE training in data management – in French for now, on ADUM
- Neurobiologie des addictions, in French, around November each year, Timone campus
- MOOC Gestion de projet – online, in March-April, in French
- Practical MEEG (frequency to be confirmed)
- ICN neuro-imaging courses, online access, every year
Students needing refreshers may also take a course from our master’s program (mostly in French in M1, now in English in M2) or one of our online MOOCs (Basic cellular neurophysiology in French or in English; Autour des neurones : focus sur la myéline – contact us to get access).
To keep up to date, students are invited to read the monthly NeuroMarseille newsletter, especially the section dedicated to the PhD Program, and to check their student email account and the AMeTICE platform regularly.
NeuroSchool tutored seminars
Once a month, a renowned scientist is invited by NeuroSchool to give a seminar to our students and discuss a specific topic with them.
Throughout the course of their PhD, students have to attend these tutored seminars on topics related to basic or clinical research. Students prepare for active and critical listening of the seminar by reading articles related to the presentation and discussing them in group. After the seminar, a one-hour private discussion between the PhD students and the speaker takes place.
The objective is to encourage students to speak in public and prompt them to ask questions, even on topics that are far from their research area, thus expanding their general scientific culture.
In order to intensify collaboration with clinical units and to introduce PhD students to careers in clinical research, the NeuroSchool PhD program organizes events related to medicine, such as internships in clinical units and an annual clinical day, organized jointly by clinicians and researchers.
Our clinical days :
- February 2015 : Parkinson’s disease
- June 2016 : Brain-Machine interface
- May 2018 : Multiple Sclerosis
- July 2019 : Epilepsy
- June 2021 : Autism (replay on YouTube – in French)
- February 2022 : Parkinson’s disease (replay on YouTube – in French)
- December 1st, 2023 : join us for our next clinical day on spinal trauma!
Our student’s future is our priority. As detailed on this webpage, we help PhD students improve their study-to-work transition in 4 main tracks :
- clinical research (see section above)
- scientific communication
The PhD Program regularly organizes:
- workshops on how to write scientific CVs and LinkedIn profiles
- networking events where students meet alumni and other professionals with inspiring career paths.
Also, check the list of courses offered by AMU Formation doctorale: there are many courses to develop professional skills (statistics, programming, project management, writing successful grant proposals, etc).
NeuroSchool recently set up new complementary training courses:
- DESU “Communication et vulgarisation scientifiques”(in French), in partnership with EJCAM, to learn about scientific communication (2 weeks in July and 2 weeks in August-September, with a project in between ; in French),
- DESU “Data science appliquée aux neurosciences”, for neuroscience students who wish to strengthen their skills in data science (2 weeks in June-July and 2 weeks in August-September, with a project in between ; in French),
- CESU “Conception de procédures expérimentales – Rongeurs”, to learn about project design in animal experimentation (in January, in French). A similar course is also offered by the CNRS and Doctoral School 62 (on ADUM) at the same period, and the CNRS offers several trainings every year (link to the CNRS list). They are in great demand, so sign up as soon as possible!
Training plan and course validation
When you register as a PhD student, you should prepare a training plan with your supervisor and submit it to the Doctoral School. The plan will also be discussed during your monitoring committee meetings. Overall, you must validate a minimum of 50 hours of scientific training and 50 hours of professional training.
You may use this model to prepare your plan (follow this link).
You can base your plan on the courses we offer at the NeuroSchool PhD program (changed each year depending on PhD students’ demands), detailed in the two following documents:
You can also use the list of current courses offered by AMU Formation doctorale, which you also see on your ADUM account (see this link) and by the Life and Health Science Doctoral School (follow this link).
How do you get your hours validated after taking courses ?
- Attend the course or event and sign the presence sheet for every part of the course.
- Request a certificate of attendance from the organizer specifying the period, title and contact information. For courses and events from the NeuroSchool PhD program, you can ask our administrator (you can do that once a year).
- Deposit this certificate in your personal ADUM space, where it will be compiled with other training you may have taken outside of NeuroSchool, in order to reach the 100 hours you have to do over the course of your PhD.
NeuroSchool PhD Program provides students with the opportunity to organize events for PhD students
Each year, the NeuroSchool PhD Program provides students with the opportunity to organize events for PhD students, the entire scientific community or the general public.
The main event of the year, called "NeuroDays", is organized by a group of about six students every year and consists in two days of conferences based on a neuroscientific subject.
The next NeuroDays will take place on November 16-17, 2023 on the theme "The Brain Chronicles: A journey throughout the brain's lifetime".
Previous editions were on the following topics :
• 2022: Mens sana in corpore sano (A helathy mind in a healthy body)
• 2021: Neuroscience & Society
• 2020: Neuroscience & Society - Postponed due to Covid19
• 2019: Brain & pleasure
• 2017: When the brain plays the game
• 2016: How the brain feels the body
Once in a while, students also organize a special event, such as a day dedicated to neuroscience and philosophy, and meetings with professionals from the non-academic world.
We support and guide students in the organization and the communication of these events.
In addition, the NeuroSchool PhD program organizes, at the beginning of each year, a special day to welcome new students. It gives them the opportunity to learn more about how the program works, and to get to know each other.
Students are also encouraged to participate in special NeuroMarseille events such as the NeuroLunch & Learn sessions and the NeuroMarseille Day, or in popularization events like our NeuroStories and the Brain Awareness Week (in March every year).
Follow-up of the PhD advancement and of the good working conditions
Complementary with the Health and Life Science Doctoral School requirement, the PhD program promotes a dynamic and constructive follow-up of the PhD advancement and of the good working conditions, throughout the three years of the PhD.
AMU Doctoral School of Life and Health Sciences (EDSVS-62) already requires that each PhD student’s progress be monitored. For the PhD program in neuroscience, we recommend that this monitoring be done as described in the following documents:
In particular, we recommend that PhD students organize at least two meetings of their PhD-monitoring committee (comité de suivi de thèse): one around 6-12 months and one around 18-24 months.
Update 2023: a meeting is now mandatory every year!
Good student-supervisor relationship
To start a reflection and launch a discussion in your laboratory, you can use the poster on good mentoring that Clémentine Bodin, Caroline Landelle, Anne-Caroline Martel and Irene Sanchez-Brualla presented during the 2017 PhD days.
Reminder: these tips are not strict rules and must be adapted to each context!
Student's societies related to NeuroMarseille and NeuroSchool.
NeuroLink is a society that gathers all PhD students and postdocs in neuroscience at Aix-Marseille University, from all campuses! We want to improve the life of students and young researchers and have a positive impact on their scientific careers at Aix-Marseille University.
On the agenda: social and professional events! Meetings between neuroscience students, lunches, poster sessions, mentoring between postdocs and PhD students, advice for local life...
FREE membership contact ➡️ email@example.com
This Marseilles-based association is an apolitical, asyndical, aconfessional student association for students.
Its purpose is to :
- Constitute support of interaction to the students.
- Organize scientific and cultural events.
- Facilitate a link between the university, research laboratories, companies and students.
- Promote science to students as well as to the general public.
ParenThèse - PACA
The ParenThèse - PACA society offers writing days (currently online) dedicated to research work in a setting that promotes productivity. This time is reserved for reading books, writing articles, writing thesis chapters or dissertations, drawing up a detailed plan, producing posters, etc. These days offer moments of strictly individual work, punctuated by transdisciplinary exchanges.Find out more
Hippo’Thèse is an association of PhD students and young researchers in the field of Life Sciences in Aix¬ Marseille University. Its purpose is to:
- inform PhD and MSc students about post-graduate studies and promote their professional insertion,
- represent PhD students in university councils.
- Establish a network between PhD students, labs, startups and the university.
The PhD program uses different media to communicate these events, courses and other information to students.
- Ametice: in order to keep you up to date with the latest news about the PhD Program, but also to allow you to give your feedback (respond to polls, register to courses etc.) we use Ametice as preferential channel of communication. You will therefore receive email alerts when a news item concerns you and you will be able to subscribe directly on Ametice. You have firstname.lastname@example.org email address, this is the address which allows you to connect to Ametice. Here is a link to a tutorial, helping you to connect (with English subtitles): https://youtu.be/swy-9FzDgqw
- Monthly newsletter: You will receive one newsletter per month with a summary of all news of NeuroMarseille/NeuroSchool. The newsletters are accessible from the news section of our website.
- Weekly meeting: the NeuroSchool PhD Program committee usually meets on Friday morning at 9 AM in the NeuroSchool room on the Timone campus. One can also participate by videoconference. Importantly, those meetings are open to ALL, especially students. If you want to share your ideas for an event you want to organize or a course you think we should prepare, join us for one of these meetings! You’ll be very welcome.
- Social media:
- Twitter: You can follow us on Twitter for all kinds of information: about scientific events, career information, etc.
- LinkedIn: Follow us on LinkedIn for all kinds of job-related information, from job offers to networking opportunities. You may also join our private group dedicated to our PhD students and alumni.
- Facebook: Follow NeuroSchool on Facebook for less formal information
- Facebook group: You may also join our private PhD student group on Facebook:
- YouTube channel: On our Youtube channel, you’ll find videos about events, interviews, tutorials, etc, and even a series of 360° virtual tours of our laboratories and their technical platforms.
Some photos of the PhD programme's actions