How to do a PhD at the DRMCR
As a graduate student the opportunities for how to continue with your career are both overwhelmingly comprehensive and frighteningly unspecific, leaving most students slightly left alone once they have to choose the next step. This is why the DRCMR might be a perfect place for you to start, if you decide to continue your journey in research. The DRCMR offers a very broad spectrum of research topics, ranging from basic understanding of control of action to longitudinal studies about aging of the healthy brain to therapeutic interventions. The methods applied are equally broad, dealing not only with neuroimaging techniques like fMRI, but also neurophysiological measurements like EEG and neuromodulatory techniques like non-invasive brain stimulation, giving you the opportunity to exploit your interests in many different directions.
To start with, simply inform yourself about the different research groups at our institute on our homepage and once you find an area or even a specific topic, that catches your scientific interest, don’t hesitate to directly contact one of the group leaders and express your interest in contributing to their work. The DRCMR is a very open-minded institution, where demonstrating interest and motivation will always be appreciated and you will have the chance to introduce yourself and your application.
A PhD here usually doesn’t start right away, but begins with a period of being a research assistant, giving you not only the chance to take care of administrative issues without “wasting” your valuable time as an enrolled student but also the opportunity, to define a project, that suits your interests, personality and future plans rather than just being assigned to a fixed study. This period might shed more light into the jungle of opportunities you have and might help you, finding your specific PhD project, with which you’ll be a motivated, happy and successful student at the DRCMR.
My PhD-DRCMR-journey started in September 2014, where I was invited to give a talk about my research and introduce myself after sending an unsolicited application to my current supervisor to express my interest in a PhD position.
Since I really enjoyed that day at the DRCMR, I was happy to be offered a position as a research assistant, starting January 2015. Now being officially enrolled as a PhD student since October 2015, I highly appreciate the months before, which gave me time to come up with a project, learn new techniques, that I now can apply in my research, and integrate myself in the DRCMR community, which not only provides me with qualified help during my project but also gives me the opportunity to help my colleagues and actively take part in their projects besides conducting my own study.
The institute frequently offers PhD courses, which are –due to a functioning communication- tailored to the student’s needs and always ask for feedback for improvement. Moreover, regular meetings ensure good guidance during the project, which helps me a lot with pressing issues or even technical problems and gives me insight into research at the DRCMR other than my own.
I enjoy my time here, learn a lot every day, get to know a lot of different, interesting people and look forward to the next years as a PhD student.