International Max Planck Research School for Brain and Behavior

Mission Statement
IMPRS for Brain and Behavior involves two partnerships on each side of the Atlantic: the Max Planck associated Center for Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar) and the University of Bonn (Uni Bonn) in Germany and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in the United States. The program aims to recruit outstanding doctoral students and immerse them in a stimulating environment that provides novel technologies to elucidate the function of brain circuits from molecules to animal behavior. IMPRS Brain and Behavior faculty will guide students to develop the critical and creative mindset required for a successful scientific career. The comprehensive and diverse expertise of the faculty in the exploration of brain-circuit function using advanced imaging and optogenetic techniques combined with comprehensive training in fundamental neurobiology will provide students with an exceptional level of knowledge to pursue a successful independent research career.

Our Research
Overall our research programs in over 35 labs, address how sensory information is encoded in neural circuits and is transformed ultimately to behavior. This research ranges from understanding molecular signaling cascades in spines during learning to understanding how sensory and motor circuits are activated in the awake behaving animal.

Students admitted to this IMPRS program will be trained in a large range of cutting-edge techniques which are currently instrumental in the quest for understanding brain circuit function in the whole animal and its role in defining behavior.


  • Neuronal circuits and behavior
  • Mammalian sensory processing
  • Biophysics of neurons and glia
  • Nervous system development
  • Learning and memory
  • Molecular signaling in neurons
  • Disorders of the nervous system
Read more about the research areas here


  • In vivo multiphoton imaging
  • In vivo electrophysiology (whole-cell and extracellular)
  • Free behavior
  • Imaging protein function in vivo
  • Technique development
  • Advanced computational and statistical techniques
  • Standard neuroscience techniques
Read more about the techniques here

Our Partners
University of Bonn, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (Uni Bonn)
Research Institute caesar in the Max Planck Association
Florida Atlantic University, College of Science (FAU)
Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI)

A state-of-the-art degree in research
There are currently 65 International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) in place; 26 in the Chemistry, Physics and Technology Section, 25 in the Biology and Medicine Section, and 12 in the Human and Social Sciences Section. The research schools are established by one or several Max Planck Institutes and partner with universities and other research institutions. This provides an extraordinary framework for the graduate students to work in, and is a great advantage in interdisciplinary research projects, or in projects that require special equipment. Currently, 82 Max Planck Institutes are associated with an IMPRS.

Innovative training programs
In general, about half of the junior researchers who receive their training at an IMPRS are from Germany and the other half from around the world. The principal component of the 3-year study program is the doctoral thesis representing a major piece of independent research, mainly in an interdisciplinary topic. Doctoral students also benefit from regular workshops, which facilitate exchange of information and provide students with the opportunity to see their research topic from different perspectives. The right to confer degrees remains with the respective university. However, supervising tutors at both the universities and the Max Planck Institutes look after the students, instruct them and test them.