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Bernstein-CorTec-Award 2021

Call for Nominations - Bernstein-CorTec Award 2021


logo-combined(1).pngThe Bernstein-CorTec Award is awarded annually to honor outstanding scientific achievements in master theses and doctoral theses at the University of Freiburg in the interdisciplinary field of Computational Neuroscience and Neurotechnology. Applied research and basic research are given equal consideration. The prize is endowed with 1.000 €. The prize is awarded alternately for master theses and doctoral theses. In justified cases the prize can be split.

The Bernstein-CorTec Award was founded and is being funded by the company CorTec GmbH, the scientific evaluation of the proposed master theses and doctoral theses will be carried out by an Award Committee, installed by the Bernstein Center Freiburg (BCF) on behalf of the University of Freiburg. 

The Bernstein-CorTec Award 2021 will be conferred for a Master  thesis.

Selection Criteria

The work proposed for the award does not have to be published at the time of submission, but it is expected to meet the high quality criteria of a publishable work in a peer-reviewed journal in the field of Computational Neuroscience and NeuroTechnology. The work must have been submitted as a master thesis or doctoral thesis to the University of Freiburg after the deadline of the last call for the same category of thesis, typically within the last 24 months.

Who can nominate?

Full-time professors and lecturers working in the field of Computational Neuroscience and Neurotechnology at the University of Freiburg are entitled to nominate candidates. Self-applications of the candidates are also accepted.

The nomination should include the following documents:

  • the proposed thesis as a PDF document
  • a one-page laudation, acknowledging the scientific work of the candidate with regard to the award criteria
  • CV and list of publications of the candidate.

Nominations should be submitted not later than June 30, 2021 via e-mail to:

Mrs. Fiona Siegfried
Project Assistent at the Bernstein Center Freiburg

Award Committee

A jury consisting of at least five persons appointed for a term of office of four years shall decide on the award of the prize. Re-appointment is possible. The jury is composed as follows:

  • Prof. Dr. Ad Aertsen (Chairperson)
  • one of the Directors of the Bernstein Center Freiburg
  • one of the General Managers of the company CorTec GmbH
  • one additional scientist from the field of Computational Neuroscience
  • one additional scientist from the field of Neurotechnology.

In case of a potential conflict of interest of a committee member with regard to proposed candidates, the Chairperson will appoint an alternate committee member from a comparable community of scientists for that particular call.

Award Ceremony

The prize is awarded during the ceremonial opening of the academic year by the Rector of the University of Freiburg and representatives of the Bernstein Center Freiburg and the company CorTec GmbH, respectively.

Winners of the Bernstein-CorTec Award 2020

KatharinaHeining.jpg Katharina Heining describes in her dissertation new findings on epileptic activity in temporal lobe epilepsy in an animal model. She developed new methods to detect and classify patterns of epileptic activity and reconciles previously ambiguous findings. Based on these data, she found a systematic, context-dependent interaction between seizure frequency and the incidence of weak epileptic events. Using her classification of epileptic activity, she was also able to show a decreasing frequency of severe epileptic events with increasing degeneration of certain areas of the hippocampus. 

Gallinaro.jpgJúlia Gallinaro: Neurons wire together if they fire together. This applies both during development and in the adult brain. However, it is not known how these growth processes are regulated to achieve a robust self-organization of brain networks. Júlia Gallinaro has employed computer simulations and mathematical theory to study homeostatic control, which makes use of the principle of negative feedback, similar to a thermostat. Her surprising findings have since led to new experiments to further clarify the basic principles of brain wiring.

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