2 Ph.D. positions

Potential Ph.D. researchers within this IRTG will investigate a clinically and societally highly relevant topic: the neurobiology of pathological aggression and impulsivity. Doctoral candidates will learn, develop and apply advanced brain imaging techniques including structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (high-field MRI and fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), receptor distribution and micro-structural architectonic brain mapping.

The participating institutions comprise the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, the Department of Neurology, the Department of Biology, and the Institutes of Neuroscience and Medicine at the Forschungszentrum Jülich. The program is situated within the framework of the Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA-BRAIN, www.jara.org/jara-brain). These and associated institutions host the individual doctoral researchers in joint supervision of partners from the University of Pennsylvania (Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, Biology, Pharmacology, Psychology, Radiology, Criminology). An extensive exchange and rotation program for students, researchers and professors is central to this IRTG.

Participants will be granted a (TL-13 (65%)) position for a period of up to 3 years. The IRTG is designed to allow participants to acquire a doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat and Dr. rer. medic., depending on the primary institution) within this time frame.
Applicants for the doctoral stipends must hold a Master’s degree or a German Diploma (or an equivalent degree) in a related field, such as neuroscience, psychology, physics, biomedical sciences, be interested in neurobiological research of aggression and impulsivity. The curriculum of the IRTG will be in English, facilitating the inclusion of international students. However, we would like to stress that for part of the clinical projects with patients, German-speaking students have an advantage for projects with patient communication (diagnostics, psychopathological assessment). Due to the strong international orientation of the IRTG, ideal candidates should have a sufficient command of the English language, both in writing and orally (comparable to TOEFL, IELTS-C1). Transcripts or degree certificates issued in languages other than English must be accompanied by English translations.

Applications can be submitted via email and should include:

  • CV
  • degree certificates
  • English language proficiency test (if available)
  • two letters of recommendation
  • Applicants are required to outline their future professional plans in a personal statement, in which they describe how their plans relate to the research topics of the IRTG

Please submit your application or informal inquiries to 

Speaker of the program is
Prof. Dr. Ute Habel
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Faculty of Medicine,
RWTH Aachen University,
Pauwelsstr. 30, 52074 Aachen

Fellowships for Medical Students

The IRTG “The Neuroscience of Modulating Aggression and Impulsivity in Psychopathology” also offers fellowships for excellent medical students. Doctoral theses matching the research interests of the IRTG 2150 can receive a monthly funding of € 835 for a maximum duration of one year. Research topics are focused on the neurobiology of pathological aggression and impulsivity. In agreement with the supervisors the research activities can take place during the regular study time.

Applications can be submitted via email and should include:

  • CV
  • one letters of recommendation
  • motivation letter

Overview of Curriculum

      • Bi-weekly internal/external meetings
      • Monthly Journal Club
      • Scientific writing workshop (mandatory)
      • Other workshops depending on needs/wishes of members
      • Clinical Rotation if no prior clinical education/experience
      • Logbook
      • Thesis outline
      • research stay of at least 6 months at Penn
      • Spring school
      • Final IRTG certificate

Please, submit all you documents to irtg2150@ukaachen.de