VDS CoBeNe Doctoral Program

The VDS CoBeNe Doctoral Program emerged from an integrative and interdisciplinary alliance of four independent research areas in Psychological Science, Biology, Neuroscience and the Cognitive Humanities. The research questions deal with the influence of social and ecological factors on human and non-human cognition and behavior, understanding its underlying cognitive, emotional, physiological, and neurological bases, and probing their evolutionary origins and development. 

The VDS CoBeNe Doctoral Program offers i) scientific training in current research fields under the guidance of experienced and internationally active researchers, ii) institutional responsibility with multiple mentoring, monitoring, and evaluation tools, iii) transferable skills training for enhancing career inside and outside academia, and iv) targeted allocation of funding to ensure timely and efficient progress of our members’ dissertation projects. See the graphics of the VDS CoBeNe PhD Program  and the VDS CoBeNe PhD Program in Detail



Four Main Research Areas & Programs

VDS CoBeNe PhD fellows are assigned to their chosen research area and adhere to the curriculum in either Psychology: Social SciencesPsychology: Natural SciencesBiology or Humanities, Philosophy and Education. Nevertheless the qualification profile, the requirements for admission, the structure of the doctorate, evaluations for quality assurance, and finally the completion and defense of the doctoral thesis will be consistent, and aligned with the VDS CoBeNe Director of Doctoral Studies Program to comply with international standards of the discipline(s) involved.

The four main research areas described in the following programs will offer highly motivated doctoral candidates, both national and international, the opportunity to receive independent training through research, supervised by research group leaders who are committed to excellence in research as well as to fostering the individual development of junior scientists.

The descriptions of the four programs provide a broad overview of the topic of interest. For more detailed information including relevant topics, approaches, methods, model species, etc., please follow the links to the group leaders of each program. 


  1. Psychological Science
  2. Behavioral & Cognitive Biology
  3. Neuroscience
  4. Cognitive Humanities

Quality Assurance Measures

  • Standardized PhD recruitment and assessment
  • Transparent monitoring of PhD project progress
  • Joint Supervision through a Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) - download here
  • Interdisciplinary research options
  • Financial opportunities through cross-disciplinary seed grants
  • Distinct guidelines - download here