Jan. 14, 2019

Interdisciplinary Brain Science: HBP Curriculum enters third Teaching Cycle

After careful evaluation and revision, the HBP Curriculum on Interdisciplinary Brain Science, organised by the Human Brain Project’s dedicated Education Programme, has entered its third Teaching Cycle. A new online course on Cognitive Systems has been added to the video collection and six face-to-face workshops will take place in 2019.

The third “Teaching Cycle” of the HBP Curriculum on Interdisciplinary Brain Science was officially launched on 29 November 2018. The innovative format is a combination of web-based distance learning and annual workshops to complement the online courses. So far, three “non-specialist” courses were offered on the Human Brain Project’s (HBP) core disciplines neuroscience, brain-related medicine, and computer science. These courses are targeted at scientists who would like to gain basic knowledge and skills in an area outside their specialisation. In the context of the third Teaching Cycle, another course on the topic of “Cognitive systems for non-specialists” was added to this collection.


Cognitive systems are devices designed to imitate the cognitive skills of higher developed biological organisms at varying levels of complexity and performance. This course aims at providing an introduction to the theory of cognitive systems from a computational-neuroscientific perspective. Special focus is put on the role of robotics as a means to ground cognitive function in bodies that physically interact within different types of environments. Several of the eight video lectures included in the online course were recorded at the first face-to-face HBP Curriculum Workshop on cognitive systems, which took place in March 2018 at the Technical University of Munich.


In addition to the non-specialist courses, two modules focus on transversal competencies. The HBP Curriculum course on “Research ethics and societal impact” explores ethical and social implications that have arisen, and continue to arise, from the rapid development in the various research disciplines. The lectures focus on key ethical topics, such as the ethics of robotics, dual use, ICT ethical issues, big data and individual privacy, as well as the use of animals in research. In the “IPR, translation and exploitation of research” module, participants can learn about the basic concepts of intellectual property, how to incorporate innovation and entrepreneurial mindset and concepts into their research work, build personal leadership skills, think outside the box, and consider the end-products of their work.


Since April 2018, students have the opportunity to receive ECTS credits for HBP Curriculum courses. The credits are awarded by the Medical University of Innsbruck, the home institution of the HBP Education Programme. In total, 12 ECTS credits can be earned for successfully completing the courses by watching the respective video lectures, attending at least one physical workshop, and passing the corresponding exams.


In 2019, six completing workshops will be organised at different HBP partner institutions, offering participants several opportunities to take one or more exams. The courses and scientific chairs were selected through an open Call for Expression of Interest. Distinguished researchers from within and outside the HBP will host the following courses:


Workshop application is open.

HBP Curriculum courses are open to the entire scientific community, but especially target early-career researchers such as Master’s students already carrying out research, PhD students, and early Post-docs.

Further information: https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/en/education/participatecollaborate/curriculum/