Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology

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SyNergy Young Investigator Program

Supporting early career scientists is a central aim of SyNergy.

Emerging ideas, such as those promoted by SyNergy, endure best if they become engrained in the research philosophy at an early career stage. From high school students to advanced post-docs, clinicians, and awardees of ERC starting grants, SyNergy strives to promote this:

(1) by providing early systems neurology training for natural science undergraduates and medical students
(2) by offering structured promotion for graduate students
(3) by enabling international networking and early independence for post-docs.
(4) by giving outstanding young scientists the opportunity for collaboration and participation

All measures are designed as inter-institutional programs that are open to early career scientists from SyNergy labs, irrespective of their primary affiliation. In detail:

- High school students
- Natural science undergraduates and medical students
- Graduate students
- Post-docs
- Clinician Scientists
- Awardees of ERC starting grants

High school students:
Collaboration with the German high school student science Olympiad “Jugend forscht”. Prize winners can apply for funded research fellowships in SyNergy labs and gain first-hand lab experience. top

Natural science undergraduates and medical students:
(1) A joint annual SyNergy Summer School for advanced Bachelor’s students and early Master’s students. This serves to advertise the unique research and training environment offered by SyNergy in conjunction with its partner PhD programs to students, who are about to choose their MSc or PhD training environment.
(2) MSc fast track to MLST (PhD Program “Medical Life Science and Technology”) [coming] and to GSN (Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences), which focuses on biomedical neuroscience and neurology.  top

Graduate students:
(1) Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences (GSN), an Excellence Graduate School at the LMU, is focused on systems neuroscience and brings together
PIs from all SyNergy partner institutions.


(2) PhD Program “Medical Life Science and Technology” (MLST) of the TUM School of Medicine with a focus on neurosciences and neurology.


(3) International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Life Sciences (IMPRS), a Graduate School of the Max Planck Institutes in Martinsried, organized in
conjunction with the two Munich universities.


(1) General support: Post-docs can take advantage of programs that provide early exposure to Munich neuroscience by funding visits of post-doctoral candidates (e.g. TUM “Research Opportunities Week” or LMU “Harvard-LMU Young Scientists’ Forum”).
(2) Networking: An annual SyNergy Spring Retreat to give Cluster post-docs their own opportunity to interact amongst each other and with external scientists of their choosing [coming].
(3) Career development: Funded career development courses, coaching sessions, as well as didactics and transferable skill training. Comprehensive intramural programs that support all aspects of career development at LMU and TUM, but also venture outside, joining or locally initiating courses, e.g. offered by EMBL. SyNergy offers job search-related travel grants allowing to scout opportunities ahead of official interview invitations.
(4) Internationalization: Exchange programs with dedicated partners (such as Washington University’s neurology program or the Harvard Center for Brain Sciences); SyNergy conferences – such as the Spring Retreat and the Eibsee Meeting – as well as individual initiatives that SyNergy funds. top

Clinician Scientists:
To promote early career researchers and train clinician-scientists in the methods and concepts of systems neurology, we will offer attractive clinician-scientist packages that ensure full independence, while offering mentoring by senior scientists. The LMU and TUM neurology departments have agreed to implement a fast track towards board certification ("Facharzt") for these young neurologists. SyNergy offers Early and Advanced Residence Modules (Early: for young clinical residents (Early: for young clinical residents (year 1-3 year of their residency) / Advanced: for adavanced clinical residents (> 3 year of their residency) / Post: just finished residency). Moretop

Awardees of ERC starting grant / Emmy Noether programme / Sofja Kovalevskaja Award
SyNergy established a "Early Excellence Academy" to give outstanding young scientists the opportunity for collaboration and participation in the SyNergy cluster. Requirements for the admission are a succesful award of an ERC starting grant / Emmy Noether programme / Sofja Kovalevskaja Award and a research focus in line with the SyNergy cluster. More top