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Information for Researchers No. 37 | 8 July 2013
German-Japan Collaboration in Computational Neuroscience

The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) have announced the third call for joint funding of German-Japanese cooperative research in Computational Neuroscience.

The neurosciences have the potential to develop innovations aimed at solving important and pressing social challenges. Modern neuroscience can make significant contributions to meeting challenges such as ageing societies, the rise of neurodegenerative diseases, and the increasing demand for innovative solutions and approaches for technological applications. They can help identify basic processes and principles relating to brain function and use the insights gained to develop medical and technological applications. In order to make far-reaching progress in our understanding of advanced brain function, the most modern research approaches need to be applied.

Computational Neuroscience is a discipline that provides a theoretical foundation and a number of technical approaches for understanding the principles and dynamics of the nervous system. Building on the theory, methods, and findings of computer science, neuroscience, biology, the mathematical and physical sciences, the social and behavioural sciences, engineering, and other fields, Computational Neuroscience employs a broad spectrum of approaches to study structure, function, organisation and computation across all levels of the nervous system. Thanks to its interdisciplinary approach, computational neuroscience can also significantly accelerate research in the neurosciences and extend its methodology.

International collaboration is an important instrument to further the advances made so far. Collaborative research enables close interaction, brings together diverse research perspectives and expands the range of research partnerships. In Japan and in Germany, considerable efforts have been made in recent years to strengthen the field of Computational Neuroscience and, as a result, strong national communities have been built in both countries. The previous ad hoc collaboration between Japanese and German research groups should now be transferred to a coordinated level.

This initiative focusses on the funding of collaborative research projects that bring together scientists and engineers with complementary experience and training in the experimental and theoretical neurosciences. Proposals for research projects should describe collaborations that bring together the complementary expertise needed to achieve significant advances on challenging interdisciplinary problems. They should include collaborations among computational and/or modelling experts, theorists, and experimental neuroscientists or engineers. Computational research supported under this initiative must relate to biological processes and should lead to hypotheses that are testable in biological studies.

Project proposals must comply with the structure outlined in the joint guidelines for this call. All German applicants are requested to submit their applications electronically to BMBF via PT-Outline, the online submission system of the Projektträger in the DLR (both links see below under “Further information”).

Proposals for this call will be due by Monday, 30 September 2013.

Further information

PT-Outline, the online submission system, is available at:

Projects that are currently funded in the joint programme can be found at:

Contact person at the Projektträger in the DLR for the BMBF:

Contact person at the DFG: