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CSC-Tübingen PhD Program: Project 10/2024: Holographic optogenetic stimulation in the mouse retina
Topic Description:
The retinaisnot just a simple light sensor;it also performs a first analysisof theimagestream falling into our eye. The retinaextracts not only infor-mation about, for instance,contrast, brightness,and color but also more complex visual features, such as object borders and motion directions.Hence, the retinais an excellent model system to studyneural (visual) information processing at the circuit level. Our lab has established 2-pho-ton imaging of visualstimulus-evoked neural activity in all retinal layers.To be able to manipulate retinal signal processing in a highly selective and dynamic manner, we now plan to add optogenetic manipulations to our repertoire.The aim of this project is to establish holographic stimulation of selected retinal neurons via the targeted expression of light-sensitivechannelsand to use this approach to test current conceptsof signal integration in retinal output neurons.

Faculty: Faculty of Medicine
Institute/Section/Subject: Institute for Ophthalmic Research / Center for Integrative Neuroscience / Ophthalmic Research
Supervising Professors: Prof. Dr. Thomas Euler

About the Supervisors: Our lab investigates how neural circuits in the retina process information and, specifically, what feature representations are extracted from the incoming visual scene and forwarded to higher visual areas in the brain. To this end, the lab pioneered two-photon imaging techniques that allow us to present visual stimuli while optically recording neural activity in all layers of the isolated retina with subcellular resolution. Yielding data from thousands of neurons, our experimental approach is complemented by large-scale data analysis and computational modelling. Dr. Euler received his PhD at the University of Mainz / MPI for Brain Research, Frankfurt/M. After postdoc positions at Harvard Medical School / MGH (Boston), and the MPI for Medical Research (Heidelberg), he started his lab in 2009 at the University of Tübingen.
For more information, see; for our publications, see

Degree: Dr. rer. nat. in Neuroscience (international Graduate Training Centre,

Requirements for the application:
Required Degrees: Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering or a related discipline , ideally with a background in Optics
Language Requirements: Fluent English, verbally and in writing (IELTS 6,5 or TOEFL equivalent); German is a benefit, but not required
Notes: Programming skills (i.e., Python, Jupyter lab)

For further instructions on how to apply, more information on the program and contact details please see below.


CSC-Tübingen PhD Program
The China Scholarship Council (CSC) and the University of Tübingen have established a PhD Program which supports Chinese nationals inside and outside of China wishing to carry out all or part of their PhD study in Tübingen.


  • providing high quality research training to qualified students from Chinese universities
  • developing education and research collaborations between the University of Tübingen and Chinese universities and research institutions

Target group:
Excellent postgraduate and doctoral students from the People's Republic of China.

Funding line A - Full time fellowship:
  • postgraduate students who want to carry out their complete doctoral studies at the University of Tübingen
  • up to 48 months
  • degree conferred by the University of Tübingen
  • Annual living allowance as prescribed by the Chinese Government (which includes Overseas Student Health Cover)

Funding Line B - Part time fellowship (sandwich model):
  • doctoral students who want to carry out their research and studies alternatively at their home universities and the University of Tübingen. They follow a schedule set in advance by both the Chinese supervisors and supervisors at the University of Tübingen
  • 6-24 months in Tübingen
  • degree conferred by the Chinese home university
  • Annual living allowance as prescribed by the Chinese Government (which includes Overseas Student Health Cover) for 6-24 months

Funding for both Funding lines includes:
  • Return airfare to Germany
  • Visa application fees
  • Support for the attendance of international conferences during the second and third year (up to 1000€ granted to successful applicants)

Benefits for both funding lines:
  • Tuition waiver
  • Option to take German language classes provided by the University of Tübingen during the first year
  • Accommodation offered in Tübingen student dormitories depending on availability
  • Opportunities to gain additional teaching and research experience as well as economic benefits from the University of Tübingen from the second year onward (depending on the ability of the applicant and the situation of the respective institute)

Application Process:
  • Jan 15: Application deadline. Applications must be handed in through the online application system of the University of Tübingen
  • by March 10: Successful applicants will be officially informed
  • by March 31: Invited applicants have to register with the CSC according to the regulations of the CSC.
  • by May 31: Final decisions about the allocation of scholarships will be made by the CSC
  • by Oct 1: Program participants arrive in Tübingen
  • Successful candidates must return to China upon completion of their studies.

How to Apply:
In order to apply you need to upload the following documents combined in 1 PDF
  • Cover/Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Research proposal (3-5 pages)
  • Academic transcripts* (if you have not yet completed your Master's studies, please submit a confirmation of studies and an up-to-date transcript of records)
  • Proof of proficient English language skills (i.e. comprehension of a wide range of demanding, longer texts as well as fluent and spontaneous expression allowing a flexible and effective language use for social, academic and professional purposes.) - TOEFL iBT 95 or IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

*List of required Academic transcripts (including official translation into German or English for documents issued in Chinese)
1) Bachelor’s Degree Award Certificate / Bachelor Gradverleihungsurkunde (学士学位证书 xueshi xuewei zhengshu)
2) Bachelor's Degree Certificate/ Abschlusszeugnis (毕业证书 biye zhengshu) für das Bachelorstudium (本科 benke)
3) Transcript of the subjects and marks / Fächer- und Notenübersicht (成绩表 chengjibiao) for your Bachelor’s degree/ für das Bachelorstudium (本科 benke)
4) Master’s Degree Award Certificate / Master-Gradverleihungsurkunde (硕士学位证书 shuoshi xuewei zhengshu)
5) Master’s Degree Certificate/ Abschlusszeugnis für das Masterstudium (硕士研究生毕业证书 shuoshi yanjiusheng biye zhengshu)
6) Transcript of the subjects and marks for your Master’s Degree / Fächer- und Notenübersicht für das Masterstudium (硕士研究生成绩表 shuoshi yanjiusheng chengjibiao)

For questions please contact:
(Ms) Tetyana Tonkoshkur
Dezernat II – Forschung
Internationale Forschungskooperation
+49 7071 29-750005
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