Why this programme?
The specialisation in Fundamental Neuroscience provides you with both a theoretical background and practical experience in research at the interface between psychology and biology. This specialisation takes brain cells as a starting point and uses knowledge from different neuroscience disciplines, such as molecular biology and behavioral testing, to study how the brain functions. The programme will give you an overview of the mechanisms that underlie psychological processes, as well as psychiatric and neurological disorders, and will provide you with the laboratory skills needed to conduct preclinical research into these disorders and mechanisms.
The specialisation provides an in-depth study of physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying psychological, psychiatric and neurological disorders, including affective, cognitive, and motor disorders. Within this context, you also study the role of the emerging field of pain and neuroinflammation. Core courses are organised along these mechanisms/disorders including practical trainings to acquire the necessary laboratory skills. Specific workshops provide additional technical knowledge.
From November of the second year, you will devote your time to the preparation and execution of your research internship and master’s thesis. You will conduct your own research project (very often as part of a larger ongoing study), including the writing of a proposal, acquiring and analysing the data. The work is reported in a master’s thesis, written in the style of a scientific journal article. Given the strong multidisciplinary research infrastructure here in Maastricht as well as extensive international networks, you will have ample opportunities for internships related to any aspect of Fundamental Neuroscience, either locally or at other top universities throughout the world. We will help you find a topic and location that best fit your own interests and career goals. Curious about the kinds of projects students have conducted? At the bottom of this page you will find a list of research topics.
You will be part of a multidisciplinary team of neuroscientists including biological psychologists, molecular biologists, neuropsychologists, neurobiologists, neuroanatomists, psychopharmacologists, psychiatrists and neuroimmunologists. These professionals participate in world-wide international networks of research in relevant fields at academia and industry. This offers excellent opportunities for internships at some of the world’s most prestigious institutes.
Fundamental Neuroscience (FN) was the perfect choice for me. Its fusion of biology and psychology enabled me to approach and understand the brain’s miracles on multiple levels. FN provided information on a lot of topics, which greatly tickled my interests and helped me choose what field I would like to continue in. Writing and presenting several proposals during the different courses, taught me to combine knowledge, transfer ideas and think critically; important skills for a scientific career. I appreciated the international character with students from literally all over the world. At the same time it allows close contact with coordinators to discuss thoughts and ideas. This contact also permits finding internships and jobs via the staff’s network. This way, I could start my current research internship at a biotech company led by world-leading experts.
Dean Paes (The Netherlands)
Research master’s student in Fundamental Neuroscience