Two scholarships for doctoral projects in the Berlin School of Mind and Brain

The Berlin School of Mind and Brain is happy to announce the availability of two scholarships for doctoral projects to be worked on under the supervision of Professor Vittorio Gallese, Einstein Visiting Fellow at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain 2016-2018, and Professor Michael Pauen, Berlin School of Mind and Brain.


Scholarship "Socio-cultural identity and shared aesthetic practices"

Shared enacted cultural practices are crucial in building socio-cultural we-identities. From an embodied point of view, collective or group identities are indeed developed and maintained through joint interactive and narrative practices. Such practices likely contribute to the experience of being-with-others and of sharing habits, norms and views. Theoretical and empirical research should investigate the purported added value of sharing aesthetic experiences with others when confronted with narratives, static and moving artistic images in building socio-cultural identity.

We expect project-proposals that center around the following questions:

(a) How precisely should one understand the we-perspective?
(b) What is the role of shared cultural practices, like experiencing art, in building we-identities?
(c) What are the neurobiological mechanisms enabling the we-perspective?

The successful candidate should have substantial training in the philosophy and psychology of arts (or: aesthetic experience) and a profound knowledge of social neuroscience.

Scholarship "Mirror neurons and the Second Person Perspective"

Second person perspective taking has received increasing attention over the last years, both in philosophy and in social neuroscience. Although we have some ideas as to what sets the second person perspective apart from the first and the third person perspective and although some of the psychological phenomena are fairly well described, we still lack a sufficient understanding of the underlying neural mechanisms. Such an understanding would be even more desirable as second person perspective taking starts in early childhood.There is quite some evidence that the mirror neuron syste plays an importantrole here.

We expect project-proposals that center around the following questions:

(a) What are the philosophical essentials of second-person perspective taking?
(b) Which open questions in philosophy or psychology can be addressed by neu-roscientific evidence?
(c) What does the recent literature on mirror neurons contribute to our under-standing of the neural mechanisms underlying second person perspective taking?

The successful candidate should have substantial philosophical training in the philosophy of mind/philosophy of psychology and a profound knowledge of social neuroscience.


- Deadline: 31 December 2015
- Scholarships are start as soon as possible (e.g., 1 February 2016),
- Scholarships are available until 31 December 2018, irrespectivce of the starting date (extensions for to up to 36 months each are hoped for),
- Scholarships amount to 1,150 Euro per month (tax-free),
- Generous conference travel grants available,
- Child allowance available: 400 Euro for the first child under 12 years of age and 100 Euro for each further child younger than 12 years of age,
- Scholarship holders must make their own health insurance and liability insurance arrangements


- MSc/MA in a relevant field (see above);
- Excellent skills in written and spoken English;
- Strong motivation to work in an interdisciplinary environment.


Applications should include:

(a) a letter of motivation, including the candidate’s research experience and interests;
(b) a curriculum vitae;
(c) a project proposal (up to 5 pages);
(d) MSc/MA certificate.
(e) Two signed letters of recommendation - these should be sent directly to by the recommenders themselves.


(a)  A single PDF file for the letter of motivation, CV, project proposal: YOUR NAME_letter_cv_proposal.pdf

(b) A single PDF file for the certificates and publications (if applicable): YOUR NAME_certificates_publications.pdf

(c) The applications should be e-mailed to:

(d) Subject line:
-- “Socio-cultural identity" or
-- “Second person perspective”

(e) Please note: The max. total size for files in one mailing is 7 MB!


The two signed(!) letters of recommendation (subject line: YOUR NAME) should be e-mailed by recommenders to:


This ad for scholarships was first posted on 10 November 2015.