Postgraduate Training Network in Biotechnology of Neurosciences (BioN)
Russia Models its Postgraduate Training in Neuroscience after Finland
The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences of the University of Helsinki has recently received EU funding in the amount close to one million Euros. The money was awarded toward a Tempus project aimed at launching a joint Russian-European Postgraduate Program in Neuroscience in the years 2010-2013. Russian postgraduate education in the area of neuroscience is to be modelled on the example set by the Finnish Graduate School of Neuroscience (FGSN).
The Postgraduate Training Network in Biotechnology of Neurosciences (BioN) was put into place in response to St. Petersburg University’s expressed wish to adopt both a tripartite training system advocated by the Bologna process and the teaching and administration practices successfully implemented by the FGSN. St. Petersburg scholars are convinced that the FGSN may be used more generally as a model for overall Russian postgraduate education and network-building in neuroscience.
One of the FGSN’s main goals is to provide a national multidisciplinary neuroscience community for researchers already at the early stages of their postgraduate training. This enhances the training’s efficiency while simultaneously creating opportunities for collaborations within and beyond the boundaries of different fields of science at both the national and international levels. Multidisciplinary approaches are a distinctive feature of brain research and many other dynamic growth areas of natural sciences. Similarly, the developing Russian educational network now aspires to bring the European and the Russian neuroscience researcher communities closer to each other and to harmonize the postgraduate education in neuroscience across the entire Russian-European network.
The Russian brain research community is striving to increase the volume of teaching offered in English, to improve study materials and methods, and to adopt the European Credit Transfer System, ECTS. The goal is to create common guidelines for postgraduate studies and dissertation processes, as well as to build stronger networks with European colleagues. The overarching goal is to raise the general level of Russian education in neuroscience.
The project brings together six Russian and five European Universities. Among them there are the Universities of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Rostov-on-Don, as well as the Brain Research Unit of the Medical Research Council at Cambridge, École Normale Supérieure in Paris, University of Umeå and the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova. The project was launched in January 2010 under supervision by Professor Kai Kaila and coordination by Dr. Katri Wegelius.