Neuroscience occupies a unique position as one of the most interdisciplinary fields of today. A successful neuroscientist is expected to be proficient in aspects of engineering, biology, physics, psychology and statistics. While interactions between so many experts presents unique opportunities for progress, it also poses certain challenges. In the second instantiation of the European Neuroscience Conference by Doctoral Students (ENCODS), our aim is to provide graduate students with the tools to overcome these challenges. Our approach is threefold. First, we seek to invite a stellar team of scientists who can lead by example and show how they have successfully bridged multiple fields in their own work. Second, by having an unconventional and progressive program with a focus on fostering interactions through workshops, group work and discussion, we hope that every single participant will walk away from the conference with an array of new contacts that will remain collaborators and influences throughout their careers. Third, in addition to scientific content, we will train the “softer” side of science to improve participants’ presentation and writing skills, to ensure that they can communicate effectively across lines of expertise. The meeting will take place against the backdrop of the Atlantic Coast in Portugal, in a retreat-like fashion, to further nurture the formation of lasting ties.   


    Sensation, perception, memory and behaviour are all functions of the brain that are encoded in the neuronal network, determined by the connections that all neurons form (the connectome) as well as the activity of each neuron as an individual and as part of a larger ensemble.  Deciphering the brain's neuronal code in health and disease is one of the great challenges for the 21st century and maybe beyond.  For decoding the brain a wide variety of different approaches promise crucial insights. Linking the knowledge gained in the different research domains is yet difficult and requires an intermediate platform.

The central aim of the European Neuroscience Conference by Doctoral Students (ENCODS) is to share current research in a variety of neuroscience fields in the form of lectures, presentations, discussions and posters.  Special focus of the ENCODS is placed on PhD students learning how to present their results and discuss them within a wider scientific community.

    The purpose of the ENCODS conference is not only to improve the understanding of current research but more importantly to look into the future by asking what needs to be done in the field next.  To this end, the ENCODS conference has three main scientific aims:

1. Offer doctorate students from Europe the  opportunity to participate in a scientific exchange that will suit their needs more than a large-scale event
2. To encourage the dialogue between scientists representing different domains of neuroscience
3. Discuss where we are in Neuroscience today and what the future challenges are

    The ENCODS is  held bi-annually at a different host institute each time by a new group of PhD students providing a continuous opportunity for PhDs for their training, scientific exchange and fostering international collaborations already at an early stage of the career.