University in the Spotlight: Leiden University
Education at Leiden University
Leiden University’s programs are characterized by their focus on a specific discipline and a strong interaction between education and research. This applies both to the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
Education at a Research-Intensive University
Leiden University strongly believes that its university education benefits directly from the high quality research that is carried out within the university itself, and that new fundamental knowledge is new intellectual capital. The latest academic insights are immediately integrated into the courses.
Leiden University offers both one and two-year master’s by coursework programs, as well as two-year research master's. The highest degree awarded in the PhD. More information about research at Leiden University can be found here.
Research at the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC)
The LIBC serves to stimulate, facilitate, and integrate interdisciplinary research on brain and cognition in different faculties of Leiden University. LIBC members are leaders in their field; they have attracted prestigious grants and engage in multiple collaborations both nationally and internationally. Accordingly, the Institute is very well-equipped and houses 3/7T-fMRI, EEG, NIRS, and tDCS equipment, numerous behavioral and animal labs, infant labs, a pharmacological lab, and a genetic lab. This provides numerous opportunities for Euroscholars to participate in interdisciplinary research projects ranging from brain-imaging and patient studies to behavioral experiments and theory-driven cognitive interventions.
The most recent priority area of the LIBC is driven by the question of how our insights into the brain-mind relationship can be used to improve mental functioning in healthy individuals. Various cognitive-enhancement techniques are being investigated, including meditation, neurofeedback, drugs, cognitive training, and brain stimulation.
The coordinator for Euroscholars projects is Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hommel. He holds the chair of “General Psychology” at Leiden University since 1999, after having been senior researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Psychological Research (PhD U Bielefeld, 1990). He is co-founder and co-director of the LIBC. His research focuses on cognitive, social, computational, neural, and neurochemical mechanisms of human attention and action control, and on their translation into artificial architectures. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in international journals and been editor of various scientific journals; currently he is chief editor of “Psychological Research” and “Frontiers in Cognition”. He has been/is principal investigator in the areas of research projects funded by EU, DFG, NWO, and Volkswagen Foundation.
Leiden Student Spotlight
Patrick Fortier-Brown, University of Maine-Orono
"I have loved my time as a EuroScholar in Leiden. Leiden is a beautiful student city that seems to be close to everything in the country. When I arrived I was instantly welcomed by everybody whom I was going to work with. The entire faculty is very helpful and supportive. I was given the opportunity to design a project with my direct supervisor and run it with other colleagues. In this experiment we used a tDCS (transcranial direct current stimulation), a non-invasive electrical based technique, to stimulate different regions of our participant’s brains while they completed different response inhibition tasks. The aim of the experiment was to see whether the particular stimulation to the parietal lobe or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex increased their cognitive ability in these tasks."
From an Alumnus
Makoto Millet-Tsutsui, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Leiden University
I chose to study in the Netherlands simply because of the research position. Research in Leiden, full time, was an amazing experience. My mentoring professor was sohelpful and supportive! The experience made me want to pursue research as a career, and I am hoping that my experience abroad will help me to get into graduate school or obtain a position doing public health research. If you are at all interested in research, I highly recommend this experience.