The International Research Training Group “Brain-behavior relationship of emotion and social cognition in schizophrenia and autism” (IRTG 1328) is formed by German and American scientists of the RWTH Aachen University with the University Hospital Aachen, the Research Center Jülich (all within the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance, JARA) and the University of Pennsylvania and is funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; DFG). The major aims of the German-American IRTG are interdisciplinary and international scientific co-operation and the support of young scientists with aspiration to cutting-edge research. Three basic principles shape the profile of the IRTG: excellence, innovation and international co-operation. To make allowance for the various aspects of the complex clinical disorders of schizophrenia and autism, scientists from a widespread area of disciplines are involved, including medicine, psychology, biology, physics and computer science, among them some of the world’s leading experts in the respective fields. The excellence of faculty and trainees and the international character of the enterprise combine to provide a uniquely inspiring research environment. The IRTG offers a study program that structures an internationally collaborative doctoral process under joint mentorship of a German and an American supervisor. The participants of the IRTG apply advanced brain imaging techniques, including structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), magnetoencephalography (MEG), computational modeling of brain dysfunction, receptor distribution and microstructural, architectonic brain mapping, to study the neurobiological basis of emotion processing in schizophrenia and autism.

The IRTG 1328 represents the only structured doctoral program in Germany that is explicitly focused to the neural basis of two clinically and socio-economically highly relevant psychiatric disorders, schizophrenia and autism.

New International Research Training Group
Tuesday, 05 January 2016 10:45

We are happy to announce that the new International Research Training Group was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and is going to start in April 2016!

The main topic of the new IRTG is the Neuroscience of Modulating Aggression and Impulsivity in Psychopathology.

We invite applications for doctoral researcher positions for the new IRTG!

General requirements for students:

The potential PhD candidates are expected to have a Masters (or Diploma) degree with highly above average grades mostly from the fields of psychology and neuroscience, biology, physics or biomedical engineering. The curriculum of the IRTG will be in English, facilitating the inclusion of international students. However, we would like to stress that for part of the clinical projects with patients, German-speaking students have an advantage for communication with patients (diagnostics, psychopathological assessment). Due to the strong international orientation of the IRTG, ideal candidates should have a sufficient command of the English language, both in writing and orally (comparable to TOEFL, IELTS-C1). Selected candidates will perform a joint (tandem) research projec, and will most probably have a different methodological background or field of research.

Instructions for application

Please email the following required documents to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

  1. application form in pdf or doc format
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. a copy of degree certificate (Diploma / Master) including English translation
  4. English language proficiency test (if available)
  5. two letters of recommendation (one from the supervisor of your master/diploma thesis)
    Referees can send the letter of recommendation directly to the IRTG if preferred.
  6. a short outline about your professional plans for the future
    How do you link to the research topics of this IRTG? Please give also some information about your personal strengths (max. 1 page).


  • Transcripts or degree certificates issued in languages other than English must be accompanied by English translations.
  • For all languages other than English or German a certified translation will be compulsatory for employment.
  • Applications will only be accepted via Email. Please attach all necessary documents as pdf- or jpg-files.

For informal enquiries, please contact the program coordinator, Prof. Dr. Ute Habel, at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Prof. Dr. Ute Habel
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Pauwelsstr. 30
52074 Aachen

P.S. A new website about the new IRTG is under construction. Please check for future announcements here.

Lukas Breuer received his Ph.D
Friday, 06 November 2015 10:17

Lukas Breuer received his Ph.D with “summa cum laude”. The title of his project was "Identification of neuromagnetic responses for real-time analysis in magentoencephalography". The supervisors of this study were Prof.Jon Shah and Prof.Timothy Roberts Congratulations, Lukas!

Ina Schabram-Viethen received her Ph.D
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 12:43

Ina Schabram-Viethen received her Ph.D.

The title of her project was ""Genetic and Pharmacological Effects on the Presynaptic Dopamine System and Cognitive Performance"". The supervisors of this study were Prof. Ingo Vernaleken and Prof. Steve Siegel.

Congratulations, Ina!

Marc Augustin received his Ph.D
Thursday, 23 April 2015 13:04

Marc Augustin received his Ph.D.

The title of his project was ""Emotional and Non-Emotional Interference in Major Depressive Disorder"". The supervisors of this study were Prof Ute Habel and Prof. Ruben Gur.

Congratulations, Marc!

The final Winter School of the IRTG 1328
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 11:59

The final Winter School of the IRTG 1328 took place from the 26th to the 28th of January, 2015. The Winter School always has been a time of inspirational talks and highlighting scientific achievements. But this time it had a special program with special guests. The rector of the RWTH Aachen University Prof. Ernst Schmachtenberg and Sabina Mönkemöller, a representative of the DFG, opened the Winter School. IRTG speakers Prof. Frank Schneider, Prof. Ruben Gur and Prof. Ute Habel then gave an impressive and moving summary of the highlights and most outstanding scientific achievements of the IRTG across the 9 years of its existence, which had led to numerous international collaborations, the publication of more than 200 scientific papers in cutting edge journals, and hopefully life-long friendships. Alumni from the first IRTG generation then commenced the Winter School by giving an insight into their scientific development from their first year in the IRTG to their current work at research centers across the world.

The next two days were characterized by an intensive international research program and delightful social activities. We had keynote lectures from the members of IRTG Dr. Martin Klasen, Prof. Klaus Mathiak and Prof. Ted Abel, and the quality of the student presentations was as high as ever. Prof. Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg from the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, a world-renowned expert in schizophrenia and autism, gave us the honor of the final keynote speech. Prof. Frank Schneider, Prof. Ruben Gur, und Prof. Ute Habel then closed the scientific part of the Winter School, with a melancholic tear in one eye but a proud smile in the other.

In the evening of the last day, we braved the storm, snow, and rain to celebrate the journey of the IRTG in Stolberg’s beautiful medieval castle. Here we celebrated the success of IRTG program by enjoying medieval cuisine, drinks, and a fire show, naturally clothed in original medieval costumes.

Thank you all for joining this special event and celebrating with us the final Winter School of the IRTG. We were very happy to see you all in Aachen and hope to see you all again soon.

Vanessa Pütz received her PhD
Monday, 19 January 2015 12:44

Vanessa Pütz received her PhD. The title of her dissertation was „Neural correlates of social rejection in children in care“.

Congratulations, Vanessa!!!


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