Social Processes and Mental Health


DATE: 18th to 26th APRIL, 2017

VENUE: International Academic Forum Heidelberg (IWH)

Twenty outstanding doctoral students from selected universities in Europe and Latin America will be invited to participate in the Santander International Summer School "Social Processes and Mental Health". The speakers are scientists from Heidelberg University as well as renowned experts from other European and North & Latin American universities.

Social processes are intensely studied not only in health, but also in different types of mental disorders. Using different methodological approaches (such as self-report, behavior observation, everyday-life measures/ ecological momentary assessment, genetic or epigenetic measures, assessment and challenge of neurobiological mediators) the research targets the following questions:

  1. By which mechanisms do social relationships influence individual health?
  2. How does individual health affect social processes?

The aim of the Summer School is to enable doctoral students to further develop high-level expertise in their specific area of research and to gain an insight into complementary areas. The curriculum will provide lectures on the relevance of social processes for mental health and the impact of such processes on the development of mental illness and recovery from it. In addition, workshops will be conducted to teach relevant research methods. Doctoral students will have the opportunity to present their own research and will receive feedback from other students and experts. Finally, the group is expected to work on a joint publication outcome.

The scientific coordinators are Prof. Dr. Beate Ditzen (Heidelberg), PD Dr. Stephanie Bauer (Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Sabine Herpertz (Heidelberg) and Prof. Dr. Mariane Krause (Santiago de Chile).

Invited speakers will include, among others, Prof. Dr. Sven Barnow (Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Don Baucom (USA), Prof. Dr. Niall Bolger (USA), Prof. Dr. Diego Cosmelli (Chile), Prof. Dr. Ross Crosby (USA), Dr. Giancarlo Dimaggio (Italy), Prof. Dr. Caterina Gawrilow (Germany), Prof. Dr. Kurt Hahlweg (Germany), Prof. Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad (USA), Dr. Ueli Kramer (Switzerland), Prof. Dr. Andreas Olsson (Sweden), Prof. Dr. Sabina Pauen (Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Marcela Pena (Chile), Prof. Dr. Graciela Rojas (Chile), Prof. Dr. Urte Scholz (Switzerland) and Dr. Gertraud Stadler (UK).

Reasonable travel expenses (economy airfares etc.) will be reimbursed to the doctoral students upon submission of receipts. Accommodation will be provided free of charge. No participation fee will be charged. All doctoral students are expected to present their research projects in short talks and poster presentations.

Self-nominations are invited. Also, doctoral supervisors can nominate their students for the Summer School by email to by February 17, 2017.

Nominations should include the following documents:

  • completed application form
  • a letter of recommendation by the doctoral supervisor
  • curriculum vitae of the PhD student
  • motivation letter of the PhD student
  • short description of the doctoral project (max. 1 page)

Participants will be selected by a scientific committee.

Application Form (word)
Poster (pdf)
Programm 2017 (pdf)


Prof. Dr. Beate Ditzen
Institute of Medical Psychology
University Hospital
Heidelberg University
Bergheimer Strasse 20
69115 Heidelberg, Germany





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Letzte Änderung: 11.04.2017
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