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Intensive Scientific Exchange and Networking

17 April 2014

Conclusion of the Santander International Summer School

Summer School IWH

Photos: Rothe

In addition to lectures and presentations, project work in interdisciplinary groups were also part of the Santander International Summer School's programme.

​After intensive scientific exchange the Santander International Summer School „Frontiers in Neuroeconomics – How Social and Individual Context Matters for the Biological Mechanisms of Behaviour“ at Heidelberg University came to a close on 17 April 2014. The eleven-day event focused on current research issues in the field of neuroeconomics, an interdisciplinary amalgamation of the neurosciences and economics. Together with internationally renowned researchers the 18 participants – doctoral candidates from Asia, Europe and Latin America – explored how social and individual factors influence biological mechanisms of behaviour and human decision making. The summer school concluded with project presentations prepared in small interdisciplinary groups. Scientific directors of the summer school were Prof. Dr. Christiane Schwieren from the Alfred Weber Institute for Economics, Dr. Malte Stopsack from the Institute of Psychology and Associate Professor Dr. Knut Schnell from the Center for Psychosocial Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital together with Dr. Santiago Sánchez Pagés from the University of Barcelona. The summer school was held with funding from Santander Universidades.

Three participants of the summer school sum up their experiences, talk about the ideas they will take with them to their respective universities and share what they will remember about their stay in Heidelberg.

Lijia Tan

Lijia Tan
Lijia Tan (28)
Field of Study:
Experimental Economics,
Xiamen University, China

Were you able to gather new ideas?
"Especially through the group work with people of different scientific backgrounds I was able to get a lot of new ideas. Of course there were only a few days for interdisciplinary exchange, but during that time we had a lot of productive discussions. Last, but not least, we propose an interesting project based on the knowledge from environmental management, psychology and behavioural economics.“

What is your conclusion?
​"I like this kind of event. Lectures given by eight expert speakers from neuroscience, economics and psychology shed light on neuroeconomic research. We were given the opportunity to present our work, to receive comments and also to understand the colleagues’ research. By working in a small group with peers from other disciplines, we had many interesting discussions and I also learnt a lot from my teammates.“

What will you keep in mind from your stay in Heidelberg?
"There are a lot of things I will remember. There is this very cultural environment of Heidelberg – the eight hundred years old castle bathed in sunset and the quiet old streets. With view to the summer school I will remember the good organisation and the close contact to professors who gave us a lot of advice for our future work. Moreover, the self-organised group work will be my cherished memory. I had two smart and lovely teammates. We worked together, exchanged ideas and also built a sincere friendship with each other.“

Nikhil Masters

Nikhil Masters
Nikhil Masters (32)
Field of Study: Emotions and Decision Making
University of Nottingham, Great Britain

Were you able to gather new ideas?
"Absolutely. My main aim was to come and learn more about neuroscientific tools. And I definitely have. For example, I've only heard of MRI-scanning but now I have an idea of what it does and what questions I could answer using it.“

What is your conclusion?
"It is very good both for learning and for collaborating. These group projects kick-started some ideas that we could develop in the future. We did a lot of work in a short period of time and even when relaxing the summer school was present. In short: it was quite intense in a good way. But that was what I expected and desired.“

What will you keep in mind from this stay in Heidelberg?
"What I will remember most is having met people that are really interested in similar things as I am. Everybody here has an open mind about interdisciplinary work. I will keep in contact with the others and we will build collaborative networks and friendships. Apart from the scientific work we also had a fantastic tour and learned a lot about this region. Summing up, we worked together as a group and also hat fun together as a group.“

Janaína Brizante

Janaina Brizante
Janaína Brizante (34)
Field of Study:
Cognitive Neuroscience,
University of São Paulo, Brazil

Were you able to gather new ideas?
​"I will definitely take new ideas back home. I benefitted a lot from the discussions with the professors not just during the lectures, but also later on or within the breaks. It is amazing how much you can learn by talking to them and hearing about their ideas.“

What is your conclusion?
​"It has been two very intense weeks. But this is necessary to get to know people well, to really discuss and also to learn about all the research that is going on around the world. And I very much liked presenting our group work to the others and getting their feedback. If the time schedule had not been that busy, it would have been great to learn even more about what our professors are working on at their home institutions.“

What will you keep in mind from this stay in Heidelberg?
"I met amazing people at the summer school. I will remember the beautiful places we went to in Germany. I will also remember the summer school team and the perfectly organised programme. And I hope to keep in touch with the students and professors and to be able to exchange ideas with them in the future.“

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