Antonia Bose

Portrait Antonia Bose
The CNS Master provided me with many chances for hands-on training.
Antonia Bose
Cognitive Neuroscience (research)
Country of previous education
Study end date
Current role
PhD student
Previous education
Psychology, University of Groningen

Alumnus Antonia Bose studied Plasticity and Memory during her Master's Cognitive Neuroscience (Research). 

What knowledge and skills did you learn during your Master’s that are really useful to you now?

Besides all the valuable theoretical knowledge, the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Master's provided me with many chances for hands-on training. How do I operate an MR scanner? How do I get babies to wear EEG caps? Distraction by soap bubbles is the key here, by the way. How do I write a grant proposal? How do I deal with journalists who contact me about my research? The CNS master gave me such a clear and, above all, realistic picture of what the life of a scientist looks like. Yes, it sometimes takes some sweat and tears until a certain analysis script works but being a scientist is so much fun!

What did you find most challenging in your Master’s?

During my Master's I learned to adjust the expectations I had of myself. In the CNS Master's, the backgrounds the students have are very diverse. No wonder that their pre-knowledge of certain areas differ. In the beginning, I thought I was doing bad because I did not grasp neuroimaging concepts as quickly as someone with a physics background. I then realized that this came naturally and we all learned how to use this diversity as an advantage: we learned from each other and grew together as one big group of friends.

Could you say a little about the job you do now?

I am currently doing my PhD on neuroenergetics and quantitative imaging at the GSN/LMU and TUM in Munich, so the two highest ranked universities in Germany. I'm currently acquiring human data in the PET-MR (two neuroimaging methods) lab for two projects and I am simultaneously writing first drafts for the research papers we want to publish in scientific journals.

What do you like about your profession and what makes working in your field so interesting?

Being a neuroscientist combines so many fields. I am an artist, designing my experiments. I am a (wannabe) physicist, dealing with MR protocols. I am a manager, trying to coordinate participants and scanning schedules. I am a data scientist, making sense of my acquired data. I am an author, writing my papers. Last but not least, I am a speaker, presenting my work at conferences. Science is not dry or straightforward. Science means creativity and contributing your personal touch to it. Studying the brain is unique. It is the only object we try to study with that same object (i.e. trying to understand the brain, using our brains). That also introduces the question whether we will ever be able to uncover all mysteries about how it actually works. But that's a whole different story.

Do you have any tips for prospective students?

Enjoy the ride and don't focus on exams! What? Not focus on exams? Yes! It took me until my PhD but now I have come to understand that it is really about the knowledge and about liking what you do and not about exam stress (let alone comparing yourself to fellow students). If you can find a field within neuroscience that excites and fascinates you, studying won't feel so much like studying anymore. To find that passion of yours, I can recommend to do as many lab rotations as possible.