CaCTüS Comes to Life

First students from around the globe arrive in Tübingen to undertake research internship at Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics.

Arrival in Tübingen: The CaCTüS Coordination Team met the interns upon arrival to show them to their new homes for the summer. The internship aims to boost the careers of students who face significant constraints in their pursuit of higher education.

Arriving in the town with fairytale flair

It is the first weekend of July 2022 and five students wake up to travel to the other end of the world. Tübingen will be the farthest they have ever been from home. It is a big trip that promises much opportunity to discover, wonder and learn.

One by one they touch down from India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cameroon and Rwanda. In the midst of the hustle and bustle at arrivals, they spot the familiar green cactus logo carried by the coordination team. After over a year of preparations, the welcoming team can hardly conceal their excitement that the internship finally comes to life.

The first days are tiring for the students as their brains run marathons to process all the new impressions. Everything is so different that everything looks the same. It is not surprising that the fairytale town appears like a maze at first.

Becoming a Tübingen resident: Coming to Germany means a lot of paperwork. With registering at the city hall all five interns cleared the last bureaucratic hurdle.

Scientific and cultural exchange

The students form the first cohort of the newly established CaCTüS Internship (Computation and Cognition Tübingen Summer Internship). They were selected from 300 applications to pursue a 3-months research stay at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. The aim of CaCTüS is to boost the careers of excellent students who face significant constraints in their higher education. “This internship is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for me and I am really excited for the next months,” says Ange Joel from Cameroon.

Swabian Social: CaCTüS not only supports scientific exchange but also connects people. To celebrate their first week at work, the interns met the scientific community over Käsespätzle and Kellerbier.

Over the summer the interns will work on individual research projects supervised by experienced scientists. Besides furthering their research skills, the supporting programme of CaCTüS fosters excellence by enabling the interns to enhance their academic soft-skills, as well as to build an international network and connect with the Max Planck research community. “I have always wanted to research the brain and mind and it is unfortunate that there are no opportunities in the Philippines. As a CaCTüS Intern I now have the chance to meet and work with scientists in this field,” explains Kathleen over a plate of Käsespätzle.

The CaCTüS Internship is the product of the work of many people and we are grateful for the support from all our funders and partners. We thank the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics for their financial and administrative support and the Hanrieder Foundation for Excellence for making possible the supporting programme of CaCTüS through the Hanrieder Impact Fund.

A warm welcome to our first CaCTüS cohort. We are looking forward to the scientific and cultural exchange over the next months.