Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Klaas Enno Stephan

 

On this page I am answering some FAQs in the hope that this will reduce e-mail traffic, minimize any misunderstandings and disappointments, and explain why I do – or don’t do – certain things.

Email

I have sent you several e-mails. Why did you not reply?

I am very sorry but I receive many more emails than I can possibly answer. If I tried to respond to each and every email, I would do nothing else all day and stop being a scientist. In other words, I would quickly turn into a person that has nothing interesting to say – and then you would not want to e-mail me anyway…

For any questions on administrative or teaching issues, please email my administrators (tnu-admin@biomed.ee.ethz.ch).

I have a problem with statistical analysis or computational modeling of neuroimaging data. Could I get your advice?

I am certainly happy to give advice whenever I can. However, please forgive me that I cannot deal with all the questions I receive by e-mail or in bilateral meetings.

If you are in/near Zurich, you are very welcome to present your problem at our weekly Computational Neuroimaging Clinic (CNC) in which I try to solve any problems with neuroimaging data analysis that are brought up. This is an open and public forum that takes place every Wednesday, 2-4pm (also during the semester breaks). You are welcome to just pop in; however, to ensure we have enough time to discuss your problem, it is recommended that you reserve a time slot in advance via this online form.

If you are based elsewhere, please send your e-mail to the SPM Mailing list (spm@jiscmail.ac.uk). There are many knowledgeable people on this list, and most likely, someone will help you. I reply to e-mails from this list when I have time.

I would like to spend some time at the TNU to learn computational modeling techniques. Is that possible?

In principle yes, but due to limited desk space and supervision capacity and to maintain our scientific focus, we can only support research stays at the TNU that are tied to an ongoing collaborative project within our core areas of interest.  Please note also that we require a minimum duration of 6 months – shorter stays are usually inefficient and do not easily allow guests to integrate into the unit.

I would like to use the tools you have been developing. Could I have a copy of your software?

We generally strive to make our software available once we have published the underlying methods. We provide code of the tools we have developed as part of the open source software packages SPM (Statistical Parametric Mapping) and TAPAS

Can I ask you to write a letter of recommendation for me?

I am happy to do so, provided that I know you (or your work) sufficiently well. Please forgive me that I will not write letters for colleagues who I barely know, or with whose work I am not familiar. This would not be in your interest either since a vague letter without a credible basis will not serve your cause.

Editors and publishing companies

Can we invite you to contribute a chapter to a book?

I am very sorry, but do not write book chapters because their value and impact is questionable (at least in my field). I disseminate my research through articles (and possibly single author books in the future)

Can I ask you to review a paper or grant proposal?

I am happy to review one paper or grant proposal per week. Should your request arrive when I am over quota, please forgive me that I will have to decline.

Teaching

Where can I find a list of the courses you teach?

Together with my colleagues at TNU and IBT, I offer the following courses at UZH and ETH:
Translational Neuromodeling
Computational Psychiatry
Methods & Models for fMRI Data Analysis
Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) Course
Computational Neuroimaging Clinic
TNU Colloquium
Neuroeconomics Seminar
Research Topics in Biomedical Engineering

You can find a list of the courses in the current semester here.

I was a student in one of your courses. Are you interested in some feedback?

Yes, I would cetainly be very interested to hear what you found useful and what you did not like so much. Please speak to me directly after the course or email me your thoughts.

Prospective students and post-docs

I would like to do my MSc thesis in your lab. Is that possible?

Motivated and talented students are always welcome to join our team, provided we have supervision capacity left. Please take a look at our list of open MSc projects and contact the relevant project leader directly.

I would like to become a PhD student / Post-Doc in your lab. What is the best way to apply?

Whenever we have an open position, we advertise it on our Open Positions website. Please check this site first – if it has no entries, we presently have no funding for positions ourselves. In this case, please do not send prospective applications unless you have secured your own funding (or a concrete plan how to obtain it).

Please note that we put a great emphasis on team play. Therefore, regardless of how bright and successful applicants are, I generally ask any PhD/Post-Doc candidates to come and meet the entire team. This gives you an impression of who we are and whether you would like to work with us, and vice versa, we get a better picture of whether you would fit into our team.