The Department of Cognitive Science offers a PhD program in Cognitive Science. This research-based, interdisciplinary program offers specialization in the fields of social cognition, cognitive development, and formal and biological models of perception and learning. Students may take courses in cognitive psychology, philosophy of mind, cognitive anthropology, visual perception and computational modeling. They receive practical research training in methods, experimental design and data analysis in the laboratories of departmental faculty members. As of 2023, we offer a PhD program of which standard duration is 4 years with fully funded stipends for 4 years.

As a doctoral researcher, you will be invited to join one of the labs of our department. These are:

Cognitive Development Center

Social Mind Center

               Social Mind and Body Lab

               Adaptive Cognition and Economics in Society

               Language Comprehension Lab

Center for Cognitive Computation

               Computational Learning and Memory Group

               Vision Lab


IMPORTANTPlease note that starting in Academic Year 2021/22, teaching and reasearch for incoming and continuing Cognitive Science PhD students will be moved to Vienna, while some research activities remain in Budapest.

Graduate Program Director: Natalie Sebanz


  • Gergely Csibra (cognitive development, cognitive neuroscience). Office hours by appointment.
  • József Fiser (visual perception and cognition, biological and statistical learning). Office hours by appointment.
  • György Gergely (infant cognition, developmental psychopathology). Office hours by appointment.
  • Christophe Heintz (culture and cognition, scientific cognition, cognitive economics). Office hours:`Open Door Policy`. If not available, please write an email.
  • Guenther Knoblich (experimental psychology, social cognition, thinking). Office hours: `Open Door Policy`. If not available, please write an email.
  • Natalie Sebanz (social cognition, social cognitive neuroscience). Office hours: `Open Door Policy`. If not available, please write an email.
  • Ágnes M. Kovács (socio-cognitive development, theory of mind, perspective taking, abstract representations, bilingualism)
  • Dan Sperber (culture and cognition, communication and language, evolution)
  • Máté Lengyel [visiting professor] (computational neuroscience, cognitive modelling, probabilistic models, learning and memory). Office hours by appointment.
  • Ernő Téglás (cognitive development, infant social cognition, development of logical inferences). Office hours by appointment.
  • Eva Wittenberg (language and cognition, event comprehension). Office hours by appointment.
  • Azzurra Ruggeri (computational cognitive science)
  • Jonathan Kominsky (infant cognition, mental representations). Office hours: 'Open door policy'. If unavailable, contact via email.

Why Cognitive Science at CEU?

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All PhD students are eligible to apply for full tuition waivers and full stipends from CEU. See for more information. A number of funding opportunities may also be available for pursuing doctoral research after the fully funded four-years CEU doctoral studenship.


Doctoral enrollment may continue up to a maximum of six years. Students admitted into CEU doctoral programs are eligible to receive the CEU Doctoral Fellowship for up to four years. Numerous additional funding opportunities exist, such as the Doctoral Research Support Grant Program, the Erasmus Mobility Scheme, and various research and travel funds. (Please note, DRSG and/or write up grants are not aplicable for the incoming cohort). For further information on financial aid for doctoral students available here.