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Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour

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Why study at SWC?

2016 PhD students

We will provide intensive training in experimental techniques, including imaging, physiology, molecular, and behavioural methods. First-year students will build their own two-photon microscope, implement a 1,000 channel in vivo recording system, design viral tools for circuit tracing, and develop a closed-loop behaviour assay.

We will provide (together with our Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit colleagues) a comprehensive introduction to theoretical and systems neuroscience.  Gatsby and SWC students will overlap extensively during their first year and will be encouraged to maintain these contacts throughout their PhD.

You will live and work in central London, the highest concentration of neuroscience research in the world. The SWC PhD is your opportunity to receive world-class training as a neuroscientist and launch a career in academia or industry.

SWC students are fully funded and will receive an annual tax-free stipend of £22,278, equivalent to the Wellcome PhD programme.

The programme

The SWC PhD is a four-year programme.  The first year includes a semester of coursework and three laboratory rotations.  A PhD project and advisor are selected at the beginning of the second year.  

View the preliminary overview of the programme; detailed syllabi for the Systems, Theoretical, and Experimental courses can be viewed on SWC PhD Programme website.

PhD robot bootcamp

Entry requirements

A keen interest in neuroscience, coupled with an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience, Life Sciences or related degrees including Physics, Maths and Computer Science at a minimum of upper second-class UK Bachelor’s level or overseas equivalent.

How to apply

Applications are currently closed for our 2018-19 student cohort.  Please sign up to our PhD elert to be notified when applications re-open.

Your application should comprise a current CV (including college transcripts and, if available, GRE scores), the email contact information for two referees, and a short (1,000 word limit) essay on your favourite “hard question” in neuroscience; please discuss why you are interested in this question as well as how you would approach its solution.     

We will use the contact email provided in your application to keep in touch with you so please ensure you use an email address that you will still have access to at the start of the next academic year.

Contact us

If you have any queries about the SWC PhD programme, or the application process, please contact us at SWC-PhDprogramme@ucl.ac.uk.

If you would like to be kept up to date with our application opening and closing dates please sign up to our PhD elert.