PhD Studentship in Affective Neuroscience/Animal Welfare

Newcastle University - Institute of Neuroscience

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553. Successful non-European candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees. Significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national, and international travel (e.g. conferences).

Number of awards


Start date and duration

September 2018 for 3 years.

Application closing date

1 February 2018.


The Institute of Neuroscience of Newcastle University (UK) is looking for a PhD student to investigate the effect of stress on brain structure and function. You will first identify which routine husbandry/experimental procedures have a long-lasting detrimental impact on the well-being of laboratory primates.

You will then investigate the effect of these stressors on brain structure and function using sophisticated computational approaches (e.g. shape and connectivity analyses). You will work in a multi-disciplinary environment, with a team composed of neuroscientists, animal welfare scientists, psychiatrists, computational scientists, and physicists.

You will be responsible for acquiring and analysing behavioural data (from video recordings of home-cage behaviour) and MRI data (T1, T2, DTI, and resting-state fMRI). You will have the opportunity to answer basic research questions about stress biology as well as more applied questions relevant to the well-being of laboratory animals and human patients suffering from stress-related mood disorders.


Barbour Foundation

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr C Poirier and Professor M Bateson, Institute of Neuroscience and Centre for Behaviour and Evolution

Eligibility Criteria

You must have at least a 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant field (e.g. psychology, biology, biomedical sciences, veterinary sciences, computing science). Previous research experience is required. Proficiency in oral and written English is mandatory.

The candidate should be willing to work with laboratory primates and should be able to thrive within an inter-disciplinary, collaborative environment.

Experience with neuroimaging data processing, sophisticated statistical analyses, and/or computational approaches will be an advantage.  

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’. Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

  • insert the programme code 8300F in the programme of study section;
  • select PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences – neuroscience as the programme of study;
  • insert the studentship code IN092 in the studentship/partnership reference field;
  • attach a covering letter and CV: the covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code IN092, and state how your interests and experience relate to the project;
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates.

In addition, arrange at least 2 reference letters to be emailed directly to C Poirier before the application closing date. Ensure that your reference is on letterhead paper.


For further details, please contact:
Dr C Poirier
Institute of Neurosciences and Centre of Behaviour and Evolution

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