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Fully-funded Neuroscience PhD Studentships at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour

University College London

Why study at SWC?

We will provide intensive training in experimental techniques, including imaging, physiology, molecular, and behavioural methods in systems neuroscience. 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 with the opportunity 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 stipend of £22,278, equivalent to the Wellcome PhD programme.

SWC also covers the cost of tuition fees for UK, EU, and international students.

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 the SWC PhD Programme website.

Entry requirements

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

How to apply

Applications for our 2020-21 cohort open on Monday 09 September 2019.

To apply visit and search for the 2020-21 academic year of the RRDSWNSYSN19 programme by selecting the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre as the department. 

Please complete the online application form and upload:

  • A current CV;
  • Transcripts or qualification certificates and, if available, GRE scores;
  • A 1,000 word essay focusing on what you see as a key, unanswered question in neuroscience. Please discuss why you are interested in this question, how you would approach its solution, and what impact finding a solution would have for our understanding of the brain.    

Deadline: midnight, Sunday 17 November 2019.

Please ensure your given referees are able to provide a reference by the deadline.

We will use the email address given in your application for correspondence so ensure that you will still have access to it 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

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

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £22,278 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 9th September 2019
Closes: 17th November 2019
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