Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour



There are hard questions in neuroscience. The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre is looking for exceptional PhD students to tackle them.

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 colleagues) a comprehensive introduction to theoretical and systems neuroscience. The 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.


The SWC PhD is 4-year programme. The first year includes a semester of coursework and three laboratory rotations. A PhD project and advisor is selected at the beginning of the second year. SWC Students are fully funded and will receive a stipend equivalent to the Wellcome Trust PhD programme.

The programme will begin September 2016. 

A preliminary overview of the programme is here; detailed syllabi for the Systems, Theoretical, and Experimental courses will be available soon.


(Applications for the class of 2016 are now closed)

Please prepare a CV (including college transcripts and, if available, GRE scores), the email contact information for two referees, as well as a short (500 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.

Application materials should be sent to: swc-admissions@ucl.ac.uk

Timeline: Candidates selected for an interview will be notified by February 9th. Interviews will be in early March with final decision notifications sent soon thereafter.

Note: If you would require a UK visa to attend an interview, then please contact Karen Fergus directly as soon as your application is submitted.