Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience


How to Apply

Applying for a PhD position does not have to be stressful. The guidelines on this page will help you prepare for the application process.

1.     Do I satisfy UCL Entrance Criteria?

Before you start the application process you should check that you satisfy the UCL entry requirements.

2.     Can we supervise your research?

You’ll need to find a member of staff who can act as supervisor and is willing to do so. To find a potential supervisor you should check this list of our research staff, which describes the research carried out by each group. If you find someone who may be appropriate you should send them an email including:

  • A statement that you are considering studying for a PhD and an explanation of why you would like them as a supervisor
  • When you would hope to start, and how you might fund your research.
  • A short CV
  • A brief research proposal (1-2 pages), identifying a research question and your proposed methods of investigation.

3.     Securing approval of the supervisor

Most people respond fairly quickly to email requests of this sort but this is just the first of many steps.  You will need to discuss your proposal in depth with your supervisor and agree a plan for your PhD.  You will then need to prepare a formal, written PhD proposal which your supervisor will have to approve before it is submitted.

4.     Submit a formal on-line application.

  • Please note that your completed application will require the name of your prospective supervisor and a brief research proposal, otherwise it will be considered incomplete. When submitting your application please keep the application deadlines in mind.
  • The department will need time to process your application.  Please submit your application 3-4 days before deadline(s) to avoid delays.
  • Please ensure that you apply for a place to study in the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, otherwise the department will not be able to view your application.
  • Please make sure that your referees are aware and willing to provide a reference in the given time frame. Your application will not be received by the department until both references have been submitted.


5.     What happens next?

You will receive notification about whether you will be invited to interview for a PhD position.  If possible, these are done in person at the department. However, they can be done remotely via Skype if necessary.  Interview results are usually announced informally shortly afterwards, and followed-up with a more formal letter from the UCL Doctoral School early in the new year. If you are accepted for admission, the program begins at the end of September.