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Neural Dynamics

Neural dynamics is the study of the nervous system's remarkable capacity to change and, at a systems level, the dynamic interplay between integration and segregation of brain regions that enables all aspects of behaviour, including learning, memory, homeostasis and sensorimotor control.

The Wellcome Trust PhD programme is different to a traditional PhD route, in that it provides you with a year of taught units and two extensive research projects before you embark on your primary research focus. This innovative structure presents an opportunity to explore several areas of neural dynamics research, giving you a broad understanding of the foundations underpinning your core interests. This means that you will be able to make a fully informed decision about the major research focus of the remaining three years of your PhD.

Bristol is a fantastic place to live, with a lively neuroscience student community that creates and is involved in several groups and activities.

Entry requirements

A first or upper second-class honours degree or master's degree in a biomedical or life science discipline. Other closely related disciplines can be considered (eg mathematics, computer science or physics). You should also have some background in mathematics or computer science, (eg A-levels or application of mathematical modelling/computational methods in undergraduate research).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Course modules

First-year training
Your first year comprises taught units and related seminars, along with two research projects that last four months each, with a student conference concluding the year.

The taught units are:

Foundations in Neuroscience
Mathematical Modelling
Computational Neuroscience
One optional unit
Through these units you will be equipped with the necessary understanding and skills to fully engage with the major research focus of your PhD, regardless of your academic background. A precise training plan will be drawn up for you by the programme directors and yourself, taking into account your background and interests.

Second to fourth years
From the second year, one of the two research projects you completed in your first year will be developed into your full PhD project, co-supervised by at least one experimentalist and one theoretician.

During this period you will have the option to visit an international lab for one to three months or, in the final year, visit an industrial lab for three to six months.

Sponsorship information

This programme is fully funded by the Wellcome Trust. The Trust provides funding to cover PhD programme fees at UK/EU student rate, research expenses, a stipend for living expenses, contribution towards travel and a contribution towards transferable-skills training. Applications are welcomed from international students and the University has agreed in some circumstances to waive the international fees.

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