[Comp-neuro] PhD programme in Neural Dynamics at Bristol

Rafal Bogacz R.Bogacz at bristol.ac.uk
Thu Nov 10 10:13:56 CET 2011

Dear Colleagues,

4-year PhD programme in Neural Dynamics at the University of Bristol is 
inviting applications for studentships fully funded by the Wellcome 
Trust. More information about the programme is available below.

Best wishes,

Rafal Bogacz

Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD Studentships

Why investigate neural dynamics?
A vital key to comprehending the brain is to understand how the complex 
changes in activity occurring at all levels of neural organization give 
rise to normal brain function. Furthermore, understanding of normal 
brain activity will allow us to investigate abnormalities of neural 
dynamics that underlie many neurological and psychiatric disorders (e.g. 
epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia).

Understanding neural dynamics requires interdisciplinary approaches that 
span many neuroscience areas, but crucially, depends on integration of 
experimental and clinical approaches with mathematical and computational 
expertise. This PhD programme will train a future generation of 
neuroscientists who will successfully be able to combine experimental 
and theoretical techniques in their research.

Structure of the programme
First year: students will attend taught courses to gain an understanding 
of the biology of the nervous system and the ability to describe systems 
dynamics in mathematical models. Students will carry out two extended 
research projects, each investigating dynamics in a different neural 
system. Each project will be co-advised by one experimental or clinical 
neuroscientist and one mathematician or computer scientist.
Subsequent years: Students will develop one of the initial projects into 
a PhD project for the remaining 3 years.

Who are we looking for?
Applicants will have a 1st class/2.1 degree or a Masters in a biomedical 
science discipline or a relevant theoretical discipline (mathematics, 
computer science or physics). Applicants should have some background in 
mathematics or computer science e.g. A-levels or application of 
mathematical modelling / computational methods in undergraduate 
research. Crucially, we are looking for talented and motivated students 
willing to take up the many challenges in neural dynamics and who are 
open to learning about new disciplines and working across different fields.

Why study at Bristol?
Bristol has one of the largest concentrations of neuroscientists in 
Europe and is a major centre for basic and clinical neuroscience. The 
University of Bristol is an acknowledged world leader in many key areas 
of neural dynamics from both an experimental and theoretical 
perspective: Our research spans molecular, cellular and systems levels 
of neuroscience. Together with experts in systems dynamics, based in the 
Departments of Engineering Mathematics, Mathematics, Computer Science 
and the Bristol Robotics Lab we can provide considerable scope for 
ground breaking integrative research projects.

How to apply:
Application process: Please apply online at 

Please ensure you upload a CV and a covering letter outlining your own 
neural dynamics interests, and include two referees by 31 December 2011. 
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to our interview/open day on 19 
January 2012.
The Wellcome Trust provides a stipend and PhD registration fees at UK/EU 
student rate, research expenses, contribution towards travel and a 
contribution towards transferable-skills training. The Wellcome Trust 
does not pay fees at the overseas rate.
For further information see 
or contact: Lindsey Watson, Graduate Administration Manager, Faculty of 
Medical and Veterinary Sciences Graduate School (Lindsey.Watson at bris.ac.uk)

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