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PhD studentships in neuroscience and neurology

Brain Research UK (working name of Brain Research Trust)* PhD studentships are intended to enable outstanding graduates to gain the necessary skills and training to set them on course for the development of an independent career in neuroscience or neurological research.

The studentships, which may be held by clinicians or non-clinicians, provide funding of up to £120,000 for three to four years.

The studentships are open to students who have applied to commence study towards a PhD at a recognised UK Higher Education Institution in autumn 2018.

The submission deadline is 5pm on Wednesday 13 December 2017.


We are interested in mechanism-based research that addresses areas of large unmet need and demonstrates a clear pathway to clinical impact in one of the following areas: 

Acquired brain damage
Research to advance understanding of how to deliver interventions that promote recovery at the level of impairment in people with acquired brain damage. This may be through behavioural interventions, enhancement of plasticity mechanisms, or both.

Research addressing the fundamental causes, mechanisms, diagnosis or treatment of primary brain tumours and associated neurological complications.

Headache and facial pain
Research addressing the fundamental causes, mechanisms, diagnosis or treatment of headache and facial pain.


PhD studentships are for three to four years and include stipend, institutional fees, training costs, project research costs and attendance at relevant conferences and meetings.

The stipend is fixed at £16,000 per annum (£17,000 in London), increasing at £500 per annum. For clinical candidates, the stipend can be used to support a salary at the appropriate clinical level but the balance of funds will need to be obtained from other sources.

Fees are capped at the UK/EU level.

The total award is capped at £120,000.

Who can apply?

• We wish to encourage applications from prospective PhD students wishing to carry out research in the areas outlined above.
• Applicants must have applied to commence study towards a PhD at a recognised UK Higher Education Institution in autumn 2018.
• There is no requirement for students to be from the UK, nor resident for any amount of time before the awards begins, however we will provide student fees up to the UK/EU rate only.
• Applicants must be available to attend an interview in London at their own cost.

Application process

Applications must be submitted by the prospective student using the downloadable application form below.

The applicant must provide details of the host laboratory, the proposed project and supervisor. The supervisor and head of department or graduate committee chair are required to sign the application; the supervisor(s) must provide details of their own track record on the separate supervisor form.

Applications will be considered on the basis of the applicant’s academic track record, how the proposed PhD research fits in with the applicant’s overall clinical training plans where applicable, previous research experience and future academic potential. Research projects will be judged on scientific merit, originality and the closeness of fit with the remit of this call.

The track record of the supervisor and the suitability of the research environment will also be taken into account.

Applicants will be short-listed by the Brain Research UK Scientific Advisory Panel, with short-listed candidates invited to interview in February.

Short-listed applications will be subject to external peer review.

Please download and use the following documents for your application:
• A. Application form
• B. Supervisor form
• C. Referee nomination form
• Application guidance notes
• Terms and conditions of funding

If you have difficulty downloading any of the application documents, or any other queries, please contact Katie Martin by email at or by telephone on 0117 909 4809

*Brain Research UK is now the working name of Brain Research Trust. We are in the process of updating our website and materials to reflect this.

Posted on 10/10/2017

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