Sussex Neuroscience

4-Year PhD Programme

The aim of the Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme is to provide a broader research training in Neuroscience than is possible in a traditional 3-year PhD. We also encourage interdisciplinarity by making it possible for students with a background in psychological or physical sciences to transition to Neuroscience.

The University of Sussex has one of the highest densities of Neuroscience faculty of any university in the UK and is located in Brighton, an energetic and tolerant city sometimes known as "London-by-the-Sea". We also have some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK!

The applications round for September 2020 entry is now closed. Please check this page in the Autumn for information about September 2021 entry.

The Programme is administered by Sussex Neuroscience, a community of about 50 research groups with diverse interests covering all major areas of contemporary Neuroscience.

Students will be selected on the basis of their potential to tackle and solve difficult intellectual and experimental challenges.  Fulfilling this potential requires students to learn new skills and work with flexibility and commitment. Previous training in quantitative disciplines (e.g. physics, mathematics, computer science), biological sciences (e.g. biology, medicine, bioengineering), psychology or related fields is important. We also expect serious applicants to have gained some previous scientific research experience (e.g. undergraduate project) and to be motivated to pursue a future career in research. 

Students will spend the first year completing three rotations in laboratories participating in the Programme, and a choice of advanced taught modules to support their rotations and strengthen their background training. Rotations and taught modules are chosen by the student with support from the Programme Committee. Research topics available include molecular & cellular biology, neurophysiology, learning, behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, psychology, development, sensory systems, computational neuroscience, functional imaging, neurodegeneration and translational neuroscience (the interface between fundamental and clinical neuroscience). Because Sussex Neuroscience spans the four major Schools of Life Sciences, Psychology, Informatics, and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, the choice of PhD projects and taught modules represents a very wide range, supported also by the depth of expertise within each School. Supervisors and example projects are listed here.

Places on the Programme are fully-funded at the home/EU rate; a stipend is provided at the current UK Research Councils rate, home/EU tuition fees are waived, and a research costs allowance is provided. Non-EU students are also encouraged to apply; we may be able to provide top-up funds to exceptional applicants who are able to secure partial external funding.

For further information you can also contact Ruth Staras ( or Jamie Ward (

Sussex Neuroscience

Learn more about the Sussex Neuroscience research community on our homepage.

More funded PhD studentships across Sussex Neuroscience

In addition to the 4-year PhD Programme, we have a variety of other funded PhD opportunities currently available with members of the Sussex Neuroscience faculty. Please see our PhD page for links to these.