Applying

The applications round for September 2021 entry is now open!

Deadline: Monday 1st March 2020.

Candidates shortlisted for interview will be notified by email by March 19th 2021. Interviews will be held in late March.

Please follow the instructions below carefully. 

Sussex Neuroscience 4-year PhD Programme Application Guidelines

(1) Eligibility

You are eligible to apply to this Programme if you have, or are predicted, at least a UK upper second class honours degree or equivalent in Neuroscience, or in any related biological, psychological or physical science discipline. This is not a conversion PhD for candidates with no background in neuroscience, although we would consider students from a mathematical/informatics discipline with an existing strong interest in neuroscience.

(2) Funding

Up to four funded places will be awarded for September 2021 entry, for a period of four years, on a full-time basis.

This funding covers payment of UK fees (currently £4,407 per annum), and a maintenance grant at the standard UKRI rate (currently £15,285 per annum for 2020-21).

Note that unfortunately we can only offer UK funding in this round. You count as a UK student if you are:

a UK national who has been living in the UK or EU for the three years prior to starting your course;
an EU national with Settled Status in the UK;
an EU national with Pre-Settled status who has been living in the UK or EU for 3 years prior to starting your course;
a student with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK;
an Irish National (due to a reciprocal agreement with the UK)
All other students (e.g. EU nationals moving to the UK to start their PhD) will count as Overseas students.

Please see the University fees pages for more information.

(3) How to apply

3.1 Please note that applications will not be considered by email; you must follow the instructions below and apply through the University of Sussex online admissions system, PGApply, before the Programme deadline on March 1st 2021. During this period, you may apply by going to PGApply, registering, and clicking on the "Search" button. Then select the Research Degrees category and search for Neuroscience, making sure that you have selected "September 2021" as the Point of Entry. Then select "Sussex Neuroscience 4-Year PhD Programme" and click the "Apply" button. You can return to your application as many times as you like before it is submitted; next time you log in the application will appear under the "My Applications" tab.
Please note that if you have applied to a postgraduate course at Sussex before, you cannot edit your previous application. You will need to create a new account (using a different email address, or the same email address typed in capitals) and enter a new application.

3.2 Enter the required information (including academic qualifications, grades etc.) in sections using the checklist provided. This standardised system ensures that all the information we need is gathered; you must complete the checklist in order for the application to be processed. You may also submit a CV in the "Supporting Documents" section.

3.3 In the “Academic Interests” section of the checklist, upload a personal statement of up to 1000 words entitled “Why I want to pursue PhD research in neuroscience”. You should refer to your research interests in this statement by making reference to current evidence and theories in the field. Explain briefly why this research is interesting and important. It is not appropriate to give a full PhD proposal at this stage, and you can mention more than one area that interests you. Please also list three supervisors who you think you may be interested in working with (note that this is not a formal choice at this stage). Potential supervisors and example projects are listed here. At the end of your statement, please briefly indicate where you heard about the Programme, for our administrative purposes - thank you.

3.4 In the "Supporting Documents" section of the checklist, please supply us with a transcript showing your individual BSc module grades (and MSc if applicable). If you have not yet completed the degree, an interim transcript or screenshot of your course grades to date is sufficient at this stage.

3.5 Arrange for references. You need to provide the names and professional email addresses of at least two academic referees; these should normally be faculty members at your higher education institution who know you sufficiently well to comment on your academic ability and suitability for PhD research. When you add a referee to your application, you must click "Send request" and PGApply will automatically email your referee immediately. Referees will be asked to download our standardised Reference Form, and to submit the completed form to PGApply, as instructed in the request email. Please do not upload references yourself.

Note i): In the “Academic interests” section, please do not provide a research proposal; instead enter your personal statement (see 3.3 above). Please also note that it is not currently possible to study on this Programme part-time, via Distance Learning, or as a Visiting Student.

Note ii): In the “Education and qualifications” section, please enter details of your BSc degree (and Masters degree if applicable) and your A-Level subjects and grades obtained (or their oversees equivalent). Submit the BSc information first; when you hit Save, the form will clear and enable you to add the next set of qualifications as a new entry. The system does not currently have a designated A level box; we suggest that to enter A level grades, you select "non-UK Qualification" as Qualification type, creating boxes into which you can type your high school, subjects and grades.

Note iii): In the “Relevant experience” section, please include any laboratory experience you have received (i.e. paid employment, voluntary placements, and projects completed during your course of study).

Note iv): In the "Finance Information" section, select “I have/ will be applying for funding” from the drop-down menu.This causes three more boxes to appear; the exact wording you use here is not critical, but the form requires you to complete these fields, e.g. for "Title of award" please enter "Sussex Neuroscience 4-year PhD Programme"; for "When will you receive a decision.." please enter "April 2021"; for "Amount of award" please enter "£15k".

Note v): Please add your referee details to your online application as soon as possible. As soon as you have done this, we will then contact your referees to give them the maximum time to send your reference, even before you have completed the rest of your application. It is then your responsibility to check that your referees submit their references before the application deadline of March 1st 2021. If references are sent after the application deadline we cannot guarantee that your application will be processed.

Application deadline: March 1st 2021 (midnight GMT)

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions