The application deadline September 2024 entry has now passed.

Interviews will be held for shortlisted candidates in mid-March 2024. 

Please check back in Autumn 2024 for information about applying for September 2025 entry.

Sussex Neuroscience 4-year PhD Programme Application Guidelines- September 2024 entry

(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 2024 entry, for a period of four years, on a full-time basis.

This funding covers payment of all fees (UK or international), and a maintenance grant at the standard UKRI rate (currently £18,622 per annum for 2023-24).

(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 February 19th 2024. The application system opens on November 1st 2023. After this date, you may apply by going to PGApply, registering, and clicking on the "Search" button. Then select "Full Time" as the Mode, "Research degrees" as the Level, "September 2024" as the Start Date, and enter "Neuroscience" as the keyword. 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.
If you have applied to a postgraduate course at Sussex before, you may not be able to remove your previous application documents from your account. If this is the case please name your new document files clearly for this Programme e.g. "SN PhD personal statement" etc. If you have problems with your account please contact

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. Please add your referee details to your online application as soon as possible, to allow suffient time for them to respond before the deadline. You may 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 2024"; for "Amount of award" please enter "£18k".

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 February 19th 2024. If references are sent after the application deadline we cannot guarantee that your application will be processed.

Application deadline: February 19th 2024 (midnight GMT)

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions