We warmly welcome applications from individuals in the UK or from Overseas who wish to complete a PhD or MPhil at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.
The CBU postgraduate community is diverse and international and hosts up to 60 postgraduate students at any time. We invite applications from those who wish to pursue research in areas covered by any of our research programmes. Our research employs a wide variety of approaches, including experimental cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, computational modelling, and neuroimaging using MRI, MEG, and EEG.
Now accepting applications for an October 2024 start, with the following key dates *:
|4th September 2023
|Application portal opens
|11th October 2023
|US applicants: Deadline to be considered for US Gates funding awards
|5th December 2023
|All other applicants: Deadline to be considered for funding awards (from e.g. MRC, Gates Cambridge, Cambridge Trust, etc.)
|11th to 15th December 2023
|Shortlisting of applicants
|8th to 12th January 2024 (provisional)
|Interviews (Virtual, by Zoom)
|End January 2024
|Successful applicants notified regarding an offer of a place to study at CBU and if awarded, MRC studentships
|March to June 2024
|News of all other (e.g. Gates, Cambridge Trust, etc) funding awards sent to successful applicants
* Key dates: Please check carefully against application and funding deadlines in the applicant portal, here.
Postgraduate Open Days
The University hosts annual open days, where you can learn more about the different courses offered, what it is like to be a postgraduate, and funding opportunities. Have a look at what’s on offer and book a place here. The MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit session will be held on Friday 27th October 2023 from 12:00-12:40 pm.
Trying to decide what research to propose for a PhD or MPhil?
Whatever your idea or research question, you will need to produce a 1-page MPhil or 2-page PhD proposal to upload with your application. We’ve provided some project ideas for inspiration, but you are also welcome to propose an idea of your own. You can read more about our current research and our programme leaders on our website.
We highly recommend that you begin by contacting one of our researchers as a potential supervisor so that you can learn more about ongoing research and opportunities in their group. They can also provide some helpful feedback on your research proposal in advance of uploading it with your application.
As a postgraduate at the MRC CBU, you will be registered as a member of the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine and also a Cambridge college. This will give you use of University and college facilities, in addition to those of the CBU.
Deciding between a PhD or our research-intensive Master’s in Cognitive Neuroscience?
No need to apply to both– if you’re also interested in being considered for our research-intensive MPhil in Cognitive Neuroscience, unsuccessful PhD applicants will be considered for this course and offered a place if suitable (without having to apply twice).
How to apply
Further information about how to apply to study at the CBU is here. And if you’re also interested in being considered for our research-intensive MPhil in Cognitive Neuroscience course: unsuccessful applicants to research PhDs/MPhils will be considered for this course as well (without having to apply twice).
Who can I contact if I have further questions?
If you require any further help or information please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via grad-admin [@] mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk (without the brackets and spaces).
We also encourage you to make use of Unibuddy, which facilitates one-on-one chats with current Cambridge postgraduates. It’s a great way to gain insight into study and student life in Cambridge.