Applications are invited for research in any topic falling within the research interests of the staff at the Unit. See thepostgraduate research pages for details of supervisors and groups currently offering PhD study opportunities.
Our current recruitment poster is here.
Deadline for October 2013 applications and what happens next:
Update – October 2012 – Applications for places for October 2013 entry are now being accepted, and the competition closes on 1st December 2012. Interviews will take place in January/February 2013.
General information re applying:
- The University online application system will not accept any applications for places here before 1st September.
- Our course code for PhDs is NUAP22, described as ‘PhD Probationary in Biology at MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences’. Please note in some parts of the University application system the old code is still showing – NUAPBL22 – we have asked for this to be changed but please be assured it is the same course and go ahead with your application.
- The course code for MPhils is NUAPM1, described as ‘MPhil in Biological Science (CBSU)’.
- The University application system will close for our applications on 1st December, and will not accept late applications against our course code. If you have missed this deadline but still wish to apply please email me, but do note that we do not generally accept late applications. All applications should now be made online, and all supporting materials must be received by mid-December (the system will give exact dates, based on your application date). An online university application costs £50, payable at the time of the application.
- If you have any further problems or questions or wish to make a preliminary enquiry please email grad-admin @ mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk (without the spaces)
Please note that if you are applying for sources of funding other than an MRC Studentship (eg Gates, CISS, CHESS etc), you should check the relevant deadlines and ensure that your application is submitted in good time – in particular for Gates USA applications which can have very early deadlines.
It is planned that all studentship interviews will take place in January/February.
All applications must be submitted via the University of Cambridge, and you should do this via the Graduate School. The Graduate School website has information on courses, qualifications and the new online application procedure and you should use this site to ensure you are applying for the correct programme and have the appropriate pre-requisites. A new fully online admissions procedure is currently being implemented, and all applications should be made (and paid for) online. The University charges an application fee of £50 per application submitted, and this will also need to be paid online, by credit card.
If you would like to make contact with a possible supervisor here before applying please feel free to do so, most welcome informal approaches from potential students and will be happy to discuss current research and possible future projects. Contact details can be found on the Postgraduate Research Pages or the People page on this website (see links on left-hand menu).
Please note that there is no separate form for applying to this Unit specifically, nor for applying for MRC studentship funding. In your application you should name the MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit as the department you wish to be considered by, and the University Board of Graduate Studies will forward your application to us. Our course code for PhD degrees isNUAP22, and for MPhils is NUAPM1. Once you have submitted your initial application, please inform us by emailing grad-admin @ mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk (without the spaces) to ensure that we know that it is on the way and can monitor progress of your application online, and ensure we receive all your supporting information. We ask all applicants to provide a 1-2 page research proposal detailing the topic they would like to cover in their PhD, plus a CV and two references, all to be supplied electronically via the University application system.
Full details of the application process are given on the Graduate School website.
We prefer all CBU students to begin their course in October as we run various induction events and graduate training seminars for the first years students, beginning at the start of the university term in October. Occasional deferrals and later starts are permitted but this is only available after discussion with the Unit and should not be expected.
If you need any further information please contact us at grad-admin @ mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk (without the spaces).
Eligibility for admission to the University
Competition for admission to the University of Cambridge graduate programme is intense. Like all departments in the Graduate School, we require all our graduate entrants to have:
- at least a 2.1 in an Honours degree or equivalent (eg CGPA 3.5/4.0) in a relevant subject
- two outstanding references from senior University staff at your most recent University
- fluency in the English language – recent IELTS test with an overall band score of at least 7.0 with not less than 7.0 in speaking, listening and writing, and 6.5 in reading.
The minimum entry requirements given above are set by the University, not the CBU, and are non-negotiable. For more details of the University’s academic requirements see the University’s Graduate Prospectus.
Please note that although occasionally we have taken students for the one year MPhil (by research, not taught), we do not normally do so, mainly due to our limited capacity for taking students. If you do wish to discuss this option please contact your potential supervisor directly or email us at the above address before you submit an application (this could save you a wasted application and fee). The online course code for MPhil study is NUAPM1.
We do occasionally accept applicants for part-time MPhils (2 years) and part-time PhDs (5 years), but full-time places will generally be allocated as a priority to ensure we maximise our limited spaces.
Membership of the University of Cambridge
Students at the CBU are registered as PhD candidates at the University of Cambridge and are required to fulfil the admissions requirements of the University. (These can be found in the University Prospectus). General enquiries about awards to overseas students, fees etc can be made to the Board of Graduate Studies. Initial registration is for a ‘Not at first registered probationary PhD’, and students are only fully registered for their PhD on satisfactory completion of their first year of study.
You become a member of the University of Cambridge Graduate School of Life Sciences which oversees the progress of your research and offers additional facilities and courses. While carrying out your research you are able to enjoy all the advantages of the University facilities and the collegiate system. There are substantial contacts with other experimental, clinical and neuroscience groups in the University of Cambridge, including the Departments of Psychology, Neurology, andPsychiatry, and the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (WBIC) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
For eligible applicants, several MRC funded studentships are available (see MRC eligibility details), whihc pay all university and college fees and a small but liveable stipend (currently £13,590 p.a.).
Independently funded applications are very welcome, and we will always nominate successful applicants for the various Cambridge Uiversity scholarships available, depending on individual eligibility.
See also details of other sources of funding in the University application section, the University Prospectus and the Gates Cambridge Scholarships
How we do it
To find out how we run our studentships once you have arrived, go here.