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The Leverhulme Doctoral Training Programme for the Ecological Study of the Brain (ECOLOGICAL BRAIN DTP) is a truly cross-disciplinary 4-year fully funded PhD programme concerned with studying brain and behaviour in the real-world.

We are now inviting applications for five places to study in the ECOLOGICAL BRAIN DTP starting on 28/09/2020.

ECOLOGICAL BRAIN provides training in methodologies and analytical tools for studying brain and behaviour in the real-word. Projects are divided in three highly interrelated pathways: (i) basic research (ii) applied research and (iii) methodology. We hope to attract students from a variety of academic backgrounds such as psychology, anthropology, biology, architecture, engineering, computer science, education and geography.

Programme Structure

The programme follows a four-year model, in which the first year (rotation year) consists of intense but personalised core training, including; basic scientific training (statistics, programming, neuroanatomy), bespoke training (e.g. mobile sensing and tracking, designing experiments with VR, app development, applied machine learning) and research ethics. In addition to this students will conduct three rotation projects under supervisors from different fields. These projects enable students to develop relationships and collaborations with various supervisors before deciding on a three year PhD project, as well as allowing students to try new areas.

Students will embark on their 3 year PhD project at the end of year one, after submitting a PhD proposal. In line with the interdisciplinary nature of the DTP, every student should have at least one secondary supervisor from a different department from those of the primary supervisors.

Our supervisors have been selected based on their outstanding record in real-world research and cover a broad range of areas including basic behavioural sciences, applied sciences and data sciences. Further information on our supervisors can be found here.


This is a fully-funded four year PhD programme, which offers Home/EU tuition fees and living stipend of approx. £17,009k per year (for 2019/2020). To be eligible for a studentship, applicants must either be UK or EU nationals.


Students must have achieved (or expect to obtain) at least an upper 2:1 in their undergraduate degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Geography or related discipline within the remit of the ECOLOGICAL BRAIN.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted via the University College London Admissions web page. Please note that students do not need to decide on their PhD project/primary supervisors when submitting the application. Students with all backgrounds and interests related to the ECOLOGICAL BRAIN are highly encouraged to apply. The interviews for prospective candidates will take place at the end of Feb/beginning of March 2020.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

Please visit our website for more information.

For general enquiries, please email us on [email protected].

Closing date: Friday, 07 February, 2020 23:59 BST.


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