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Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain (SIDB) PhD Studentships 2020

Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain (SIDB)
PhD Studentships 2020

Applications are invited for 3.5 year full-time fully funded PhD studentships spanning basic and translational brain sciences in the biological mechanisms underlying autism. SIDB is a philanthropic Centre funded by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. It is based at the University of Edinburgh.

2020 Entry Projects Available:

  1. Is the presynapse subject to an altered developmental trajectory in autism?
    1st supervisor: Mike Cousin; 2nd supervisor: Peter Kind; 3rd supervisor: Katherine Bonnycastle
  2. Sensorimotor decision-making in a mouse model of Rett Syndrome
    1st supervisor: Ian Duguid; 2nd supervisor: Stuart Cobb & Peter Kind
  3. Development and therapeutic intervention of EEG abnormalities in early life in rodent models of autism and intellectual disability
    1st supervisor: Alfredo Gonzalez-Sulser; 2nd supervisor: Cathy Abbott
  4. Studies of excitatory and inhibitory balance in autism
    1st supervisor: Seth Grant; 2nd supervisor: Noboru Komiyama
  5. Identifying mistranslating mRNAs in specific neural circuits of mouse models of autism
    1st supervisor: Emily Osterweil; 2nd supervisor: Chris Sibley
  6. Investigating interneuron development in Autism
    1st supervisor: Thomas Pratt; 2nd supervisor: David Price; 3rd supervisor: Idoia Quintana Urzainqui
  7. Convergent molecular mechanisms of autism resulting from mis-processing of RNA-binding proteins
    1st supervisor: Chris Sibley; 2nd supervisor: John Mason; 3rd supervisor: Aida Cardona
  8. Testing computational mechanisms for cognitive differences in human ASD populations
    1st supervisor: Andrew Stanfield; 2nd supervisor: Matthew Nolan
  9. Imaging cortical codes for learning and memory in models of Autism spectrum disorders
    1st supervisor: Gülşen Sürmeli; 2nd supervisor: Matthew Nolan; 3rd supervisor: Emma Wood
  10. Investigating a role of Cdkl5 in cortical development involving the primary cilium
    1st supervisor: Thomas Theil; 2nd supervisor: Pleasantine Mill
  11. Assessing convergence in models of ASD: physiology and behaviour in 16p11.2 deletion rats
    1st supervisor: David Wyllie; 2nd supervisor: Peter Kind; 3rd supervisor: Emma Wood
  12. Sensory hypersensitivity in autism spectrum disorders: Disrupted postnatal wiring of tactile spinal circuits?
    1st supervisor: Carole Torsney; 2nd supervisor: David Wyllie


This award provides an annual stipend of £15,235 per annum (amended annually in line with annual RCUK stipend percentage changes) plus fees at Home/EU level.


Applicants should have a good (2:1 or higher) UG degree in a relevant subject (for example: neuroscience, biomedical sciences, molecular biology, genetics, computational biology, or psychology) and also meet the entry requirements for admission to postgraduate programmes at the University of Edinburgh.

How to Apply

Visit our page on applying, download the EdNeuro.PhD application form, and follow the instructions on submission and references.

Candidates can select up to three PhD projects. The supporting statement should cover which projects you are interested in and why, also why you would be a good fit for these projects.


The deadline for applications is 5pm Sunday 12th January 2020. Two-day interviews will be held on 4th and 5th February 2020. The studentships will begin September 2020. Email Dr Beverly Roberts (SIDB Scientific Administrator) with any queries.

Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain (SIDB) PhD Studentships 2020

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