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Computational model of dopamine function

Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences

About the Project

Applications are invited from both Home students and International students to join a multidisciplinary team of scientists studying computational models of brain decision networks. Up to two studentships are available from the start of academic year 2021/22, for 3 years each, and both will be primarily supervised by Professor Rafal Bogacz at the Medical Research Council Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford (MRC BNDU). The overall aim of the studentship projects is to develop computational models of the function of dopamine, which plays an important role in learning and action planning. The project will extend the theory of dopamine to describe its effects on the dynamics of various neural populations it modulates, describe the results of dopamine depletion in Parkinson’s disease, and the effects of treatments. For further details about the project, contact Professor Rafal Bogacz () and see the MRC BNDU’s Studentships page:

The applicants need to have strong mathematical skills and background (in calculus, linear algebra and probability theory), and be proficient in computer programming. Interested candidates should possess, or expect to receive, a 1st class or upper 2nd class degree (or equivalent) in a related scientific discipline, e.g. computer science, engineering, mathematics, biological or physical sciences.

The MRC BNDU is uniquely multidisciplinary, integrating exceptional research programmes that span clinical, experimental and computational neuroscience and bioengineering. The collective aim of the MRC BNDU is to understand the moment-to-moment interactions between nerve cells that are critical for brain functions, and to exploit these to develop novel therapies for disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

These Ph.D. (D.Phil.) studentships are funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), a part of UKRI. All successful applicants are entitled to receive a tax-free stipend and, as a minimum, tuition fees paid at the Home level, regardless of whether they are Home or International students. For further details about MRC/UKRI studentships and updated guidance regarding Home and International eligibility, please see:

To be considered for this studentship, please submit an application for admission to the D.Phil. in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (course code RD_CU1), following the guidance at On the application form, in the section headed ‘Departmental Studentship Applications’, please indicate that you are applying for a studentship and enter the reference code for a MRC BNDU studentship "21CLINNEURO01WEB".

The closing date for applications is 12.00 midday UK time on Friday 8th January 2021.

Interviews for short-listed applicants will be held between 25th and 28th January 2021.


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