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Neural circuit changes underpinning olfactory learning


   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Dr J. Johnston, Prof N Gamper, Dr Rene Frank  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Learning is a fundamental feature of brains; they rewire their circuitry to store new information, such as an association between a stimulus and its positive or negative outcome. This enables animals to adapt to their environment, altering their perception and/or behaviour. Understanding how learning induced changes within neural circuits gives rise to changes in perception or behaviour is a major goal of neuroscience.

The olfactory system offers an attractive location to study learning with it being easily accessible for imaging in the mouse. Olfactory learning plays an important role throughout life including: neonatal/maternal attachment, social interaction, food choice and identifying danger. The olfactory system contains numerous factors that are thought to participate in learning including: synaptic plasticity, adult neurogenesis, and extensive inputs from other neuromodulatory brain regions. This project will take advantage of a range of cutting-edge techniques to analyse the neural basis of learning, including: behavioural analysis, computational modelling, and multiphoton imaging of neural activity within the olfactory bulb, taking advantage of genetically encoded reporters of neural activity targeted to a range of different cell different types.

Eligibility: 

You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper-second class honours degree or a MSc degree in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22.

How to apply:

To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).

To help us identify that you are applying for this studentship please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • When asked for source of funding please make it clear that you are applying for a "White Rose BBSRC DTP Studentship"
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert. You can be considered for up to 3 projects in total.

If you have any further queries regarding this opportunity, please contact [Email Address Removed]


Funding Notes

This opportunity is funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP and will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £17,668 (based on the 2022/23 rate). The award will also cover academic fees. This opportunity is available to UK and International fee rated applicants. Please note that any expenses related to the relocation of international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) would be their responsibility and are not covered by this award.

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