Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit


PhD Programme


Training in theoretical and computational neuroscience and machine learning.

The Gatsby Unit is a centre for theoretical neuroscience and machine learning, focusing on unsupervised, semi-supervised and reinforcement learning, neural dynamics, population coding, Bayesian (Including nonparametric) statistics, kernel methods and applications of these to the analysis of perceptual processing, neural data, machine vision and bioinformatics. It provides a unique opportunity for a critical mass of theoreticians to interact closely with each other, and with other world-class research groups in related departments at UCL, including Computer Science, Functional Imaging, Physics, Physiology, Psychology, Neurology, Ophthalmology and Statistical Science, with the cross-faculty Centre for Computational Statistics and Machine Learning, the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre (with which the Gatsby unit now share a new, purpose-designed building) for Neural Circuits and Behaviour and also with other UK and overseas universities .

We will provide (together with our SWC colleagues) a comprehensive introduction to theoretical and systems neuroscience. The Gatsby and SWC students will overlap extensively during their first year and will be encouraged to maintain these contacts throughout their PhD.

Students at the Gatsby Unit study toward a PhD in either theoretical neuroscience or machine learning, with minor emphasis in the complementary field. Collaborative projects, for example with an experimental neuroscience group at UCL or elsewhere, are welcome, although the primary project supervisor should be one of the Gatsby (or Adjunct) faculty. Exceptionally, some students with pre-secured shorter-term studentships have joined us to study for an MPhil degree in one of these fields. Besides these Gatsby-funded programmes, students from some other PhD programmes are also able to carry out all or part of their research in Unit. See the links below. We do not offer undergraduate or taught masters programmes, nor (usually) a research masters. Again, links to alternative programmes appear below.

The Unit has openings for exceptional PhD candidates. Applicants should have a strong analytical background, a keen interest in neuroscience and/or machine learning and a relevant first degree, for example in Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics, Psychology or Statistics.

The PhD programme lasts four years, including a first year of intensive instruction in techniques and research in theoretical neuroscience and machine learning.

All students are fully funded, regardless of nationality. The Unit also welcomes applications from students with pre-secured funding or who are currently soliciting other scholarship/studentships. Gatsby PhD studentships cover the cost of tuition at the appropriate rate, and include a tax-free stipend of £22,500 per annum.

Applications (including a CV, statement of research interests, and letters from three referees) for 2017/18 admission must be sent directly to the Gatsby Unit admissions@gatsby.ucl.ac.uk. We will be accepting applications starting on the 10th September 2016.

If you would require a visa to attend an interview, if selected, then please contact us directly as soon as your application is complete and your referees have submitted their recommendations.

For further details of research interests please see http://www.gatsby.ucl.ac.uk/research.html
and the individual faculty webpages at http://www.gatsby.ucl.ac.uk/members.html