PhD in Psychology / Neuroscience

Flexible University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

Open Opportunities

  • Deadline 19 February: Sussex Neuroscience 3+1 PhD Program
    • Fully funded for local and international students
    • You don’t need to chose a supervisor before applying. The first year is made of 3 different rotations in different labs.
    • Selection is based mostly on the candidate’s CV.

A PhD at REBEL? What you will get:

  • Joining a dynamic team with a vibrant lab life
  • A supervisor that actually supervises 🤯
  • A super interesting research topic
  • A French-style thesis defense to celebrate your accomplishments 🧀🍷

How to do a PhD in Psychology?

  1. The first step is usually to contact the potential supervisor to discuss a rough research project outline. Write an email with your CV, your research interests and - if you have - some ideas for a research project that matches your supervisor’s line of research. If you don’t have ideas yet, it’s perfectly fine! I will likely propose some avenues of research that might match your interest, and refine them down the line.
  2. Once you have an in-principle approval, the next step is to get funding. There are typically 4 types of profiles: 1) the student and the supervisor come up with a tentative research project, with which the student then applies to scholarship opportunities. 2) the supervisor already has a scholarship for a specific project that he obtained a grant for, and will recruit a PhD for that specific research project; 3) the student already secured a scholarship that allows them to pursue a PhD with the supervisor of their choice (e.g., some schemes exist from countries for their nationals to do their PhD abroad). 4) Self-funding, which we don’t recommend unless you’re one of the lucky few with money to spare.

Funding is a complicated topic, and often the main barrier between one’s goal and its achievement. Keep in mind that there are many other possibilities and case-by-case considerations.

Here are some opportunities:

As well as other options:

  • Partnership: If an external partner agrees to cover half the cost (approx. £35k over three years), the university can match the other half of the cost. Useful for applied projects and collaborations with startups, private companies or NGOs.
  • Collaboration: Many universities allow for co-supervisorship. This means that you could do the main part of your PhD in another university (for instance in France), and come to Sussex sporadically as part of a collaboration. Note that official frameworks can exist for this type of configurations, such as the cotutelles in France.

Check-out this how to apply guide for additional information.

More info are available on the university’s PhD in psychology, Funding, PhD in cognitive science and PhD in neuroscience information page.

Clinical Psychology PhD or DClinPsy

Unfortunately, the University of Sussex does not offer at the moment a PhD in Clinical Psychology that includes clinical placements and internships in hospitals. However, if you are interested in working with patients, it is entirely possible to have a research project that involves clinical populations, and specialize in “clinical” research. Some people then complement this kind of PhD with clinical trainings (e.g., psychotherapy) to transition from research to practice.

How to become a Neuropsychologist?

Neuropsychology is both an approach (focusing on the relationship between the brain and its output in the form of behaviour and thought) and a practice (involving neuropsychological assessments and rehabilitation). The latter is considered a specialization of Clinical Psychology, which means that one must be a clinical psychologist to be a clinical neuropsychologist. As said above, the University of Sussex unfortunately does not offer, at the moment, a formal PhD in clinical psychology or clinical neuropsychology. However, joining the Reality Bending Lab will get you well-prepared to eventually pursue this type of program, as the methods and mindset that we have draws heavily on neuropsychology (the use of neuropsychological tests, the focus on neurocognitive theories, etc.). In fact, some of our past members have become brilliant neuropsychologists, so feel free to ask them!

Other Funding

Mostly for those already registered as PhD students.

Don’t rely on what is written!

Ask directly members of team (current and past) about their experience in the lab!