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UCL-NIMH Joint Doctoral Training Program in Neuroscience Program

Selection Criteria

Students who will benefit the most from this program will tend to be academically advanced, independent, highly motivated, appreciate cultural diversity and have a clear idea of their educational goals and the research they wish to pursue. We want to select only those students who are most likely to prosper and benefit from this unique opportunity. To help in our selection process, and in your decision of whether to apply, we have identified three main criteria that strongly predict success. Anyone who is accepted must meet the three criteria outlined below. Applicants to the UCL-NIMH Joint Doctoral Training Program in Neuroscience are asked to address the below three criteria in detail within the on-line application.

  1. Academic Performance
    Stellar academic performance is a strong predictor of success in this challenging program. Performance assessment focuses on multiple areas:
    • Academic grades and course history (applicants should have a minimum 3.3 GPA)
    • Test scores (GRE or MCAT)
    • Letters of recommendation
  2. Research Experience
    In the Research Experience section of the application please describe research experiences you have had. Research experience, during or after an undergraduate program, can be extraordinarily valuable to the applicant who is deciding whether he/she is suited for a career in research, and can also provide useful training.

  3. Specific Research Plan
    All Ph.D. students must ultimately have two thesis mentors (one at NIMH and one at UCL) and a research plan.
    Early identification of a mentor and development of a research plan are strong indicators of motivation and ultimate success in the program. Applicants who are serious about being considered for entry into the program must submit a brief (1-2 pg) description of the proposed thesis research and identify both mentors (one at NIH and one at UCL) ahead of time, during the application process. It is expected that the applicant draft the research proposal. While the research proposal may be shared with potential mentors, the research proposal should be written by the applicant. Applicants should reach out to proposed mentors at NIH and UCL to assure that they will support the applicants graduate research should they be accepted into the program. With this unique program, great emphasis is placed on the student’s ability to think critically about their respective mentor pairing along with the research plan. Both of these factors help the Program Directors and Selection Committee that reviews the applications to make the best selections amongst the applicant pool.

Within the application, please include the following:

  • Additional Information section- indicate which NIH and UCL investigators have been contacted to serve as mentors for your thesis research.
  • Personal Statement section- provide a brief (1-2 pg) description of the proposed dissertation project.