Closing Date
5 Jan 2020
Paris, London, Barcelona, Munich, Lisbon, Edinburgh, Berlin or Vienna.
3 years

ZENITH is an interdisciplinary PhD programme aiming to train the next generation of neuroscientists to uncover the mysteries of circuits underlying behaviour by applying quantitative data analysis and modelling and state of the art experimental approaches. Supervision relies on 13 principal investigators expert in either neuroscience, physics, or computational modelling working together in highly-collaborative projects together with outstanding scientists from the scientific advisory board. Labs are based in renowned institutions in Paris, London, Barcelona, Munich, Lisbon, Edinburgh, Berlin, and Vienna.

The ZENITH PhD programme is recruiting enthusiastic, passionate, well-rounded students at the bachelor and master levels with a strong interest in interdisciplinary approaches (neurobiology, systems neuroscience, mathematics, optics, molecular biology, computer science). Students accepted in the program will benefit from in-depth interdisciplinary mentorship from 2 supervisors from different fields and will follow hands-on workshops to consolidate their understanding of all relevant techniques. Students will receive a generous PhD scholarship supporting their in-depth training, social benefits and travel.

The 15 PhD projects are built around five scientific themes:

  1. Implementing advanced optical methods
  2. Linking molecules to circuits
  3. Studying communication between cell types and regions
  4. Linking circuits to behaviour
  5. Computational modelling of neuronal population activity and behaviour


The three-year program is fully funded by ZENITH and will lead to the award of a PhD in Neuroscience by the relevant partner University (associated with the primary project supervisor). Working language throughout the programme is English.

Training will be overseen by the graduate program coordinator, Claire Wyart from ICM, Paris and all ZENITH group leaders.


ZENITH is keen to attract students from diverse backgrounds including Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering. Applicants should note the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Applicants may be of any nationality.

  2. Applicants should hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant scientific field.

  3. Mobility Rule: Students must apply to a host institution in a country where they have not lived, worked or studied for more than 12 months in the three years prior to the start of the programme (September 2020). In most cases this will mean students move to a different country from that in which they carried out their bachelor’s or master’s degree.

  4. Students who have started research, must have less than 4 years of research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree at the time of recruitment by the host organisation.

  5. Applicants should express their preferences for 3 ZENITH projects.

Applicants are encouraged to reach out to principal investigators to discuss eligibility and projects.

Students will benefit from exceptional training in the context of ambitious, innovative projects that focus on networks underlying perception, movement generation and coordination, as well as complex social behaviour and vocalisation.

ZENITH is unique because:

  • Students will gain multi-disciplinary training by undertaking their projects in at least two laboratories with diverse expertise.

  • Students will be immersed in genetics, imaging, optics, behaviour and computational modelling approaches through bespoke training workshops.

  • Students will have the opportunity to work in partnership with high-tech companies and apply discoveries to diverse fields of research.

The ZENITH programme will recruit and train 15 students who will commence their research projects by September 2020. Generous funding is provided for 3 years.

Visit the APPLY! page for full details about the application process and deadlines.

For more information about the programme, please click here.