Application Materials

This page breaks down the three main application components which are program of study including specialization, the personal statement, and the letters of recommendation.

Under Program of Study, select Program: Neurobiology and Behavior.

The next important item to consider is 'Specialization'. Please choose from the following 5:

  • Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience: Non-human Models
  • Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience
  • Human Cognition, Behavior and Neuroscience
  • Neurobiology of Disease
  • Theoretical Neuroscience

Details and lists of associated faculty can be found on the Specializations page.

Because of the great diversity of research areas covered by Neurobiology and Behavior, the Program tries to ensure that applications are reviewed by faculty members in the area of an applicant’s research interests. Note that the choice of specialization is only used to better evaluate applications. Once admitted every student is free to pursue any area of Neuroscience-related research regardless of the specialization they were affiliated with upon acceptance. 

Applicants whose research interests span multiple specializations, ( for example: ‘Theoretical Neuroscience’ and ‘Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, Non-Human Models’,) should select ‘Neurobiology and Behavior’ for both primary and secondary Program of Study, but with the two separate specializations. These combined interests should also be described in your Personal Statement.

The personal statement is an important opportunity for you to tell us who you are beyond your resume. Below is a general overview of the points you should cover:

- Please share any challenges that you faced and how you overcame them. Examples of challenges include educational, economic, social/cultural, and others, including those related to academic performance and research engagement. Our program is interested in your unique life experience and how it has brought you to this juncture of pursue a PhD in Neuroscience.

- Describe your overall career goals, both short and long term. Why are you interested in the Neurobiology and Behavior Program? What is your motivation for research? What is the academic path that brought you here, and where do you see yourself going?

- Describe your prior research experience. Remember that your application will be read by faculty not necessarily expert in your sub-fields; include descriptions of academic and research experience in enough detail to assess your contributions and level of engagement in the project. Were there technical challenges or unexpected results? If so, how did you respond?

- Describe the research directions you want to explore, especially if different from your previous research.

- Describe any experience you have in outreach and education. Our program is interested in any work you have done that shows your commitment to diversity and increasing public understanding of science.

Please get 3 letters of recommendation from people who know you well and can speak to your strengths and weaknesses. If possible, one should be the mentor for your prior research experience.