PhD Studentships

We are looking for creative and highly motivated students, from a variety of academic backgrounds including biology, medicine, engineering and physics. Our PhD students are enrolled in the Behavioral and Neural Sciences Graduate Program (, which offers 5 years of full funding, regardless of nationality.

Our lab aims to understand how the connectivity and functional properties of neuromodulatory circuits determine the motivation to initiate goal-directed movement or shape our decisions in a constantly changing environment (see Dautan et al., 2016 Nature Neuroscience). To achieve this, we use a variety of experimental approaches including ultrastructural anatomy, neuronal tracing, in vivo juxtacellular and high-density electrophysiological recordings, microendoscopy, optogenetics, chemogenetics and behavior. 

The CMBN, located in Newark and within the New York City Metropolitan Area, offers an enriched and stimulating academic environment with state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. CMBN’s faculty specialize in a diverse range of neuroscience disciplines (molecular, cellular, cognitive), providing it with a unique integrative approach for the study of the brain in health and disease.


About the BNS program:

Students at CMBN study toward a PhD in the Behavioral and Neural Sciences Graduate Program. The program trains students for scientific research careers in neuroscience and prepares students to take positions in academic, medical and industrial research settings. Our focus is on multidisciplinary training of students across the domains of neuroscience. Students are trained to conduct independent research and to present and discuss research ideas and results both orally and in written form. Students also gain experience in both undergraduate and graduate teaching. The program benefits from the active participation of the graduate faculties of Rutgers University-Newark from the CMBN, the Department of Biological Sciences, and the Department of Psychology. CMBN benefits from on-site access to Rutgers University Brain Imaging Center, a research-dedicated facility equipped with a 3T fMRI scanner (Siemens TRIO) for imaging both humans and animals ( CMBN also house facilities for multimodal neuroimaging methods, includingtranscranial magnetic stimulation (Ri-rTMS), EEG/ERPs, eyetracking, and simultaneous EEG and fMRI, and EEG and Ri-rTMS. For those with an interest in working with clinical populations, we have superb cooperation with our medical school faculty in neurology, psychiatry, and neurosurgery, as well as collaborations with several medical centers in nearby New York City. Thanks to this broad participation, the program offers training across a wide range of Neuroscience sub fields.

The PhD programme lasts four to five years. Starting in year one, students do semester-long research rotations laboratories of one or more faculty members to learn about different aspects of neuroscience research. Dissertation research can also be completed under the supervision of more than one faculty member, to broaden student training. The course curriculum has been developed to bring students with diverse backgrounds (neuroscience, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, mathematics, neuroimaging, engineering) up to speed on the topics they will need for their research projects. Most classes involve extensive discussions with faculty, hands-on learning, critical thinking, and scientific writing. Interested students are encouraged to contact potential supervisors in advance to learn more about their research program.

All students are fully funded, regardless of nationality. The program also welcomes applications from students with pre-secured funding or who are currently soliciting other scholarship/studentships. PhD students receive a 12-month renewable graduate assistantship of $29,605 plus tuition remission and a medical benefits plan. There is a maximum of 4 weeks of vacation time per year and travel funds of up to $500 per year are available for each student to present their research at major national or international meetings. Further, the President of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, invites outstanding candidates to apply to Ph.D. programs for consideration as Presidential Fellows ($35,000 annual fellowship stipends for 2 years).


If you are interested in joining the lab or our BNS program please contact us.

Applications deadline: December 15, 2017


We always want to hear from motivated students and postdocs that are interested in joining our lab. Please contact us using this website.