4 year Wellcome Trust PhD in Integrative Neuroscience Interview Watch

issle
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So I've been invited for an interview for the Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD programme at Cardiff Uni, and wondered if anyone else has been through an interview for one of these PhD's?

I've been for two PhD interviews in the past (unsuccessful both times because I was competing with Masters Grads - and I'm only BSc, hence applying for this four year studentship), but I feel this interview process is going to be different, and I was wondering if anyone here has also been invited for interview or has done one before?

I mean, the others have been a simple hour interview, a little on the topic but mainly on personal competencies, and I can do that. This one is over two days, informal lunch/dinner invites, campus and lab tours, a formal interview flung in there too, but it's already sounding worlds apart, and considering how competitive Wellcome Trust Phd's are I'm feeling like this interview is going to be a little more intense.

So yeah, just wondering if anyone can offer experiences of these interviews or is preparing for one and has a little more of an idea of what to expect that I do...?
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c2uk
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Can't share any insights into this one, but it's already a testament of your abilities that you've been invited to this one. Cardiff's rather good in this area, so be sure you know a little about what Cardiff's doing, who's who and their facilities (CUBRIC! - and they're building a new one as well) - there's this BBC presenter from Scotland who visited a while ago to have his brain scanned before and after he had some coffee - not that you need to know this for your interview

CUBRIC's based within the School of Psychology but in that 4 year programme you'd also be linked with School of Biosciences and the School of Medicine, plus the Neuroscience & Mental Health Research Institute, which moved into new facilities only a few months ago - in the newly built Hadyn Ellis Building, the CUBRIC facility's supposed to go just next to this building - just shows how big Neuroscience is at Cardiff.

Also, Cardiff got an excellent University Graduate College, also housed in the Hadyn Ellis Building, providing quite a number of training workshops and other support for their postgraduate researchers.

Good luck and do report back as to whether you got it! Obviously can tell you a bit more about Cardiff - city and university.
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issle
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Thanks c2! It may not be info about the interview, but it's great stuff to know regardless. If you have any more you want to tell me about cardiff uni or the city then go for it - I wont stop you! Especially about the BBC presenter, sounds interesting!
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c2uk
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There you go:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-23210160

Not more time now, got to finish an assignment. Respond and I'll be back
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issle
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Just got offered the PhD!

So must have done something right!
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c2uk
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(Original post by issle)
Just got offered the PhD!

So must have done something right!
Well done! That's impressive
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c2uk
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I trust you accept the offer

if there's anything you need to know about Cardiff, shoot away I happily answer any questions, also would love to hear how you're getting on with the PhD then.
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TeaAndSugar
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(Original post by issle)
So I've been invited for an interview for the Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD programme at Cardiff Uni, and wondered if anyone else has been through an interview for one of these PhD's?

I've been for two PhD interviews in the past (unsuccessful both times because I was competing with Masters Grads - and I'm only BSc, hence applying for this four year studentship), but I feel this interview process is going to be different, and I was wondering if anyone here has also been invited for interview or has done one before?

I mean, the others have been a simple hour interview, a little on the topic but mainly on personal competencies, and I can do that. This one is over two days, informal lunch/dinner invites, campus and lab tours, a formal interview flung in there too, but it's already sounding worlds apart, and considering how competitive Wellcome Trust Phd's are I'm feeling like this interview is going to be a little more intense.

So yeah, just wondering if anyone can offer experiences of these interviews or is preparing for one and has a little more of an idea of what to expect that I do...?

Congratulations on getting a place! I'm planning to apply to this for 2015 entry If it's okay, could I ask how the interview went? And did you have a very biological background?

Thanks
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issle
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Hi there,

More than happy to share!

As I said when I started this thread, the interview was split across two days. It started with a mingling session with the current phd students (and we got to ask all sorts of useful questions), then an introductory lecture and question period with the course head, then we were taken on tours across all the facilities that were relevant (and got to ask questions about those as we went), then we had a few hours break in our hotel before dinner with some of the current PhD students and some of the faculty staff (more questions time + wine).

The next day we had the formal interview, which only lasted half an hour. On the whole the questions they asked were very much tailored to my own application, my experiences, my achievements, my academic and work background. From what I heard each interview was mapped out with the applicant in mind. For instance, the technical questions they asked me were relevant to me, not necessarily to the PhD - my technical questions were focused on research design and behavioural neuroscience because my background is in psychology and clinical neuropsychology, whereas the person before me was asked about theories in neurochemistry because that was more related to hers. They are aware that neuroscience is a heavily interdisciplinary area and that the people applying will not have the same base knowledge as one another.

Otherwise, my background is not what I would call biological. I haven't studied straight biology since GCSE, but I did work in a neurorehab unit for a year (as an assistant psychologist) and my final year modules were all heavily focused on neuropsychology, which has some obvious crossover.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask! If not then good luck with your application!
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TeaAndSugar
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(Original post by issle)
Hi there,

More than happy to share!

As I said when I started this thread, the interview was split across two days. It started with a mingling session with the current phd students (and we got to ask all sorts of useful questions), then an introductory lecture and question period with the course head, then we were taken on tours across all the facilities that were relevant (and got to ask questions about those as we went), then we had a few hours break in our hotel before dinner with some of the current PhD students and some of the faculty staff (more questions time + wine).

The next day we had the formal interview, which only lasted half an hour. On the whole the questions they asked were very much tailored to my own application, my experiences, my achievements, my academic and work background. From what I heard each interview was mapped out with the applicant in mind. For instance, the technical questions they asked me were relevant to me, not necessarily to the PhD - my technical questions were focused on research design and behavioural neuroscience because my background is in psychology and clinical neuropsychology, whereas the person before me was asked about theories in neurochemistry because that was more related to hers. They are aware that neuroscience is a heavily interdisciplinary area and that the people applying will not have the same base knowledge as one another.

Otherwise, my background is not what I would call biological. I haven't studied straight biology since GCSE, but I did work in a neurorehab unit for a year (as an assistant psychologist) and my final year modules were all heavily focused on neuropsychology, which has some obvious crossover.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask! If not then good luck with your application!
Thanks so much! I think if I do get to the interview stage I'll be reading through this a few hundred times! It's very reassuring to know it's so tailored; I was worried I might be at a disadvantage by having a more psychological background.

What was the time scale in regards to applying/ getting an interview/ hearing back?
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issle
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Yeah, when I applied I didn't expect to hear anything for the same reasons, but as it comes with half a year of taught lectures and another half of lab work I suspect they're more interested in finding the right applicant (although I couldn't tell you why they decided I was one of them!!!).

Time scale? Er, it was a while ago so I'm not 100% but I think I applied in mid Nov and they got back to me early Jan? My PhD doesn't even start until later this month so it's quite a lengthy time line.
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geneticist
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Hey there,I'm just wondering if international students can get trust funds??
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TeaAndSugar
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(Original post by issle)
Yeah, when I applied I didn't expect to hear anything for the same reasons, but as it comes with half a year of taught lectures and another half of lab work I suspect they're more interested in finding the right applicant (although I couldn't tell you why they decided I was one of them!!!).

Time scale? Er, it was a while ago so I'm not 100% but I think I applied in mid Nov and they got back to me early Jan? My PhD doesn't even start until later this month so it's quite a lengthy time line.
That's great to hear. Thanks for answering! I better get back to glaring at my personal statement ;]

Best of luck with your PhD!
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TeaAndSugar
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(Original post by geneticist)
Hey there,I'm just wondering if international students can get trust funds??
From what I've read, international students can win the funding but it only covers EU/Home costs so the student will need to pay the difference.
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issle
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(Original post by TeaAndSugar)
From what I've read, international students can win the funding but it only covers EU/Home costs so the student will need to pay the difference.
I'd contact them for a definite answer but I'm reasonably sure this is the case.
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Tary_89
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Hi!
I've noticed that more than one university offers (more or less) the same 4year Wellcome Trust PhD in Neuroscience. Does anyone know if you're allowed to apply to more than one university offering the same programme? I'm really interested in applying for it at Cardiff and at Oxford...

Thank you very much for your answer!
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issle
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You can apply for all of them if you want too - many people at the Cardiff interview last year had elected not to apply to Oxford because of the fee (myself included), but most of them had also applied to UCL, some to Bristol. It's worth noting that they all share information about who they're interested in and why, so they'll be aware if you've been offered an interview for another Wellcome trust PhD (but unaware if you don't get offered an interview because of the high numbers of applicants).
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punctuation
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(Original post by Tary_89)
Hi!
I've noticed that more than one university offers (more or less) the same 4year Wellcome Trust PhD in Neuroscience. Does anyone know if you're allowed to apply to more than one university offering the same programme? I'm really interested in applying for it at Cardiff and at Oxford...

Thank you very much for your answer!
You're allowed to apply to as many as you want but a few of them have vastly different focusses - e.g. systems neuro vs. membrane transport. So, feel free to apply to as many as you have the energy for, but make sure you have good motivation for applying to each. For instance, I've applied for the Oxford one and will apply for the UCL one, but the Cardiff and Newcastle ones aren't exactly in my research interests, so I'm not applying for those.
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myau
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What kind of questions did they ask you? How did you prepare for the interview? I'm thinking of applying because this PhD sounds like everything I want to do, but I have no idea what to expect.
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issle
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(Original post by myau)
What kind of questions did they ask you? How did you prepare for the interview? I'm thinking of applying because this PhD sounds like everything I want to do, but I have no idea what to expect.
As Above:

(Original post by issle)
Hi there,

More than happy to share!

As I said when I started this thread, the interview was split across two days. It started with a mingling session with the current phd students (and we got to ask all sorts of useful questions), then an introductory lecture and question period with the course head, then we were taken on tours across all the facilities that were relevant (and got to ask questions about those as we went), then we had a few hours break in our hotel before dinner with some of the current PhD students and some of the faculty staff (more questions time + wine).

The next day we had the formal interview, which only lasted half an hour. On the whole the questions they asked were very much tailored to my own application, my experiences, my achievements, my academic and work background. From what I heard each interview was mapped out with the applicant in mind. For instance, the technical questions they asked me were relevant to me, not necessarily to the PhD - my technical questions were focused on research design and behavioural neuroscience because my background is in psychology and clinical neuropsychology, whereas the person before me was asked about theories in neurochemistry because that was more related to hers. They are aware that neuroscience is a heavily interdisciplinary area and that the people applying will not have the same base knowledge as one another.

Otherwise, my background is not what I would call biological. I haven't studied straight biology since GCSE, but I did work in a neurorehab unit for a year (as an assistant psychologist) and my final year modules were all heavily focused on neuropsychology, which has some obvious crossover.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask! If not then good luck with your application!
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