One-Year Fellowships for Studying Brain Sciences in Jerusalem (one year program)

The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) and the Rothberg International School (RIS) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are offering one-year fellowships for excellent Ph.D. students in Neuroscience.

The program is designed for students with a record of excellence at any stage of their graduate studies. The students will spend a year in Jerusalem, hosted and supported by RIS and ELSC, while participating in and contributing to the burgeoning brain research venture at the Hebrew University.

The program has two tracks:

The first track is intended for students who are mostly interested in participating in the wide range of courses offered by the interdisciplinary graduate program at ELSC. The courses will be given in English. Students in this track will be expected to take about 10 credit points in formal courses in each of the two semesters they spend at the Hebrew University, in addition to two lab rotations (onein each semester). They will be under the direct supervision of the head of the Ph.D. program.

The second track is designed for students who are mainly interested in working in a specific lab as part of their graduate research. These students will pre-arrange their visit with the target lab and will be expected to spend most of their time working on the pre-defined research project. While they will also be able to take courses at ELSC, they will not be required to do so.

Track assignment will be discussed with the student after the interview, which is part of the  application process. Information about the participating laboratories can be found here.
encourage potential applicants to contact the labs in which they are interested beforehand.

All participants will be expected to take two courses given at RIS. RIS offers courses designed for international graduate students in a wide variety of subjects, including language instruction in Hebrew and Arabic and seminars on Israeli society and politics, the Middle East, the Bible, comparative religion, Jewish studies, Jewish education, management of non-profit organizations and philanthropy studies.

Towards the end of their stay, students will be encouraged to present a lecture on their research, both for the students and faculty of RIS and for students and faculty of ELSC.

Candidates should send the following documents using the electronic registration form at

  1. Current CV
  2. One-page statement of scientific interests and objectives for the one-year visit
  3. Two or more letters of recommendation, one of them from their Ph.D. advisor.
  4. Official transcripts from each university attended
  5. Proof of English proficiency (required only for non-native speakers of English). The minimum requirements are 79 points (TOEFL iBT), 213 points (TOEFL CBT), 550 points (TOEFL paper), 6.5 points (IELTS), grade C (ESOL).

Candidates who fulfill the excellence requirements of the program will be interviewed by the teaching committee of ELSC by phone or video conference. Track assignment and the detailed plan for the visit will be worked out with the successful candidates.

Submission deadline: January 6, 2016 – decision will be communicated till March 1, 2016 for visits starting any time before October 2016.


Students will be supported by a stipend of US $20,000. This stipend will cover registration at both ELSC and RIS, housing in the student village on Mt. Scopus, health insurance, and a  contribution towards living expenses. The stipend is not intended to cover travel expenses to and from Israel.

Poto: Abir Sultan

Why Study at ELSC?

ELSC graduate students publish their research in major peerreviewed journals, including Nature, Science, Neuron, PLoS, Journal of Neuroscience and in leading journals in physics and computer science. Many students continue their post doctoral work in prominent neuroscience labs in the U.S. and in Europe. Graduates of the program account for a large percentage of neuroscience positions at Israeli universities.

The core courses of the program provide students with expertise in:

  • Neurobiology – the relationships between the physiology and anatomy of the nervous system to its function.
  • Techniques of neuroscience research – from the intracellular electrode to optogenetics and fMRI
  • Physics – theory of dynamical systems with applications to neural networks, computation and learning.
  • Computer science and engineering – signal processing, statistical learning theory and machine learning, computer vision, computational linguistics, information theory and control theory – all with special attention to computational neuroscience.
  • Psychology – with an emphasis on cognition, memory and perception.

In addition, the program has a large number of elective courses that vary from year to year. The program offers courses in Models of Perception-Action Cycles, Dynamic Systems and Control, The Cerebellum and its Role in Current Research, The Biological Basis of Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Contemporary Issues in fMRI Research, as well as lab courses – Live Imaging of Neurons and Networks, and Brain Imaging/Brainvoyager Data Analysis Workshop.

Why the Hebrew University?

The Hebrew University is consistently rated as the top Israeli university in international educational surveys. The Hebrew University’s 23,000 students – half of whom are graduate students – represent the vibrant Israeli society and include Jews, Christians and Muslims. The Hebrew University is open to all academically qualified applicants, regardless of nationality, race, creed, color or religion.

Why Jerusalem?

Jerusalem offers an unparalleled mix of past and present culture. From world-class restaurants and cafes to historical religious sites, the city is a melting pot of ancient roots and modern innovations. Jerusalem is rich in art galleries, museums, theaters and concert halls. Exciting festivals, exhibitions, sports competitions, and other special events are held throughout the year. For further information on Jerusalem, see


Last updated: 16/11/2015