The PhD @ CERVO Program


PhD @ CERVO recruitment competition 

Applications for the next competition are now accepted. Deadline is February 16, 2024.

PhD @ CERVO is an international graduate student recruitment competition to find outstanding students who want to pursue graduate studies in Neuroscience. Prospective students are invited to browse this website to identify their area of interest and to learn more about CERVO, Université Laval and the city of Québec, Canada, and to submit an application to our program through the Apply tab. A selection committee, composed of researchers in the program, will review all applications.

Pre-selected candidates will be contacted for an interview in the weeks following the submission deadline.

Candidates selected after the interviews will be offered a scholarship to pursue their PhD at our research center in one of the available laboratories of their choice. Students can also apply to many open governmental and private programs for additional scholarships.


The CERVO brain research centre is affiliated with Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada. It's mission is to search for the causes of neurological and psychiatric diseases and to advance our knowledge in the treatment of these devastating diseases, through basic and clinical neuroscience research. CERVO is a leading multi-disciplinary research and training environment of 15,000 square meters with >40 laboratories and over >250 trainees and staff pursuing basic and clinical neuroscience research. CERVO offers transdisciplinary environment with the state-of-the-art facilities aiming to understand the Central Nervous System at the molecular, cellular, systems and clinical levels in the normal and pathological states. The Research Center is divided into three main sectors:

Positions for PhD Students are available in these three sectors. We are seeking highly motivated students with a university degree (at the time of enrollment) that would formally qualify them to enter a PhD program in their home country. Applicants from Canada and the US with only a BSc degree may first enter an MSc Program toward a direct transfer to the PhD after one year.
Admission is competitive and is achieved through a selection procedure.

About Université Laval Ph. D. Programs

Selected students will have the choice to enroll in the following graduate programs at Université Laval: Neuroscience, Biochemistry, Biophotonics, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Experimental Medicine, or Psychology.

View the Biophotonics program website.

PhD programs typically last four years, with possible extension to a fifth year. Students receive financial support through various scholarships for the complete duration of their studies. The supervision of student is ensured by the laboratory director, with possible co-supervision in the cases of multidisciplinary programs. A student thesis committee, formed by experts chosen by the student and director, offers guidance throughout the PhD. Basic knowledge of French is recommended but not required to enroll in the PhD programs. Advanced knowledge of English is required. Most courses are taught in French, but assignments and exams can be written in French or English.

About Université Laval 

Université Laval is the oldest Centre of Education in Canada (4th oldest in North America). Its main campus is located on the outskirts of the historic Quebec City. The University is ranked among the top eight Canadian Universities in terms of research funding. It has >38,000 students, 23% at the post-graduate level. The University hosts the Society for Neuroscience Quebec City Chapter.

The CERVO students association, CERVOLET, is an elected organization affiliated with Université Laval. Their mission is to serve the student body at the CERVO Brain Research Center, including Interns, MSc/PhD students, and Research Assistants and Associates. Learn more about CERVOLET here:

About Quebec City

The CERVO Brain Research Centre is located in Quebec City, one of the oldest cities in North America and the capital of the Province of Quebec (population of approx. 600,000). The streetscapes of the old city are dominated by the Chateau Frontenac, a medieval castle with stone turrets and gables. The city is surrounded by fortification walls dating from the 18th and 19th centuries and is a UNESCO World Heritage travel destination. As a cultural center of North America, the city is also embedded in a region rich in nature and outdoor summer and winter activities. Quebec City has a dense program of cultural and sports festivals all year round.

Visit the Quebec office of tourism website to learn more about Québec

Quebec city

Funding / Support / Partners

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