Policies

Contents

  1. Equality and Diversity Policy
  2. DORA - the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment
  3. Animal Research Policy
  4. Refund policy

Equality and Diversity Policy

The BNA is committed towards equal opportunities and non-discriminatory procedures and practices throughout its work.

The BNA strives to avoid biases of any kind across membership, allocation of funding, print and online publications, and access to conferences and events, and also when engaged in the employment of staff and election of council and committee members.

The BNA actively seeks to eliminate any unlawful discrimination or bias related to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or any combination of these. Discrimination on any of these grounds is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. The BNA further seeks to eliminate any less favourable treatment relating to education, socioeconomics or personal situation.

In all of BNA’s activities we are intent on providing equality for all and promoting an inclusive culture.

For the BNA to endorse, fund or participate in a meeting, the expectation is that the meeting will follow the principles of this Equality and Diversity policy and meet the following conditions:

  1. At least a third of the total number of speakers at the meeting should be women.
  2. Individual sessions in multi-session meetings, and any meeting committees where they are involved, should not be populated exclusively by men.

January 2017
Due for revision: April 2018

How are we doing? Can we do better?  Please let us know if we have slipped up, or if there is anything we could do to improve equality of opportunity or avoid discrimination of any kind, by sending your comments or suggestions for improvements to our Equal Opportunity and Diversity representative via the BNA office at office@bna.org.uk

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DORA - the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

In February 2019 the BNA Trustees added the BNA to the list of signatories of DORA, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

DORA was developed in 2012, during the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, as a worldwide initiative to encourage development of ways to evaluatte research and researchers that - critcially - do not rely on journal impact factors. Instead, DORA is working to gather and share existing examples of good practice in research assessment, including approaches to funding and fellowships, hiring and promotion, and awarding prizes, that emphasize research itself and not where it is published.

1147 organizations have already signed DORA including the Society for Neuroscience, European Journal of Neuroscience, Cancer Research UK, the Company of Biologists, eLIFE, EMBO, PLOS and Wellcome.

We feel that DORA aligns with the BNA’s commitment to credibility and transparency of research, and it is therefore entirely appropriate to be a signatory.

On a practical level, the BNA commits to following the principles of DORA by:

  • Not using journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of research when assessing applications for any of the BNA's awards. 
  • Encouraging BNA members to apply the principles of DORA, and encouraging BNA members' institutions to consider becoming a signatory of DORA
  • Seeking alternative ways to evaluate research, which focus on the value and influence of specific research outputs
  • Avoiding reference to Journal Impact Factor as a way to describe the success or status of research

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Animal Research Policy

The BNA supports its members in their use of humane and appropriate animal research for scientific and medical progress when no alternative is available. We believe that research on animals is necessary to gain a fundamental understanding of the nervous system, and for the discovery and development of new products for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

The BNA is committed to openness on the use of animals in research and is a signatory of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK.  This Concordat recognises the need to provide the public with transparent and accurate information about the role played by animals in scientific discovery, and the contribution of animal research towards new medical treatments and beyond.

In line with this, the BNA strongly endorses the principles of the 3Rs where every effort must be made to:

  • replace the use of live animals by using methods which avoid or replace animals with alternative techniques
  • reduce the number of animals used in the research to the minimum required for meaningful results
  • refine procedures used so that the degree of suffering is kept to the minimum and animal welfare is improved, such as provision of housing which allows expression of natural behaviour

The BNA believes that access to, and dissemination of, information about techniques used in fundamental and clinical research is essential to allow everyone to be aware of the reasons why animals are used, and to make informed choices related to the role of animals in neuroscience research.

April 2017 
Due for revision: April 2018

Guiding Principles for Behavioural Laboratory Animal Science, Edition One: November 2013

A collaboration between LASA (Laboratory Animal Science Association), BAP (British Association for Psychopharmacology), BNA (British Neuroscience Association) and the ESSWAP Foundation (European Courses in Whole Animal Pharmacology).

These Guidelines are designed to help with the process of making informed decisions about the best way to carry out studies of animal behaviour in biomedical experiments. Although the topics concentrate on laboratory research, some apply to ethological studies in the natural environment as well.  Even investigators who need to comply with regulatory requirements (and so cannot modify either the choice of procedure or the design of their studies) need to be aware of the principles described in these Guidelines.

Download the Guidelines at the following link 

For regularly updated news on Animal Research, please see the following resources:

Understanding Animal Research

European Animal Research Association

Speaking of research 

Science Media Centre

NC3Rs newsletters

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Refund policy

Please see information about being refunded for payments made to the BNA at our refund policy page.

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