Association policies


  1. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and ALBA Declaration
  2. DORA - the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment
  3. Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers
  4. Animal Research Policy
  5. Code of Conduct for BNA meetings
  6. Refund policy

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and ALBA Declaration

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 equity for all and promoting an inclusive culture.

The BNA formallly endorses the ALBA Declaration on Equity and Inclusion, and works to fulfil its goals. 

For the BNA to endorse, fund or participate in a meeting, the expectation is that the meeting will follow the principles of this Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 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.

Most recent review: January 2021

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 equity 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

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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 evaluate 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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Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers

In February 2021, the BNA endorsed the Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers, to complement our existing commitment to DORA.  

These principles were developed as part of the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (held in Hong Kong in 2019), and were created to reinforce the need to reward researchers for specific positive behaviours that promote trustworthy research, such as reproducibility and full reporting of data. 

The five principles are:

  1. Assess responsible research practices
  2. Value complete reporting
  3. Reward the practice of open science
  4. Acknowledge a broad range of research activities
  5. Recognise essential other tasks like peer review and mentoring 

We believe that these represent an additional approach towards tackling the incentive structure within research, which needs to be directed more towards rewarding researchers that go to efforts to make their work as credible as possible. Find out more about how the BNA and others are putting these into practice

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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.

Most recent review: April 2017 

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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Code of Conduct for BNA meetings

Meetings organised by the BNA provide a respectful, harassment-free and inclusive environment for all participants, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, education, socioeconomics or personal situation, or  any combination of these. All attendees (including delegates, speakers, exhibitors, staff and members of the press) are expected to behave with integrity and respect towards other delegates attending or involved with BNA meetings or any related event or activity.

This Code of Conduct is not legally enforceable. However, the BNA is committed to ensuring all attendees are informed about and agree to the Code of Conduct when registering for BNA meetings, and to as far as possible create an inclusive, welcoming and respectful environment for all participants.  Participants are encouraged to report any experienced harassment to The organisers reserve the right to take any action deemed appropriate in case of harassment, and host institutions of reported individuals will be notified about filed harassment reports.

Online meetings

Attendees at online meetings hosted by the BNA are expected to be polite and respectful to both the panelists and other attendees. Delegates are expected to respect the choices of the moderator / chair in selecting questions or comments and managing session times. Comments in the chat function, and questions posted in the Q&A, should be relevant to the presentation and topic of discussion. If any of the panelists consider that comments posted in the chat or Q&A are inappropriate, likely to distract other participants and/or could be deemed offensive, the attendee posting such comments will first be asked to refrain and then be removed from the meeting and unable to rejoin.

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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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