Association policies


  1. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and ALBA Declaration
  2. Climate emergency declaration
  3. Safer Spaces Policy for BNA spaces 
  4. DORA - the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment
  5. Hong Kong Principles for assessing researchers
  6. Animal Research Policy
  7. Refund policy

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and ALBA Declaration

  1. The BNA is committed to providing and promoting equal opportunities throughout its work, including via the use of procedures and practices which are inclusive and anti-discriminatory. 
  2. The BNA actively seeks to eliminate discrimination or bias related to the protected characteristics of 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 personal situation, for instance: level of education or socioeconomic background. 
  3. Specifically, the BNA strives to avoid biases of any kind across its membership procedures, funding and award allocation processes, print and online publications, conferences and events, and when engaging in the employment, election or appointment of staff, Council and Committee members and any other paid or voluntary roles. 
  4. As part of this, the BNA formally endorses the ALBA Declaration on Equity and Inclusion, and works to fulfil its goals.
  5. For the BNA to endorse, fund or participate in an event, meeting or activity (whether internal or external), the expectation is therefore that it will follow the principles of this Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and meet the following conditions: 
  • At least a third but ideally half of the total number of speakers should be women (on the basis that around half of the UK population are women); 
  • Individual sessions in multi-session meetings, and any committees, selection panels, author lists, or similar activities, should not be populated exclusively by men; 
  • There should be clear and demonstrable efforts to include minority ethnic groups in every activity. For UK-based activities, there should be an ambition of having representation aligned with UK population levels; and 
  • It is the expectation of the BNA that any activities, run by the BNA itself or as a partner or a supporter, will consider diverse representation and inclusion across as many as possible of the protected characteristics listed in paragraph 2 above. 

Breaches of this code should be reported to the BNA staff leads and Dani Wijesinghe as soon as possible, via this form.

Most recent review: August 2022 

How are we doing? Can we do better? Please let us know your feedback on this Policy, and any suggestions for additional ways in which we could improve equity of opportunity or combat discrimination, by sending your comments or suggestions for improvements to our Community & Inclusion Officer via the BNA office at

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Climate emergency declaration

The BNA is joining other organisations and institutions across the UK and globally in declaring a climate emergency to highlight the urgency of the need for action:

  • We recognise the danger of the climate crisis on human health
  • We are committed as a society to promote environmental sustainability to our members and reduce the carbon impact of our activities
  • Through our Green Neuroscience Working Group, we commit to developing ways to accelerate the BNA’s environmental sustainability and to develop ways to incentivise the neuroscience community to becoming more sustainable.

To find out more about the BNA’s activities, visit our Green Neuroscience page.

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Safer Spaces Policy for BNA spaces 

All participants in internal BNA spaces and at BNA activities and events (including events hosted by other organisations exclusively for BNA members) are required to read and follow this Safer Spaces Policy. It applies to participation in the meeting or activity and in any correspondence before and after. The event Chairs and staff lead from the British Neuroscience Association (Dani Wijesinghe, will implement this code. Breaches of this code should be reported via this Form, at which point they will be picked up by the aforementioned BNA staff leads. If your report is concerning a BNA staff lead, please email the BNA President directly. 



We strive for spaces, activities and events organised by the BNA to provide a respectful, harassment-free and inclusive environment for everyone involved (including Chairs, delegates, speakers, exhibitors, staff and members of the press—collectively known as “event participants” for the purpose of this document), regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, any other aspect of diversity not included as a protected characteristic by the Equality Act 20101, or any combination of these. This policy aims to enable all event/activity participants to enjoy, participate in and contribute to the event. It exists to ensure that individuals do not feel harassed or uncomfortable in participating in the event, associated activities or communications (including via email). This is the collective responsibility of all event participants, who are expected to behave with integrity and respect towards other delegates attending or involved with BNA events or any related event or activity. 

This policy is not legally enforceable. However, the BNA is committed to ensuring all attendees are informed about and agree to it when registering for BNA meetings, in order to—as far as possible—create an inclusive, welcoming and respectful environment for all participants. Participants are encouraged to report any experienced harassment via this Form, at which point they will be picked up by the BNA staff leads mentioned in the introduction to this document. In such a case, the BNA reserves the right to take any action deemed appropriate, including notifying reported individuals’ host institutions of filed harassment reports. 

At BNA events, we will be led by the values, principles and behaviours that guide the BNA’s equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work2. We will uphold these values through our decision about engagement with individuals and organisations. If we have given a platform to an individual/organisation and they appear to display behaviour in contravention of our values, in line with our internal procedures we will first approach them informally to clarify, understand and advise. This will have the intention of supporting learning and growth. However, we reserve the right to cease supporting engagement with individuals/organisations who persist in contributing to an unsafe environment online or in person. 


The BNA does not accept harassment or intimidation of event participants in any form, whether verbal, physical, or written (including in the meeting chat, on social media or by email). Harassment includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Offensive or unwanted conduct on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or personal situation (e.g. level of education or socioeconomic background) which has the purpose or effect of violating dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile or degrading environment;
  • Use of sexualised or other inappropriate images or unwelcome sexualised content, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or stalking;
  • Sustained interruption of speakers or those asking questions; and
  • Unwanted photography or filming.

Intimidation includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Making threats;
  • Bullying; and
  • Personal attacks.

Event participants who do not adhere to these rules will be asked to stop by event Chairs or staff leads, and expected to comply immediately. Participants may be removed from the meeting or communications at the discretion of the event leads. If you are being harassed/intimidated, notice that someone else is being harassed/intimidated, or have any other concerns, please contact the BNA staff lead Dani Wijesinghe as soon as possible, via this form. If your report is concerning a BNA staff lead, please email the BNA President directly. As well as dealing with the perpetrator, representatives from the BNA leadership will be happy to assist those experiencing harassment or intimidation to feel safe. This could involve stepping in to remove you or others from a chain of communication if this is the preferred action, and could also involve facilitating a discussion or mediation. If you wish, you may also nominate someone else to support facilitating any mediation or as an observer to this process. 

We welcome feedback on how we might improve this Policy and make future events, meetings and activities a safer space. 

Most recent review: August 2022 

This Safer Spaces Policy is based on that developed by EDIS3, a coalition of organisations working to improve equality, diversity and inclusion within the science and health research sector. The BNA is grateful for their advice and support.

1See for further information on Academy of Medical Sciences definition of diversity beyond protected characteristics.


3For further information see

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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, or other publication or citation measures, as a way to describe the success or status of research or a researcher

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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 principles of the NC3Rs where every effort must be made to:

  • replace the use of animals through accelerating the development and use of predictive and robust models and tools, based on the latest science and technologies
  • reduce the use of animals through appropriately designed and analysed animal experiments that are robust and reproducible, and truly add to the knowledge base
  • refine procedures used by using the latest in vivo technologies and by improving understanding of the impact of animal welfare on scientific outcomes.

Alternatives to the use of animals, for example computational models and in vitro model systems such as cerebral organoids, are helping replacement efforts within neuroscience, though are not applicable to many areas of neuroscience research. 

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.

Alongside a number of other organisations, the BNA is a member of the UK Bioscience Sector Coalition, which represents the collective views of the bioscience sector with an interest in the use of animals in research.

Most recent review: October 2022 

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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