BNA Head of Communications and Marketing

Closing Date
28 Nov 2018
£32,000 - £36,000 FTE (£16,000 - 18,000 pro rata salary)
The BNA, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Whitson Street, Bristol BS1 3NY
24 month fixed contract

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is a professional society which brings together over 2,000 scientists, students and clinicians devoted to understanding the nervous system, particularly the brain. It is the only society in the UK that covers the whole breadth of neuroscience - in both health and disease, from the research lab to the hospital clinic, and from the school classroom to commercial applications.  

We support neuroscience and neuroscientists through activities such as meetings, publications, providing careers advice, promoting the latest neuroscience research, and being an advocate for the neuroscience community.

It’s an exciting time for the BNA as we have recently begun an ambitious plan to extend the reach and impact of the organization’s activities.  Central to this plan is our aim to promote and support ‘reproducibility, replicability and reliability’ in neuroscience. Aligned aims are to increase our work in schools; engage more effectively with the press and wider public; and increase our membership.

Critical to the success of these plans is the ability for us to communicate effectively with all stakeholders.  These include scientists and clinicians, policy makers, members and potential members, the media/journalists, current and potential funders, the commercial sector, and members of the public.

We are therefore seeking to appoint a Head of Communications and Marketing. With this being a new post, the the successful candidate will have a unique opportunity to shape the role and make a significant impact in the world of neuroscience.  

Job description

This role will involve developing the voice of the BNA, identifying and seeing through opportunities to communicate our work with all stakeholders, and enabling the society to interact effectively with the media.  You will be critical to our aims of promoting ‘reproducibility, replicability and reliability’ in neuroscience, widening public interest in neuroscience, and increasing our membership.  We will look to you to provide the BNA with the up-to-date knowledge, skills and expertise in communications and marketing that we need to meet these strategic aims. 

The role will entail:

  • An initial audit/review of our current communication and marketing activity; recommendations on how to carry out these activities going forward; ongoing assessment of their success
  • Building on initial work to identify key messages to engage with different stakeholders, and fully develop the voice of the BNA
  • Designing, producing and delivering creative communication and marketing that will maximize the BNA’s message, support project objectives, and attract new members
  • Co-ordinating our communications and marketing to ensure we present an influential, distinctive and consistent message and image across all our activities
  • Planning, writing and delivering communications across traditional and social media channels
  • Developing media contacts and responding to media enquiries
  • Running the press office at the BNA’s flagship event, the biennial Festival of Neuroscience
  • Working closely with other staff members and BNA Trustees to deliver communications related to our ‘reproducibility, replicability and reliability’ work, particularly for policy makers


Person specification

You will be articulate, motivated and ambitious about achieving the BNA’s aims to support and promote neuroscience.  We are a small team of 4-6 people, and you will be expected to both work on your own initiative and pitch in as a team member when required. You need to be able to plan well but respond quickly.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Experience of planning and delivering a communications and marketing strategy for day-to-day activity, membership engagement, dedicated projects, key policy messages, and events
  • A real interest in and enthusiasm for neuroscience
  • Experience in a communications and marketing role within a membership organization
  • An appetite for science news and the progress of life sciences and biomedical research
  • Experience of creating and producing a range of marketing materials
  • Ability to develop contacts in the media and effectively manage media relations
  • Educated to degree level, preferably in a science subject
  • Confidence when interacting with people on the phone or in person
  • Strong writing skills
  • The ability to manage and make best use of a small marketing budget
  • Graphic design skills and experience in Photoshop or InDesign to create or help create promotional literature, advertising or artwork
  • Experience of using website content management systems
  • Expert use of social media
  • The ability to effectively prioritise and manage workload in times of high activity and use quieter periods to plan ahead

Organizational structure

You will be working as a member of the BNA Executive team.  You will work particularly closely with the Chief Executive, Head of Policy and Campaigns (a new position), and Executive Officer for Events and Marketing; however, the you will be expected to interact with all members of the team across activities. 

The BNA is overseen by the Board of Trustees, headed by the President; this is the decision-making body of the organization. The BNA President and CE work together closely to deliver the BNA’s work.  Both the Trustees and Executive team also have input from Advisory Committees.


Essential details

This is a part-time role of 0.5 FTE (20 hours per week).   

Salary:  £32,000 - £36,000 FTE (£16,000 - 18,000 pro rata salary)

Fixed term contract of 24 months, starting with an initial 6 months’ probationary period.

The BNA office is based at the University of Bristol, with some activities at Cardiff University.

The BNA is able to support flexible working and we are open to how this job is filled.  We would be interested in a freelance contract, working from home, or other arrangements.

This job will include some travel (predominantly UK) and out of hours activity.

You must have the right to work in the UK when you apply.


Application procedure

The deadline for applications is midnight on Wednesday 28th November.  Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in the first half of December.

We welcome applications from all sections of the community.

To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter demonstrating how you meet our person specification and would fulfil the requirements of the job description to:
or The BNA, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Whitson Street, Bristol BS1 3NY

Please do not be discouraged from applying if your current CV is not a ‘perfect fit’. If you think that this is the role for you, please write and tell us why. This is a new job, with great scope for the right applicant to develop the role and make it their own.

Contact Details

If you wish to discuss any aspect of this role, please feel free to contact the BNA Chief Executive:, 0117 331 3159 / 0777 178 1582.