BNA Student Placements 2021-22

Closing Date
15 Jan 2022
Bristol, UK
3-9 months

**PLEASE NOTE** We have no longer have any vacancies for the academic year 2021-22, or for 2022-23.

If you are interested in a placement after May/June 2023, please get in touch.

About the BNA

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is the largest UK organisation representing all aspects of the science of the brain and nervous system, from ion channels to human behaviour, psychology, cognition, and applications in the clinic and beyond. Having been running for over 50 years, and an active member of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and the Society for Neuroscience, the BNA is the firmly established home of British neuroscience.

The BNA’s membership of around 2,500 includes people working in neuroscience or related fields at all stages of their career, from undergraduate students to retired members, plus people who are interested in neuroscience from a lay perspective.

About BNA student placements

The BNA is pleased to offer placement opportunities for:

  • Undergraduate students completing a neuroscience or related degree, where undertaking a placement is integral to the course (usually the third year of a four year degree course)
  • Masters students completing a neuroscience or related degree, where undertaking a placement is integral to the course
  • PhD students undertaking a 'PIPS' placement (Professional Internships for PhD Students)

Why do a placement with the BNA?

This is an excellent chance to learn about a career in academic administration, policy and leadership. Previous students hosted by the BNA have found it to be a very valuable experience, providing skills and knowledge that have been relevant for the final year of their degrees (see testimonials).

Placements with the BNA help develop the following skills and knowledge:

  • Project management
  • Communication skills (written, online, and oral)
  • Research policy
  • Public engagement of psychology and neuroscience
  • Experience in reading and reporting on original research articles
  • Data base management
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Time management
  • Fundraising
  • Knowledge of topics in neuroscience and psychology

Please note that BNA placements are NOT able to offer first-hand experience of undertaking neuroscience research.

What does a placement entail?

The placement would entail a mixture of daily tasks to help with running the BNA (such as assisting with communications, meeting organisation, membership) plus one or two projects which are 'owned' by the student (e.g. surveying the membership, writing education materials, or delivering a piece of work on research policy).

What is the BNA looking for?

We are looking for enthusiastic and self-motivated students who are interested in neuroscience, and in building and supporting a membership-based organisation. 

The BNA is all about interacting and engaging with people, and hence being able to communicate at all different levels - whether by email, written word, phone or in person - will be important, although students will also be supported to develop these skills.

Familiarity with social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc) and editing websites is an advantage but not essential. 

We are a small team and students will need to be comfortable with working alone as well as with others. 

We welcome applications from people with backgrounds that will broaden the team's experience and knowledge.

Essential details

Placement dates: to be completed by the end of August 2022.

Placement duration: 3 months - 9 months (depending on requirements of the course on which the student is enrolled)

Application deadlines: We are able to host a maximum of two students at any one time. We have one vacancy until the end of May 2022, and a two vacancies from May-August 2022.  These will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is identified, so please feel free to apply by emailing anne.cooke(at) at any time.

Location: The placement can be carried out remotely or in person at the University of Bristol, or a mixture of both.

Hours: We would expect students to complete normal working hours of 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.  However we can host students on part-time placements, and/or offer flexible hours for those with e.g. work or caring committments.

Please note that:

  • the BNA provides the placement only. It is the responsibility of students to organise all other requirements with their home institution/university, and to organise their own living arrangements.
  • We do not offer payment to students; these placements are only offered as part of completing a degree course. Any extra expenses incurred,e.g. by attending a conference, can be covered.

How to apply

Please email your CV & cover letter to Dr Anne Cooke, at anne.cooke(at) explaining why you would like to undertake a placement with the BNA, what you would bring to the organisation and what you would like to gain from a placement with us. 

The cover letter must explain why you're interested in this specific placement; generic letters are very unlikely to be successful.

Please also include information about the duration and timing of the placement position you're seeking.

Places are filled as soon as a suitable candidate is identified, so please feel free to apply by emailing anne.cooke(at) at any time.


Testimonials from previous placement students at the BNA

"My placement at the BNA has been hugely enjoyable, interesting and valuable. Due to how varied the work is, I’ve been able to get experience in and learn about so many different areas – creating and maintaining a new e-bulletin for our associate members; creating gift vouchers for people who wish to give membership as a gift; editing neuroscience videos; adding and managing members; website management and development; writing articles about papers published in our journal and about press releases; helping with the behind-the-scenes running of a symposium."

"I have particularly valued the insight the placement has given me into how a scientific organisation is run. The away days we have as a team are the times when you get a ‘big-picture view’ of everything going on in the organisation and how all the different projects and tasks that we’re each working on come together."

"Being involved in the BNA’s education project, I’ve developed resources to enable members of the BNA to go into schools and run workshops on neuroscience. It’s been stimulating to think of ways to present and teach topics I’ve learned about in my degree in engaging ways for different age groups, and then to go into schools and run these workshops, which has really developed my presentation skills, particularly in the way I communicate ideas verbally in an age-appropriate way."

"It’s been such a great experience to come into a team of lovely and really talented people, to be able to work alongside them and to be given real responsibility and the opportunity to get completely stuck-in with the different projects the BNA is running. If you’re thinking of applying, go for it!"


"I am an undergraduate Neuroscience student currently undertaking an internship with the British Neuroscience Association (BNA). As an Outreach Ambassador, I have the incredible opportunity to work on the BNA’s education programme this year through helping to develop neuroscience materials to be taught in schools using knowledge I have gained in my degree, and delivering these sessions myself. Encouraging interest and enthusiasm of neuroscience in young people through outreach is of great importance and I am very excited to take this project forward and contribute to raising awareness of neuroscience."

"My experience so far at the BNA has enabled me to greatly enhance vital skills such as communication, effective team collaboration, resilience and leadership which will undoubtedly equip me with advantageous confidence and proficiency going forward in my degree and career. The executive team have been very welcoming and supportive and I am very enthusiastic about working alongside them for the rest of my placement."