3rd Jan 2023

BNA Review of the Year 2022

2022 has flown past - with a spectacular array of exciting events, life-changing research breakthroughs and policy developments. But as we celebrate this past year, we're also looking forward to the largest neuroscience event of 2023 where we'll hopefully get to meet so many of you - at the International Festival of Neurosience 2023 in Brighton. Have you got your ticket yet?! 

But for now, please join us as we take a moment to reflect back on just some of the British Neuroscience Association's (BNA) highlights of the year:

JANUARY: The start of the month saw us launch an exciting new scheme, BNA Exchange Grants, to support sharing, collaboration, acquisition of skills and building of friendships between neuroscience groups in the UK and other countries. Enabling PhD students and Early Career Researchers* (ECRs) to apply for up to £2000 GBP to visit and work in a host laboratory, with exchange trips in either direction.

We are welcomed Dayne Beccano-Kelly to the BNA Council as our new Joint Meetings Secretary and Co-Chair for the BNA2023 Programme Organising Committee.

FEBRUARY: We were proud to support a new pan-European campaign, Stick to Scienceaimed at securing UK membership of the EU's world-leading research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe. The BNA responded to a parliamentary inquiry on diversity and inclusion, exploring how organisations within science, technology, engineering and maths are helping to create a diverse and inclusive working environment. 

MARCH: We were delighted to announce the Gatsby Foundation doubling its initial investment in the BNA by awarding a renewal grant, of up to £480,000, to help us create an exciting and cohesive future for the UK neuroscience sector.  

The second cohort of students were welcomed onto the BNA Scholars programme. The programme aims to support students from currently under-represented ethnic groups in neuroscience and build a supportive community within the discipline and the BNA. It offers students a mentoring scheme, networking opportunities, and membership to both the BNA and FENS, as well as funding towards conferences.

We also celebrated Brain Awareness Week (BAW) by highlighting the BNA's 'Year of AI', with some interesting facts and handy resources to learn more about the exciting world of AI and neuroscience!

APRIL: A month for congratulations! Firstly, we announced the results of our Trustee election and welcomed Catherine Abbott - Research Policy TrusteeMichael Ashby - Credibility in Neuroscience TrusteeTrevor Bushell – Treasurer (Officer and Trustee)Mark Walton - Preclinical Neuroscience Trustee

Secondly, we were delighted to award the winners of the 2022 BNA Credibility Prizes, including: Student Researcher Credibility Prize winner - Fiona Ramage (University of Dundee) and Highly Commended - Niamh MacSweeney (University of Edinburgh); Individual Researcher Credibility Prize winner, Matthew Grubb (King's College, London); Team Credibility Prize winner - Experimental Design Assistant development team (NC3Rs) and Highly Commended - Cam-CAN (University of Cambridge).

MAYThis month saw us submit our response to a review of the system for assessing research at UK universities, which is considering what might replace the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the future.  

In addition, we proudly awarded Professor Narender Ramnani with Honorary Membership - the highest recognition bestowed by the Association - as a mark of appreciation for all he has done to support the BNA over the last 17+ years.

We also held our AGM for 2022 - you're not too late to take a look at the minutes!.

JUNE: With the arrival of summer we announced Parkinson's UK as our Festival Partner for the BNA International Festival of Neuroscience 2023 taking place in Brighton, UK on 23-26 April 2023.

Another important announcement took place: new BNA Supporters of our initiatives for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in neuroscience, in particular the BNA Scholars Programme, which launched in January 2021.

JULY: We joined with neuroscience societies across Europe calling for a rapid confirmation of UK membership to Horizon Europe, the world-leading research and innovation programme which provides funding and – crucially – the framework for neuroscientists to collaborate across the EU.

We also celebrated a great week in Paris at the first in-person Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum since 2018, meeting up with colleagues from across Europe and beyond.

AUGUST: Many of us took a break at BNA Towers, but we also opened our Nominations for President-Elect!

SEPTEMBER: Autumn brought lots of important announcements including, The Guarantors of Brain as our Special Partner for the International Festival of Neuroscience 2023 as well as new supporters for our Scholars programme.

OCTOBER: A great time was had by all at the BNA Local Group Network Annual Forum! Held at the University of Leicester with over thirty LGRs and LGSRs, the day was a vital opportunity to share ideas and opportunities for strengthening and growing this invaluable network.

We also announced the BNA Scholars Programme open to applications for our third cohort of both Scholars and Mentors

NOVEMBER: We proudly celebrated the announcement of 20 Partnering Organisations of BNA2023 International Festival of Neuroscience, the largest neuroscience event of its kind across Europe in 2023.

We also announced a new scheme to help members use more environmentally sustainable modes of transport than flying when attending the 2022 Festive Symposium with new BNA 'Train over Plane' green travel grants

And, most importantly, we joined in celebrating the momentous announcement of the first drug to slow the destruction of the brain in Alzheimer's Disease, ending decades of failure and showing that a new era of drugs to treat Alzheimer's - the most common form of dementia - is possible.

DECEMBER: The report, Chronic pain: experimental medicine and clinical insights, was released following a workshop jointly hosted by the British Neuroscience Association (BNA), the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Physiological Society and Versus Arthritis.

And finally, we ended the year with a fantastic Festive Symposium, 'Have your mental health a merry little Christmas', which also launched 2023 as the Year of Mental Health. We welcomed an exciting line-up of speakers and wide-ranging talks about neuroscience, the brain and mental health disorders. We were also delighted to award this year's winners of the BNA prizes, including Pamela Shaw (Outstanding Contribution to Neuroscience 2022), Sophie Sanford (Outstanding Contribution to Neuroscience 2022), Andrija Sente (Postgraduate award 2022), and Catherine Whittle (Undergraduate award 2022). Cogratulations!

We wish you a wonderful 2023 and we very much look forward to meeting many of you at the International Festival of Neurosience 2023 in Brighton on 23-26 April. Register now!

< Back to Media