BNA Face of the Fortnight: Women In Neuroscience UK

1st Jan 2024

The BNA Face of the Fortnight is a new initiative, where we want to showcase the breadth, depth, and variety of neuroscience in the UK and abroad.

BNA Face of the Fortnight: Monday 1st January 2024

Welcome to the first BNA Face of the Fortnight for 2024, and we wanted to feature the great work of Women in Neuroscience UK (WiNUK).

WiNUK was founded in February 2022 by Lizzie English to address the lack of support for female neuroscientists in the UK. As Lizzie began her PhD in Alzheimer's disease research at the University of Cambridge, she faced a male-dominated research environment and a lack of female peers and role models. Determined to find a network for women in neuroscience to connect and support each other, but unable to find this  in-person or online, Lizzie took the initiative to establish her own! Women in Neuroscience UK (WiNUK) is the first UK-based organisation specifically designed to support female neuroscientists. 

2022 saw WiNUK develop from an idea into a mighty force of volunteers: Lizzie has recruited over 30 fantastic volunteers from diverse career stages, ethnicities, nationalities and locations, contributing to a rich and inclusive community. 

The WiNUK team produce blogs, social media posts, and virtual events attracting hundreds of attendees, not only from the UK but across the world. Their impact continues to expand with over 40 blogs, 8 newsletters, 8 events, 400 mailing list members and nearly 3000 followers across their social media channels… WiNUK's reach has extended to over 20 countries, fostering a global audience of supporters and volunteers.

Speaking of WiNUK, Lizzie said:

“I'm so proud of how much WiNUK has grown in such little time. The WiNUK community is growing bigger and stronger every day, with people across the world united in our mission to inspire, connect and advocate for women in neuroscience.

Looking ahead, the WiNUK team is excited to deliver our first ever in person event and exhibitors stand at a huge UK-based conference in 2024! We can’t wait to meet WiNUK members in person and to attract more of you, and of course to educate on the gender inequities in neuroscience and how we can make our workplaces more inclusive.

The first ever Women in Neuroscience event I hosted was with the BNA, as part of your Members Meeting in April 2022, so it’s lovely to see our mutual appreciation continuing to bloom for each other’s organisations. It’s been amazing for WiNUK to collaborate with prominent neuroscience. It’s been amazing for WiNUK to collaborate with prominent neuroscience organisations and this is something we’re looking to expand upon in 2024.”

To feature just some of the main members of the WiNUK team, we reached out to Adriana (progress manager), Abinayah (social media coordinator), Ailie ( blog coordinator), Ginevra (design coordinator) and Rachel (Instagram Admin and Liaison for BNA Face of the Fortnight) on their thoughts about being involved in WiNUK.

You can read up on their roles and what they do via the website.

Abinayah: "It has been an amazing year celebrating WiNUK's growth, and I've been fortunate to collaborate with a team that exudes inspiration and enthusiasm. Over the past year, the social media team has been dedicated to promoting events spotlighting Alzheimer's research to championing neurodiversity."

Ginevra: "Women in Neuroscience UK is a dynamic sisterhood of formidable scientists, and I'm proud to be part of this inspiring community. Advocating for young minds, breaking glass ceilings, and reshaping the narrative of neuroscience alongside these amazing women fuels my drive to achieve goals and pursue a successful career as a woman in science, and witnessing the group's rapid growth is truly motivating."

Ailie: "The thing I love about working with WiNUK is that it's this big chain of support - through the network, I can help out younger aspiring neuroscientists AND get advice myself from more senior ones!"

Adriana: "Choosing to be a part of WiNUK was a no-brainer for me (pun intended!). I had trouble fitting in to a new city and university at the start of my PhD. But joining WiNUK made me feel like I belonged to a community – the whole team is a friendly bunch! It is a proud moment to see how far WiNUK has come; I can’t wait to see it reach out to more people around the globe!"

Rachel: "I joined WiNUK to work with like-minded individuals who aim to encourage women to get into neuroscience and I have thoroughly enjoyed the last year working with such a lovely team! I'm so proud of all we have achieved over the last year and so excited to see WiNUK continue to grow and inspire more women! The events, the social media series and the blog posts we have produced this year have been interesting and informative and it's great to see how much we have grown. Can't wait to see what we achieve in 2024!"


If you are interested in being a BNA Face of the Fortnight, find the details here. If you have any questions then please contact the BNA office:

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