BNA remains connected to Europe

18th Jan 2021

With a new year bringing Brexit to the UK, here at the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) we wanted to take the opportunity to remind the neuroscience community that leaving the EU makes no change to BNA's membership of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS).

At a time when many of us are feeling divided and anxious about the UK leaving the EU and how this might harm research and collaborations, we wanted to reassure the neuroscience community of the strength of our relationship with FENS and how we value our collaborations more than ever. 

As a founding member of FENS, the BNA has played a key role in its establishment, hosting the second FENS Forum (Brighton, 2000) and helping to build a strong European neuroscience community.

Being a member of the BNA still comes with an automatic membership with FENS. That means our BNA members will continue to get access to the European neuroscience community via FENS and remain well connected and united with all our European colleagues. It also means our members will continue to have the opportunity to access a wider range of funding and bursaries.

Speaking about the opportunities FENS membership brings, Jean-Antoine Girault, FENS President (2020-2022), says: "FENS represents neuroscience across Europe and is more committed than ever to supporting the values of open neuroscience research and the British neuroscience community. I am pleased to say that BNA members will continue to benefit from the many advantages available to FENS members, including meeting and training opportunities, grants and stipends.

"FENS is proud to represent neuroscientists from a wide range of fields and backgrounds and we are very much looking forward to continuing our excellent collaboration in the coming years."

Read more about how you can make the most of your FENS member benefits here.

Not a BNA member yet? Find out about the membership that will best suit your needs and help advance the neuroscience community together!

Finally, don't miss out on the chance to connect with all your European - and worldwide - colleagues at BNA2021. More info and register here.


The new EU-UK relationship and neuroscience

The BNA's priorities on the UK's future relationship with the EU have centred on issues of funding, mobility and regulation. Though some aspects still need to be worked out following the deal signed between the EU and the UK last month, on all three priorities it does on the face of it provide some degree of much needed reassurance:

  • UK researchers remain eligible for European research funding - such as via Horizon Europe, which is set to spend €85 billion over the next 7 years. [1] 
  • Both the UK and EU have agreed to make every effort to enable entry and residence for UK & EU students, researchers, trainees or volunteers - the UK announced a new Global Talent Visa last year. [2] 
  • On clinical trials regulation, there is agreement between both parties to recognise each other's quality standards and inspections - though issues on data remain unresolved in the long term. [3]  

Neuroscience has been one of the main fields of UK health research to benefit from EU funding in the past [4], and so continued UK involvement in these EU programmes has been really important to help avoid a significant drop in funding. We will be monitoring how the new arrangements in this new deal work in practice.




[4] UK Health Research Analysis 2018 (UK Clinical Research Collaboration, 2020)


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