Founding Supporters come together across neuroscience to improve equity, diversity and inclusion

23rd Jun 2021

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is delighted to announce the Founding Supporters of our initiatives for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in neuroscience, in particular the BNA Scholars Programme.

The BNA Scholars Programme was launched at the beginning of January this year and we warmly welcomed our first cohort of Scholars in March.

In February 2021, we also put out a call for organisations with a strong EDI commitment to become Founding Supporters for the BNA’s EDI work.

Having received an incredibly positive response we are excited to announce the following eight Founding Supporters: Bristol Neuroscience (University of Bristol), COMPASS Pathways, DeepMind, Gatsby Foundation, Guarantors of Brain, International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), MSD and the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI).

We are especially proud that the Founding Supporters represent the full breadth of the neuroscience sector, covering academic, commercial, and third sector organisations, all united in the goal of improving EDI in neuroscience.

We are very grateful to all our Founding Supporters for their cohesive commitment to the BNA Scholars programme, and greatly look forward to working together to ensure the BNA’s important EDI work can continue to progress and grow.

BNA President, Rik Henson, also commented: “We are delighted to welcome our eight Founding Supporters who represent the breadth of the neuroscience sector, covering academic, commercial, and third sector organisations, all united in the goal of improving EDI in neuroscience.”

If you’d like further information about the Founding Supporters, please contact Sophie Jerrold, or about the BNA Scholars Programme, please contact Dani Wijesinghe.


Find out why our Founding Supporters are excited to be involved:

Bristol Neuroscience

bristol neuroscience“The underrepresentation of UK Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students and those from poorer backgrounds in STEM subjects within UK HE is well known. We believe that by working cooperatively, BN and BNA can ensure that the best possible progress can be made in understanding and implementing the changes necessary to improve the current state of affairs in neuroscience.”line break

COMPASS Pathways

Compass PathwaysGeorge Goldsmith, CEO and Co-founder of COMPASS Pathways, said: “COMPASS Pathways is proud to be a founding supporter of the BNA’s Scholars programme.

“COMPASS is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a bold culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, and we are excited about driving this agenda forward with the BNA and other founding partners, in support of neuroscience students.”




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Gatsby Foundation

Gatsby FoundationDr Gary Wilson, Head of the Gatsby Science Portfolio, said “Gatsby is very pleased to be supporting the BNA to implement a new strategic plan to become a strong and prominent professional society for 21st century UK neuroscience and neuroscientists. An ongoing aim is to increase and broaden membership to ensure BNA is truly representative, supportive and relevant to everyone in neuroscience including those in the private sector, the clinic and in wider society. The Scholars programme is an exciting new activity to support early career scientists from under-represented groups in order to promote and foster a more inclusive and diverse neuroscience community.”line break

Guarantors of Brain

Guarantors of Brain“The Guarantors of brain are delighted to be able to support the BNA with their Scholars scheme, which is both unique and targeted towards an area of unmet need.”line break


IBRO“IBRO is proud to be a Founding Supporter of the BNA Scholars programme because it expands our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in neuroscience by recognizing and empowering under-represented ethnic groups.”line break


MSDDr Jill Richardson, Executive Director of Discovery Research for MSD (based in the UK), said “We’re delighted to collaborate with the BNA to provide our support and funding for this valuable programme. Improving equality, diversity, and inclusion in the field of neuroscience research is something that we as an organisation feel passionate about – it speaks to our values, both as an employer and as a research led organisation, with a significant focus on neuroscience. A culture of equality, diversity and inclusion allows innovation to thrive and fuels the breakthroughs we strive for. We look forward to following the 2021 cohort’s success over the next 3 years as they progress through the programme.”line break


UK DRIProfessor Bart De Strooper, UK DRI Director, “We’re delighted to support the BNA’s new programme, furthering our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at the Institute and across dementia research. Prioritising inclusivity isn’t just the right thing to do – diversity of experience, perspectives and backgrounds leads to better outcomes in research and innovation.

The issues surrounding EDI are numerous and ranging, but we think the Scholars programme is an excellent first step in tackling one of these aspects by providing more support to students from underrepresented ethnic groups. It’s important for organisations to work together on issues like EDI and we very much look forward to collaborating with BNA on the programme’s evolution.”


About the BNA

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is the largest UK organisation representing and promoting neuroscience and neuroscientists. Our members' interests cover the whole range of neuroscience, from ion channels to whole animal behaviour to real-life applications in the clinic and beyond.

Through an exciting programme of UK-wide activities and events, collaborations, campaigns and lobbying, we provide a wide range of opportunities for the neuroscience community, helping to define and deliver the future of neuroscience.

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