Bursaries and grants

The BNA is able to offer a number of awards, prizes and bursaries for different activities throughout the year. These change frequently, so please check back for current opportunities.

Please also see information about our prizes and awards


  1. BNA Bursaries for FENS 2022
  2. BNA Exchange Grants
  3. BNA-Brain Carer Grants
  4. BNA Scholars Programme
  5. BNA Credibility in Neuroscience Bursaries
  6. Bursaries for Dorothy Bishop Festschrift

BNA Bursaries for FENS 2022

From early 2023, we will be welcoming student and early career BNA members to apply for up to £250 to support attendance at the 2023 FENS Forum

2022 applications have now closed

Eligibility criteria:

  • you must be an undergraduate, postgraduate, career starter or Early Career Researcher member of the BNA (see membership categories at https://www.bna.org.uk/about/membership/)
  • if you have been a BNA member for less than 6 months, then your application must also be supported by a Full Member of the BNA
  • you must have already registered to attend the 2023 FENS Forum
  • you must have submitted an abstract, as first author, for a poster presentation at the 2023 FENS Forum
  • you must NOT have recieved a BNA bursary for attending a previous FENS Forum

If you have any questions please contact office@bna.org.uk

Q - I don't yet know if my poster abstract has been accepted; can I still apply?
A - YES!  So long as you have submitted an abstract as first author.

Q - I have only just joined the BNA. Am I eligible?
A- YES! You will just need to get your application supported by a Full member of the BNA. If you are struggling to identify a supporter, please contact us.

Q - I completed my PhD / F2 / Assistant/Trainee psychologist position more than five years ago. Can I get a bursary?
A - NO. To be eligible for these bursaries you have to be within five years of completing your PhD (date of Viva Voce), F2 or assistant/trainee psychologist position (i.e. no earlier than 4th April 2018).

Q - I'm not based in the UK. Can I apply?
A - YES. So long as you're a BNA member and meet other eligibility criteria. Please note that any currency exchange costs from GBP into another currency cannot be covered by the BNA, and will be deducted from the bursary payment. 

Q- Do you have any other relevant funding schemes to help me attend FENS 2022?
A - YES! Please also check out our BNA-Brain Carer grant scheme 

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BNA Exchange Grants

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is pleased to announce the launch of this new scheme to support sharing, collaboration, acquisition of skills, and building of friendships between neuroscience groups in the UK and other countries.

Through this scheme, PhD students and Early Career Researchers* (ECRs) can apply for up to £2000 GBP to visit and work in a host laboratory. Additional costs can be met by other grants or Department funds, but the applicant must not supplement with their own finances. Exchange trips can be either direction: from the UK to another country or vice versa. The exact duration and nature of the placement should be determined by mutual agreement between the host lab and individual to suit their particular circumstances. However, such placements would be expected to:

  • Be at least two weeks in duration
  • Entail learning of a new skill, technique, experimental approach etc that would not be readily possible in the ‘home’ research group
  • Be undertaken with full agreement of the individual’s supervisor / Principal Investigator


  • You must be a postgraduate or Early Career Researcher* (ECR) member of the BNA at the time of application. You can join here straight away.
  • You must be undertaking research related to the science of the brain or nervous system in any field, discipline or capacity.
  • Applicants currently based in a different country to their home nation can apply for an exchange trip returning to their home nation, but only if they have been working continuously in a different country for at least the last three consecutive years.
  • Applicants can NOT apply to carry out an exchange trip to an institution where they have previously studied or worked.

*The eligibility and definition of ECR is contained within the criteria listed under our ECR membership category. You may be asked to provide proof of your student or early career status, e.g. a photograph of relevant certificate, ID card, official letter or equivalent.

How to apply

  • Complete the online form (link below)
  • send the following to office@bna.org.uk:
    1. a recommendation letter from a current supervisor or senior colleague who must also be a BNA member (350 words max) indicating name, affiliation, address, contact details, and
    2. your curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages) including education and degrees earned, current research projects/techniques used, publications/abstracts/presentations, and any other relevant information.

Applications for 2021-22 have now closed. We had a total budget of £6000 for this scheme per financial year, which runs from 1st October to 30th September. Once the £6000 has been used for any given financial year, we will not be able to fund any further applications until the following year (beginning 1st October).

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BNA-Brain Carer Grants

Thanks to the support of the Guarantors of Brain, the BNA awards Carer Grants of up to £300 GBP to help cover expenses associated with caring responsibilities and thereby enable participation in either BNA-hosted or external neuroscience events.

These BNA-Brain Carer Grants are inclusive of different circumstances and varied caring responsibilities, and can be used to support the attendance of in-person or online events.  They are simply intended to enable participation of neuroscientists in a conference, workshop, training or other activity that is of benefit to their research, teaching or career, which would otherwise be difficult or impossible due to their caring responsibilities.

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BNA Scholars Programme

The purpose of the BNA Scholars programme is to support students from underrepresented ethnic groups to thrive in neuroscience, and build a supportive community through networking opportunities, bursaries and mentorship.

Up to seven individuals are selected each year, and successful scholars remain on the programme and supported for around three years (depending on their specific career pathway and circumstances). 

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BNA Credibility in Neuroscience Bursaries

The Credibility bursaries are to support individual neuroscientists to develop skills, knowledge and experience that will enbable them to do research which is as robust, reliable, replicable and reproducible as possible. 

BNA Credibility Bursaries are one of the ways we are meeting committments of our 'Credibility in Neuroscience' manifesto. In particular, the bursaries are part of meeting committment two: Equipping all neuroscientists – regardless of career stage, location, research topic or specialist technique – with the skills, knowledge, tools and processes they need to carry out neuroscience research which will stand the test of time.

More details about credibility bursaries coming soon!

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Bursaries for Dorothy Bishop Festschrift

These BNA bursaries are to support postgraduate students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) to attend the Festschrift being held for Professor Dorothy Bishop on 27th - 28th June 2022.

Professor Bishop was a founding member of the BNA's Credibility Advisory Board, and has been piovtal in guiding our campaign to promote and support credibility in neuroscience - that is, neuroscience which is as robust, reliable, replicable and reproducible as possible. 

We are delighted to be supporting this Festschrift by covering the registration costs for eligible students and ECRs.

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