Bursaries and Grants


  1. BNA Exchange Grants 
  2. BNA-Brain Carer Grants 
  3. BNA Credibility in Neuroscience Bursaries 
  4. BNA Bursaries for FENS 
  5. Other Opportunities

BNA Exchange Grants 

The BNA is pleased to support 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 £600 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 in either direction: from the UK to another country, or from another country to the UK.

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 application form and send the following information via email before the deadline: office@bna.org.uk. 

  • 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; 

  • Your curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages) including education and degrees earned, current research projects/techniques used, publications/abstracts/presentations, and any other relevant information. 

The BNA has 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 

BNA and the Guarantors of Brain logo

Thanks to the support of the Guarantors of Brain, the BNA is awarding Carer Grants of up to £300 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.


Who are BNA-Brain Carer Grants for? 

We appreciate that there are multiple ways in which people manage caring responsibilities and we welcome applications from a broad range of family systems. 

It might be that parents of school age children apply for a grant to access a paid-for online learning programme for older children. Carers of younger children might want to access professional childcare. People may be caring for older relatives or neighbours, and need a professional carer to allow them time to participate in events. Preference will be given to those with younger children and/or extenuating circumstances. 
To apply, please complete the form below. In order to complete this form, you will need to provide

What will BNA-Brain Carer grants support? 

So long as you can provide a good case for why you need a grant to cover costs, it will be considered for funding. Such costs could include but are not limited to: 

  • Costs of a childcare provider, either in your home or in an external setting
  • Cost of an in-home carer for dependent, or cost of an external care setting
  • Access to teaching or other activities for older children
  • Any other activity/purpose for helping delegates to meet caring responsibilities

This grant cannot be used to cover costs which would be sustained regardless of whether or not the applicant attended the meeting or activity, e.g. food or medicine.

Who is eligible? 

To be eligible for a BNA-Brain Carer grant you must meet the following criteria:  

  • You must be a member of the BNA at the time of application. 
  • Awards are open to anyone at any career stage (students, postdocs, ECRs, clinicians, PIs or others) with dependents or caring responsibilities.
  • Awards are to enable participation in meetings or activities that further your research, teaching or career, or otherwise support the neuroscience sector. 
  • Preference is given to more junior attendees, those with younger children, presenters, and those with extenuating circumstances. 

What information do I need to provide? 

To apply for a grant, fill in the online application below. You will be asked to provide: 

  • Contact details and basic demographics 
  • Information about the event or activity you wish to attend, and how you will benefit from participating (max 200 words) 
  • Basic information about your caring responsibilities (for children or others) 
  • How much you're applying for, up to a maximum of £300 
  • Outline how you will use the funding (max 200 words) 
  • Any special considerations we should take into account e.g., single parenthood (max 200 words) 

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BNA Credibility in Neuroscience Bursaries 

The Credibility bursaries support individual neuroscientists to develop skills, knowledge and experience that will enable them to make their research as robust, reliable, replicable and reproducible as possible. Thanks to the support of the Gatsby Foundation, we can offer travel bursaries up to £200 for postgraduates and ECRs. 

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.

These bursaries are aimed at enabling neuroscientists to attend events and training specifically relating to credible research practices, such as reproducibility. These will not cover attendance for general neuroscience events without an explicit demonstration of how this will contribute to credibility in neuroscience.  

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BNA Bursaries for FENS 

From early 2024, we will be welcoming student and early career BNA members to apply for up to £250 to support attendance at the FENS Forum 2024

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 2024 FENS Forum
  • you must have submitted an abstract, as first author, for a poster presentation at the 2024 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 2022).

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 2024?
A - YES! Please also check out our BNA-Brain Carer grant scheme 

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Other Opportunities

BNA travel award to attend the BNA Festivals of Neuroscience

Notices will be sent out prior to the next Festival, being held in Brighton in 2023. Application; office@bna.org.uk

Brain travel awards, £400-£1000


Grindley Grants

Up to £500

FENS travel awards for meetings including FENS, SfN, and Brain Conferences fens.org/News-Activities/Grants-and-Stipends/

Usually offers awards to attend FENS




Up to $500


IEEE student travel  grants ieee.org/about/awards/student_travel_grants.html
SfN/FENS Awards to attend SfN /FENS meetings https://www.sfn.org/sitecore/content/Home/SfN/Awards-and-Funding/Chapter-Grants-and-Awards
Anatomical Society Barclay-Smith Travelling Fund to attend Anatomical Society meetings anatsoc.org.uk/Awards/GrantsandPrizes
Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Conference Grants asab.nottingham.ac.uk/grants/conference
Ataxia: both travel and research grants


British Pain Society: Grants, awards and PhD's britishpainsociety.org/members_grants
BPS: a number of prizes & awards


British Society for Cell Biology - a number of awards and funding bscb.org/?url=meetings/undergradbursaries
British Society for Neuroendocrinology Travel Grants, & other funding neuroendo.org.uk/page.php?item_name=Grants
Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland: different funding schemes to support Scottish students or attending Scottish Universities carnegie-trust.org
European Society for Cognitive Psychology hescop.eu/awards_funding/conference-attendance-
Experimental Psychology Society Study visits eps.ac.uk/index.php/study-visit-grants
Genetics Society Junior Scientists' Travel Grants genetics.org.uk/Funding/ConferenceGrants
International Brain Research Organization grants ibro1.info

Laboratory Animal Science Association

Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Fellowships & other funding leverhulme.ac.uk/funding/grant-funding
Royal Society of Biology student and early career member travel grants rsb.org.uk/get-involved/grants/travel-grants

Society for Experimental Biology

Antibodies.com  https://www.antibodies.com/travel-grants


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