Bright Brains (archive)

The ‘Bright Brains’ newsletter was the first student publication within the BNA Bulletin, composed and edited by students and early career members of the BNA, that ran from 2015 to 2020.  It has now been succeeded by 'Brain Insights', the current student newsletter publication. 

All BNA members can 

Bright Brains was designed to give BNA student members the opportunity to have writing and editing experience, comment on topics of interest in neuroscience, and connect across the UK. It contained resources such as links to funding and bursary opportunities, meeting reports, student offers and discounts and other pieces of information of use to students and ECRs.

Brain Insights has now succeeded Bright Brains and is officially the current student newsletter publication.  If you’re interested in contributing to Bright Insights online or in print, please email Head of Marketing and Communications Alex Campbell, alex.campbell(at)

See below for snippets of how contributors benefitted from being part of Bright Brains and in what way active participation has made a difference to their science communication and education experience.

"Editing the work of others is possibly more valuable to my development as a science communicator than my own writing. Having to hone in on the value of each word, the necessity and clarity of each sentence, gives me greater confidence when writing myself. If you read enough first draft articles, you know exactly what to avoid doing!"

"Making a good crossword takes a lot of skill (and time). I'll never underestimate them again." Jack Cooper-Bright Brains Section Editor & Production

“Contributing to Bright Brains allowed me to enhance my editing skills and gain experience in science communication. I have volunteered my time as both a sub-editor and section editor, however section editing in particular was a great experience as it required me to source and work with two reliable sub-editors and collate our edits and work within time limits together as a team. It is fabulous to see so many young students submitting such diverse and interesting articles and I really enjoy being part of the process. I think that it is important to encourage people to write about the things that they love, especially within science as it is not always as actively encouraged as it should be. I would encourage anyone with an interest in science communication to think about contributing to Bright Brains - it is a brilliant way to get some experience outside of university and it definitely put me in a strong position when applying for postgraduate jobs.” Tiffany Quinn-Bright Brains Section Editor

“Contributing as an editor for the Bright Brains newsletter has provided me with exposure to articles of numerous subdivisions of Neuroscience beyond my field of doctoral research. This has ultimately refined my scientific communication skills by allowing me to consider a holistic approach when producing an article, irrespective of the topic, by ensuring good structure, flow and key messages are clearly implemented throughout the text. I have also enjoyed being updated on new and upcoming trends, leading to stimulation of many thought-provoking discussions amongst my peers, alongside reviving the importance of both inter- and multidisciplinary perspectives during the process of conducting scientific research.” Aisha Islam-Bright Brains Writer & Editor

"Learning from the literary pitfalls and poignant prose of others through editing often lends perspective to your own writing. My editorial role with Bright Brains undeniably helped me to become a more succinct scientist, something I'm immensely grateful for." Ryan Stanyard-Bright Brains Writer & Section Editor

“Science communication requires a large dose of dedication, passion and genuine curiosity towards scientific discoveries that may not fall within your doctoral research area. In this sense, editing the work of others endows you with broader perspectives on the wider neuroscience landscape whilst also giving the opportunity to scrutinise your own research journey. In every submission, there is a value-adding process where both editors and writers contribute to generate a product that is always better than the original draft. The seamless interaction between editors throughout the review process allows everyone to convey concerns and lay out criticism with the ultimate purpose of advancing the standards of our research community. Innovation starts here.” Marco Travaglio-Bright Brains Writer & Section Editor

"I enjoyed broadening my knowledge of other research areas whilst sharing passion for my own. Contributing to Bright Brains gave me a highly rewarding outlet to balance good principles of scientific writing whilst encouraging and developing my own creative flair. Working with the talented writers and editors in Bright Brains has been a rewarding and humbling experience.” Josh Au-Yeung, Bright Brains Writer