Job ID: 102500

Chief Executive of the British Neuroscience Association

Position: Chief Executive

Deadline: 28 February 2023

Contract Length: Open-ended, subject to 12 month probation period

City: Hybrid working

Country: United Kingdom

Institution: British Neuroscience Association



The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is a not-for-profit membership organisation whose vibrant and progressive community includes students, professional neuroscientists in academia, medicine and industry, Trustees, members of the public, supporters, and other stakeholders. The BNA is the largest UK organisation representing all areas of brain research.

It’s an exciting time for the BNA, having grown from 1,300 to ~3,000 members over the last seven years and greatly expanded the range and reach of our activities. For further information please explore the BNA website.

Building on its success to-date, the BNA is now looking to become the undisputed voice of neuroscience in the UK and expand its influence to all communities with an interest in brain research, treatment development and clinical application, deepening relationships with key sectors, such as industry, clinicians, the public and policy makers.

At the same time, the BNA intends to consolidate its role in improving ‘credibility in neuroscience research’ and, through its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) programme, ensure that everyone has the opportunity to become an active member of the neuroscience community.

About the post

The BNA is seeking applicants for the post of Chief Executive to help deliver its ambitious plans.

In this role you will lead the BNA’s executive team, working together to create an exciting and sustainable future for neuroscience. As such, you will have the opportunity to make a lasting and meaningful difference to the BNA community and all its members.

The primary functions of this post are, together with the Council & Committee:

  1. Help develop and oversee delivery of the strategic aims of the BNA (see more at
  2. Ensure the BNA has a sustainable, long-term future with growing influence across all key neuroscience stakeholders
  3. Implement the decisions made by the Association’s governing body (Council & Committee), and coordinate the Association’s day-to-day activities
  4. Be responsible for effective financial governance and control (together with the Treasurer), including payroll, staff expenses and preparing accounts
  5. Lead and manage of a team of approx. 6 staff (and 1-2 student placements)
  6. Ensure that the BNA is a professionally-run organisation and fulfils its charitable purpose

Responsibility and authority

  1. Identify and realise new funding opportunities, in collaboration with the President, Trustees, Non-Executive Directors, and other members of the BNA
  2. Identify and support initiatives to increase membership of the BNA
  3. Lead on the planning and delivery of the biennial International Festival of Neuroscience, along with symposia, workshops and other events throughout the year
  4. Ensure that the BNA meets its obligations as defined in the governing documents, including the objectives of the charity
  5. Represent the BNA to promote its interests e.g., with other professional bodies, learned societies, politicians and media
  6. Lead and manage an effective team, by recruiting and retaining highly talented staff
  7. Liaise with the editors and publishers of the BNA’s journal, “Brain and Neuroscience Advances” to ensure its success.
  8. Be accountable for the outward face and reputation of BNA, including personal communications with stakeholders and oversight of the BNA website, written communications and other media
  9. Promote equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the organisation and the broader neuroscience community, such as our BNA Scholars scheme.

The above covers most of the duties you will be required to handle, but inevitably there will be other projects that arise during the course of the contract which you will be expected to lead and deliver. It is very much an evolving role that the post-holder can influence in collaboration with the Association’s governing body.

Person specification

Essential skills:

  1. Excellent organisational and administrative skills
  2. Demonstrable strategy development and implementation
  3. Proven project and financial management experience
  4. Experience managing a team
  5. Excellent communication skills with varied stakeholders
  6. Knowledge of EDI issues
  7. Understanding of scientific research, landscape and career structure
  8. Ability to work flexibly, both online and in-person meetings

Desirable skills and competences:

  1. Experience in working in a similar-sized charitable or professional organisation
  2. Demonstrable track record in identifying and securing sources of income/funding
  3. Knowledge of the University and Charity sectors
  4. Knowledge of neuroscience
  5. Knowledge of the life-science industry
  6. High competence in using Microsoft Office Suite, and confidence in learning new software, online tools or web applications
  7. Familiarity with social media platforms, websites, webinars, Slack, etc, with an aptitude to adopt other technologies as they become relevant
  8. Ability to think strategically
  9. Ability to deliver tasks on time and with high quality
  10. High concern for standards


BNA organisational chart

BNA organisational chart, showing how the BNA Governance (consisting of BNA President, Trustees, Credibility Advisory Board, and Working Groups / Committees) oversee work of the BNA Executive team (headed by the full time Chief Executive, leading the Full time Director of Development, Full Time Head of Policy and Campaigns, part time head of marketing and communications, part time head of meetings and events, and full time BNA Community and Inclusion Officer).


Essential details

  • This is a full-time role / 37.5 hours per week
  • Salary: approx. £55,000 pa. suubject to experience
  • You will be enrolled on a pension scheme.
  • Place or work: Hybrid (Predominantly working from home, with travel across the UK for meetings, events and team meetings. Some international travel may be required from time to time.)
  • The BNA is able to support flexible working and we are open to how this job is filled.  For instance, we would be happy with work from home, or other arrangements.
  • The job will include some travel and out of hours’ activity.
  • Reporting to: the BNA Presdient
  • Accountable to: the Board of Trustees, or in their absence to the President-Elect and/or the Past President.
  • You must have the right to work in the UK when you apply.


Application procedure

The deadline for applications is 23:59 GMT on 28th February 2023.

Interviews will be held online in early March.

To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter demonstrating how you meet our person specification and would fulfil the requirements of the job description to:

Please note that generic cover letters are unlikely to be considered.  

Please do not be discouraged from applying if your current CV is not a ‘perfect fit’. This job could suit someone from a range of different career backgrounds, and there is great scope for the right applicant to develop the role and make it their own. We particularly encourage those from diverse groups, such as members of ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ+ communities, and/or people with disabilities, to join us. We are able to provide training for many of the specific tasks involved.  If you think that this is the role for you, please write and tell us why. 


Further information

If you wish to discuss any aspect of this role, please feel free to contact: / (0)7584 016279
or the current BNA President (until May 2023), Professor Rik
or the BNA President-Elect (President from May 2023): Professor Tara