Dissemination

BNA Scholars Programme support for students from underrepresented groups

Deadline 15 December 2021

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BNA Scholars Programme support for students from underrepresented groups

The BNA is excited to announce the launch for the second cohort of the 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.

What is offered

There are seven places on the BNA Scholars programme in this first year (a pilot year). Successful BNA Scholars will remain on the programme for three years* and the programme confers the following benefits for the full three years*:

  • Free membership to the BNA
  • Free membership of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)
  • Access to a BNA Scholars’ mentoring scheme administered through the BNA
  • Networking opportunities through the BNA and BNA events
  • Opportunities to connect with key individuals within the BNA, for instance members of the BNA Council and Committee, and the Editorial Board of the BNA Journal
  • Funding towards BNA Festival of Neuroscience attendance
  • Funding towards FENS Forum attendance
  • £300 career development grant from HelloBio**

*If the Scholar completes their neuroscience degree and does not remain in the neuroscience sector (where ‘the neuroscience sector’ includes any neuroscience-related role in the public, charity or commercial sector, including both academia and industry) before the three years are completed, they will receive free BNA Associate membership for the remainder of the three years but no other benefits. If the scholar is still in process of completing their neuroscience degree after the three years have finished, then ongoing inclusion on the scholarship will be reviewed on a year by year basis. We will take into consideration any required career breaks (e.g for caring responsibilities) on a case by case basis.

**Only available to the second cohort of Scholars

Expectations of BNA Scholars

Expectations of BNA Scholars are as follows:

  • Commitment to engage with the programme and attend mentoring meetings with your mentor
  • To feedback to the BNA (both formally and informally) based on your experiences for evaluation purposes
  • To engage with the BNA and participate in related activities e.g. to contribute to an article in the BNA Bulletin
  • To attend the biennial BNA Festival of Neuroscience and present a poster at the Festival if possible
  • To attend the biennial FENS Forums
  • Recipients of the £300 career development grant from HelloBio to complete an interview for their blog

There is an expectation of 4-6 meetings between the Scholar and mentor per year. The format of meeting can be decided between the Scholar and mentor, whether they take place online, over the phone or in person (when permitted).

Eligibility of Scholars

Scholar applicants must be:

  • A Final Year Undergraduate, Masters (including integrated Masters) or PhD student. Or an early career research technician/assistant (positions must be held after an undergraduate or master’s degree).
  • Affiliated with UK Higher Education Institution (and planning to remain affiliated for at least the next year)
  • Self-identify as Black, Asian, or minority ethnic
  • Interested in pursuing a future career and have research interests in neuroscience and/or the wider neuroscience sector

Expectations of mentors

Expectations of mentors are as follows:

  • Commitment to engage with the programme and attend mentoring meetings with your BNA Scholar
  • To feedback to the BNA based on your experiences for evaluation purposes

There is an expectation of 4-6 meetings between the Scholar and mentor per year. The format of meeting can be decided between the Scholar and mentor, whether they take place online, over the phone or in person (when permitted).

Eligibility of mentors

We are welcoming mentor applications from all ethnicities and all career stages.

BNA Scholar candidates will be asked of their mentor preferences during their application stage and successful candidates will be matched with a mentor through a review panel.

Selection process

To ensure fairness in the selecting process, all application form data will be anonymised. A review panel, chaired by the BNA National Committee member for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), has been set up to assist in the initial Scholar selection process and the mentor matching process.

If there are a greater number of applicants who meet all criteria than there are scholarships available, then factors including the following will be considered when selecting the successful applicants:

  • Geographical spread across the UK
  • Ethnic group
  • Commitment to the BNA scheme and to mentoring future cohorts
  • Likelihood of and commitment to pursuing a career in neuroscience or related to neuroscience

BNA Scholar and mentor matching process

After the announcement of successful BNA Scholars, the mentor matching process will take place.

  • A call for mentors will go out to previous applicants, alongside a new advertisement drive each year. The mentors complete an online application form in which they describe their expertise and why they want to be a mentor.
  • Each Scholar will be provided with a copy of the mentors’ answers and asked to indicate their top four choices.
  • The BNA Scholars programme coordinator will then review the matches.

There will be a no-commitment introduction meeting between the BNA Scholar and mentor before a final decision is made. We want to reassure applicants that the BNA is committed to ensuring the BNA Scholar feels well-matched with their mentor.

Apply Here

 

 


Key dates: 

5 October 2021: Scholar and mentor applications open

15 December 2021 (23:59 GMT): Scholar applications close

1 February 2022 (23:59 GMT): Mentor applications close

February 2022: Scholars announced

March 2022: Mentors matched with Scholars

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