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BNA Student Placeements 2023-24

From the British Neuroscience Association

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BNA Student Placeements

The BNA is able to host a maximum of two students at any one time. Positions for the academic year 2023-2024 will be filled as soon as suitable candidates are identified, so please feel free to apply by emailing anne.cooke@bna.org.uk at any time.

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is the largest UK organisation representing all aspects of the science of the brain and nervous system, from ion channels to human behaviour, psychology, cognition, and applications in the clinic and beyond. Having been running for over 50 years, and an active member of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and the Society for Neuroscience, the BNA is the firmly established home of British neuroscience.

The BNA’s membership of around 2,500 includes people working in neuroscience or related fields at all stages of their career, from undergraduate students to retired members, plus people who are interested in neuroscience from a lay perspective.

About BNA student placements

The BNA is pleased to offer placement opportunities for:

  • Undergraduate students completing a neuroscience or related degree, where undertaking a placement is integral to the course (usually the third year of a four year degree course)
  • Masters students completing a neuroscience or related degree, where undertaking a placement is integral to the course
  • PhD students undertaking a ‘PIPS’ placement (Professional Internships for PhD Students)

Why do a placement with the BNA?

This is an excellent chance to learn about a career in academic administration, policy and leadership. Previous students hosted by the BNA have found it to be a very valuable experience, providing skills and knowledge that have been relevant for the final year of their degrees (see testimonials).

Placements with the BNA help develop the following skills and knowledge:

  • Project management
  • Communication skills (written, online, and oral)
  • Research policy
  • Public engagement of psychology and neuroscience
  • Experience in reading and reporting on original research articles
  • Data base management
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Time management
  • Fundraising
  • Knowledge of topics in neuroscience and psychology

Please note that BNA placements are NOT able to offer first-hand experience of undertaking neuroscience research.

What does a placement entail?

The placement would entail a mixture of daily tasks to help with running the BNA (such as assisting with communications, meeting organisation, membership) plus one or two projects which are ‘owned’ by the student (e.g. surveying the membership, writing education materials, or delivering a piece of work on research policy).

What is the BNA looking for?

  • We are looking for enthusiastic and self-motivated students who are interested in neuroscience, and in building and supporting a membership-based organisation.
  • The BNA is all about interacting and engaging with people, and hence being able to communicate at all different levels – whether by email, written word, phone or in person – will be important, although students will also be supported to develop these skills.
  • We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds that will broaden the team’s experience and knowledge.
  • Familiarity with social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc) and editing websites is an advantage but not essential.
  • We are a very small team, most of whom work from home, and so it is essential that students will need to be comfortable with working alone as well as with others.

Essential details

Placement start date: Between 1st June 2023 and 30th June 2024 (depending on the duration of the placement)

Placement duration: 3 months – 12 months (depending on requirements of the course on which the student is enrolled)

Application deadlines: We are able to host a maximum of two students at any one time. Positions for the academic year 2023-2024 will be filled as soon as suitable candidates are identified, so please feel free to apply by emailing anne.cooke@bna.org.uk at any time.

Location: The placement can be carried out remotely or in person at the University of Bristol, or a mixture of both.

Hours: We would expect students to complete normal working hours of 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.  However we can host students on part-time placements, and/or offer flexible hours for those with e.g. work or caring committments.

Please note that:

  • the BNA provides the placement only. It is the responsibility of students to organise all other requirements with their home institution/university, and to organise their own living arrangements.
  • We do not offer payment to students; these placements are only offered as part of completing a degree course. Any extra expenses incurred,e.g. by attending a conference, can be covered.
  • During the course of the 2023-24 placements, the BNA plans to hold a number of events, including the 2024 Festive Symposium which is likely to be on or around 11th December 2023.  Students doing placements with the BNA at this time will be expected to assist with running some or all eventes.  They will be able to attend and have expenses covered by the BNA.

How to apply

Please email your CV & cover letter to Dr Anne Cooke – anne.cooke@bna.org.uk . Your application should explain why you would like to undertake a placement with the BNA, what you would bring to the organisation and what you would like to gain from a placement with us.

The cover letter must explain why you’re interested in this specific placement; generic letters are very unlikely to be successful. Please refer to the above description about the placement and how you are suited for it.

Please also include information about the duration and timing of the placement position you’re seeking.

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