Published on 04/05/2021
  • Neuroscience student wins place on British Neuroscience Association scholars programme 
  • Tamara Tasnim Wahid is the only undergraduate student in the UK to be accepted on scheme
  • Programme aims to support students from diverse backgrounds

An Aston University neuroscience student has beaten off stiff competition to secure a place on the British Neuroscience Association’s inaugural Scholars programme.

Tamara Tasnim Wahid, 21, from Small Heath, Birmingham, is in her final year of study at Aston University and was one of only seven students from across the UK to be awarded a place on the competitive BNA programme. Tamara was also the only undergraduate student to be accepted. The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is the largest UK organisation representing and promoting neuroscience and neuroscientists.

The BNA Scholars programme, which launched this year, was created with the aim of supporting students from diverse backgrounds in neuroscience in consultation with BNA members and others interested in improving representation, diversity and equity in neuroscience .. 

Tamara Tasnim Wahid said: 

“I feel very fortunate and thankful for this opportunity because the BNA team is so supportive. Recently I was encouraged by the team to attend the BNA2021 Festival, which helped me gain an insight into research from neuroscience institutions across Europe. 

“Also, with guidance and direction from Aston University’s Neuroscience Department, I got the opportunity to give a presentation at the festival. This was an amazing opportunity and enabled me to develop skills in public speaking and research dissemination.

“Through the BNA Scholars mentorship programme, I have gained a new support network. This takes away some of the intimidation of being an early career researcher, as I get to learn from my more experienced cohort peers. I look forward to the next three years of the BNA Scholars scheme and diversifying my experiences as a scientist.” 

The three-year scholars programme seeks to build a supportive community through networking opportunities, bursaries and mentorship. The scholars will receive at least four to six sessions with their mentor each year, free membership to both the BNA and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), funding towards attending the Festival of Neuroscience, as well as funding towards the European FENS Forum and other networking opportunities within the association.   

Gavin Woodhall, professor of neuropharmacology and co-director of the Aston Institute for Health and Neurodevelopment at Aston University said: 

“We are delighted and proud that Tamara has received this recognition, which is testament to her drive and enthusiasm for neuroscience – she is a real credit to our course.” 

Anne Cooke, chief executive of the British Neuroscience Association, said: 

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome our scholars to the programme. After receiving a competitive 78 applications, we offer our heartfelt congratulations to the selected applicants and greatly look forward to working with our first cohort of BNA Scholars.”

Read more about studying neuroscience at Aston University and the research undertaken by the Aston Institute for Health and Neurodevelopment. 

Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world. The University also has TEF Gold status in the Teaching Excellence Framework.  

About the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) 

BNA members' interests cover the whole range of neuroscience, from ion channels to whole animal behaviour to real-life applications in the clinic and beyond. The origins of the BNA stretch back to the 1960s, when informal meetings of neuroscientists in the pub became formalised into what was then known as the Brain Research Association. 

Through UK-wide activities and events, collaborations, campaigns and lobbying, the BNA, which has around 2,000 members, represents the voices of everyone interested in neuroscience, from researchers and clinical scientists to students and members of the public.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7557 745416 or email: 

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
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Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065

Claire Fry, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5068

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5159

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