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Early Career Researcher Hub

Early Career Researcher Hub

Are you starting out in your neuroendocrinology career? Our early career researcher (ECR) hub gathers all our resources to help you with your career journey.

Summer 2020 Webinars

During the summer of 2020 when lockdowns were being imposed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, it was crucial for ECRs to be able to continue disseminating research as well as connecting with other neuroendocrine researchers. In response, the BSN set up a series of summer webinars by and for early career researchers, to allow ECRs to stay up to date with developments in neuroendocrinology and network with other researchers at a time when in-person conferences and meetings weren’t an option.  

Three webinars were held over the summer months, and all recordings are free to watch for BSN members. If you’re not a member yet, there’s no better time to join our supportive member community and let us help foster your professional development, with membership only £10 annually for students, and £30 for postdocs.  

Watch previous ECR webinar recordings via the members only mySociety website (Note: you must be logged in to mySociety for the link to work). 

First ECR webinar

Our first webinar was held on 5 June, 2:30pm BST/ 9:30am EDT and hosted by Dr Rebecca Dumbell, BSN ECR Representative, and Dr Ashleigh Wilcox, BSN Deputy ECR Representative and had three excellent presentations:

  • Leucine sensing by hindbrain PrRP neurons mediates non-aversive suppression of feeding via rapid inhibition of AgRP neurons.
  • Anthony Tsang, University of Cambridge
  • The miR-505-5p is up-regulated in the hypothalamus of adult mouse offspring born to obese mothers and may impact in their hypothalamic neurocircuits.
  • Isadora Furigo, University of Cambridge
  • Photoreceptor inputs to human neuroendocrine control.
  • Manuel Spitschan, University of Oxford

Second ECR webinar

Our second webinar took place on 23 July 2020 and was hosted by Dr Holly Phillipps (University of Otago Centre for Neuroendocrinology) and Dr Sarah Lockie (Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute) with the following programme of talks:

  • Oxytocin receptor activation in the basolateral amygdala complex enhances stimulus control over behaviour  
    Justine Fam, University of New South Wales
  • Temporal control of hunger-sensing AgRP neurons is critical for context-conditioned overeating in mice  
    Felicia Reed, Monash University
  • Prolactin is required for the normal expression of paternal care in the male mouse
    Kristina Smiley, University of Otago    

Third ECR webinar

Our third webinar took place on 26 August 2020 and was hosted by Dr Rajae Talbi (Harvard Medical School) and Dr  Luis Paiva (Universidad Austral de Chile) with the following programme of talks:

The role of opioid receptor signaling in podocytes in the development of hypertension  
Daria Golosova, Medical College of Wisconsin
‘Love made flesh’; Positive oxytocin feedback loops and energetics in mother-infant pairs
Kelly Robinson, University of St Andrews
Leptin sensitive neurons in the Premammillary Ventral nucleus stimulate reproduction
Cristina Sáenz de Miera, University of Michigan 

Mentorship scheme

We are delighted to have a team of mentors who are also BSN members willing share their expertise and experience in the field of neuroendocrinology with mentees. Mentors and mentees can discuss anything related to their work - from career progression to navigating tricky work environments.



Brainwaves is an interview series with eminent neuroendocinologists about their work, passions and tips for budding scientists.

Brainwaves: Interview with Professor Dave Grattan on neuroendocrinology in Australasia, prolactin research, celebrating successes and why it’s an exciting time to be in neuroendocrinology.

Brainwaves: Interview with Professor Gareth Leng on his career from mathematics to neuroendocrinology, why there is always more research to be done and why connections are more important than impact factors.

Brainwaves: Interview with Professor Fran Ebling on  his research into seasonal rhythmicity, why The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles is his favourite book and his advice to aspiring neuroendocrinologists.

Brainwaves: Interview with Dr Jane Robinson on the people who inspired her research into the reproductive neuroendocrine axis, how the working environment has changed during her time as a scientist and about how she was once knocked out by a ram!

Brainwaves: Interview with Associate Professor Helen Christian on her work on the feedback control of the pituitary, surprising research findings and why she will never skimp on giving feedback to the next generation of neuroendocrinologists.


Watch video recorded lectures from BSN Annual Meetings:

'New insights into the brain control of hunger' by Professor Lora Heisler, University of Aberdeen, 2019 British Society for Neuroendocrinology Plenary Lecture.

'Back to Your Future' by Dr Jane Robinson, University of Glasgow, 2019 Alison Douglas Memorial Lecture for the British Society for Neuroendocrinology. 

Grants - on hold until further notice

We have several grants that are particularly relevant to early career researchers. Read more on how to apply for the following grants:

  • Early Career Researcher Travel Grant - up to £150 to attend the BSN Annual Meeting
  • Project Support Grant - up to £7000 for consumables/other research costs to enable postdoctoral scientists or students to carry out the best possible neuroendocrine research project
  • Academic Support Fund - up to £10,000 to support new academic staff within 10 years of obtaining their PhD, who have less than £100k in funding and/or estrablished academic staff with no current research funding

Awards and prizes

BSN Student Presentation prize: awarded at the BSN Annual Meeting to the best three student poster presentations, as judged by the BSN Board of Trustees.

Michael Harbuz Prize for Early Career Researchers: In honour the memory of Dr Michael Harbuz, this prize is for an outstanding member of the emerging generation of neuroendocrinologists and is awarded at the BSN Annual Meeting.

Journal of Neuroendocrinology Early Career Perspectives

Journal of Neuroendocrinology regularly publishes Early Career Perspectives written by early career researchers. Read more about how to submit an article to Journal of Neuroendocrinology.

Neuroendocrine Briefings

Our Neuroendocrine Briefings series is intended as a resource to be freely used for teaching and public communication of neuroendocrinology. We are always looking for new contributors. Get in touch if you would like to write a Neuroendocrine Briefing via theteam@neuroendo.org.uk.

Get in touch

We'd love to hear your suggestions on how we can further support our early career researchers - get in touch via theteam@neuroendo.org.uk.