I’ve now reached the end of my second week with the British Neuroscience Association, and plan to take one week off before returning. I chose to schedule my internship in this way so I could maximise the number of survey responses, and it also gave me a chance to head back to London to see my friends (and also attend the infamous beer & cricket festival in my boyfriend’s village).
This week has really all been about sending off the surveys and reviewing the current marketing material. It sounds deceptively simple. As I had created surveys for three different demographics (undergrad, postgrad and potential associate members), I then had to build up an organised directory of “dissemination points”, or people/organisations that could distribute my survey for me. For example, as the BNA is based in both Bristol & Cardiff University, I decided to contact the neuroscience course directors (both undergrad and postgrad) and ask if they could send my survey to their students. I also emailed the offices of the various schools involved with neuroscience at the university, e.g. the School of Experimental Psychology, and the School of Clinical Sciences. I contacted relevant societies as well, and also posted in my own course’s Facebook page, with around 150 of my peers at Imperial. All in all, this involved a lot of emailing.
Finding potential associate members was harder. To elucidate, the BNA are planning to introduce a new membership category for “people with a genuine interest in neuroscience but who do not work in neuroscience in a professional capacity”. For the student surveys I could also draw on the database of current student members, which helped to bolster the numbers, but I couldn’t do this for associate members. Instead, I had to give some thought to what kind of organisations could reach this specific type of person. I ended up using social media, and contacting Pint of Science, Cafe Scientifique, WI, U3A etc. Most of the people I talked to were more than happy to post my survey on their website and Facebook page – everyone has been an intern at some point. I also utilised the BNA’s social media following by posting my survey on all of their social media outlets. At the time of writing, I currently have around 130 responses for each of the student surveys, and around 60 responses for the associate member survey: more than enough to do some solid analysis on when I return.
Alongside this, I was tasked with reviewing the current BNA marketing material. After I had given some ConCrit, I set about creating my own flyers etc. through Microsoft Publisher. I’m a big fan of art/design, so I was really happy to be given such a huge responsibility and creative freedom when designing.
That’s all for now – have a great week!
P.S. As I didn’t really take any photos during this week (I was mostly just office based), here’s a picture of one of the first medical drawings done by Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience, who beautifully illustrated the arborisations of neurons.