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BSI committees: have a say in your Society

Nominations for upcoming vacancies on the BSI’s Board of Trustees, our secretary roles and BSI Forum, have now closed. Voting will be open from Tuesday 19 April and full details on how to vote will be circulated to members shortly. Thank you to all who put their name forward!

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A group of BSI committee members networking at BSI Congress 2021

Our Trustees have the chance to make an active and dynamic contribution to the Society through their responsibility for setting and overseeing the delivery of our strategy, governance and finances, and by working closely with our Chief Executive and staff to support all our members. Our Secretaries have defined areas of responsibility – they report to the Board, and may be asked on occasion to attend Board meetings to provide activity reports on those areas. Forum is the Society’s ‘think tank’ committee which ensures the views of the membership are fed into Society activities. These activities cover education and careers work, public engagement, media, policy and public affairs, which includes helping to formulate responses to external consultations. The membership of Forum is designed to be representative of the Society’s membership, including individuals from all career grades and immunology sectors including industry, academia and clinicians. Learn about what was discussed at the most recent Forum meeting here.

Why should I stand for election?

Joining a committee offers you exciting opportunities beyond your day job including contributing to a community of like-minded people, influencing scientific policy and developing your personal and professional skills. Being part of a BSI committee gives you a front-row seat to all the action, giving you the chance to inform how we support our members and promote and champion immunology and science to all. Ensuring our committees have a diverse membership is important to us and so we encourage nominations from across the spectrum of our membership, from all backgrounds and career grades. For most positions, you don’t need to have previous experience of sitting on a committee, but you do need lots of enthusiasm and a willingness to get involved to help formulate our activities and policies! Please check your emails and our nominations page for details on how to nominate yourself. Nominations will close on Friday 1 April.

What we look for in our BSI committee members

If you’re considering standing for one of the positions available, ask yourself:

  • Are you committed to immunology and to the Society and want to help shape our future?
  • Are you willing to speak your mind and contribute to the voice of immunology?
  • Do you want to get more involved and use your skills and experience to make a difference?
  • Are you happy giving your time, thoughts and energy to representing your fellow members?
  • Can you work collaboratively to support the BSI in achieving its mission and promote equal opportunities in immunology?

Why should I vote?

If the available positions are not for you, you can encourage others to stand and have your say by voting in the elections. Your vote really does count. Your elected representatives will make numerous decisions on your behalf, such as fees for membership and Congress registration; which issues the BSI focuses on in our policy work; how best to provide career support to immunologists; which meetings are funded; and many more issues besides, so engaging with the elections genuinely does make a difference. Voting is quick and easy and will be open from Tuesday 19 April to Friday 6 May with the election results announced on our website the following week. All current BSI members will receive a voting link so please ensure your membership is up to date and keep an eye on your inbox around this time.*

Dates for your diary

Nominations close: Friday 1 April 2022

Voting opens: Tuesday 19 April 2022

Voting closes: Friday 6 May 2022

Results announced: Friday 13 May 2022



President – The President holds the most senior position within the Society. They are responsible for providing strategic leadership and work with the Board and senior officers to establish long-term goals, plans and policies. The President plays a pivotal role in representing the UK immunology community’s interests to a range of external bodies in science and healthcare and is a spokesperson and chief ambassador for the Society. In this four-year role, the President is charged with leading the development of the Society's strategy in close collaboration with the other Trustees to meet its mission and uphold its values. A broad biomedical and scientific vision is essential to the role. The President must be resident in the UK. This role is due to commence at the AGM in December 2022 when Arne Akbar finishes his term.

Chair of Forum – The Chair of Forum is responsible for leading the discussions in Forum – this includes working with staff to ensure both that Forum’s views are fed into relevant BSI projects and that Forum members proactively bring issues of importance to the membership to be discussed at meetings. The role holder must be based in the UK. They will chair four meetings of Forum per year both in person in London and virtually as well as attending the quarterly Board of Trustees’ meetings. This role is due to commence in December 2022 when Ann Ager finishes her term.

General Trustee – Trustees make active and dynamic contributions to the Board, using their wide-ranging skills, knowledge and experience to ensure good governance and the development of strategy for the Society. They feed into wider activities which help enhance the work of immunology. Trustees are appointed for four years. They are expected to attend four Board meetings per year, held both virtually and in-person in London. This role is due to commence in December 2022 when Divya Shah finishes her term.

Early Career Trustee – Early Career Trustees hold the same responsibilities as General Trustees but with a particular focus on championing the priorities and needs of early career immunologists. They provide crucial skills and experiences that ensure BSI activities effectively support this part of our community. Applications are invited from postgraduate and postdoctoral immunologists within 8 years of award of PhD (provided they do not hold a tenured position), clinical immunology trainees up to consultant level (unless within 6 months of CCT) and clinical research fellows. We also welcome applications from immunologists with PhD or doctoral training who work outside academia or the NHS. This role is due to commence in July 2022 when Calum Bain finishes his term.

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“During this crucial time for immunology, the BSI committees offer a unique opportunity to represent the voice of your peers in the immunology community, play an active part in guiding the direction of your Society and learn a lot in the process. I highly recommend all interested BSI members to get involved!”

Professor Ann Ager, BSI Trustee & Chair of Forum




Public Engagement Secretary – This role oversees the delivery and development of the BSI’s public engagement initiatives, working with members, trustees and key members of staff. This supports a core priority area in the BSI’s new strategy, catalysing change, and expanding our innovative public engagement work to increase public understanding and improve health. This role is due to commence at the start of 2023 when Donald Davidson finishes his term.


England Representative – this position is open to any BSI member based in England. Helen McGettrick finishes her term of office in June.

Scotland Representative – this position is open to any BSI member based in Scotland. Megan Macleod finishes her term of office in December.

Early Career Representative – this position is open to any BSI member who is up to three years into their postdoctoral (or equivalent) career. Alice Burton finishes her term of office in June.

Clinical Representative – this position is open to any BSI member who is working in clinical immunology at all levels. Matthew Buckland finishes his term of office in June.

Veterinary Representative – this position is open to any BSI member who is working in veterinary immunology at all levels. Elma Tchilian finishes her term of office in June.


We wish to extend a huge thank you to all of our committee members past and present, in particular to those named above for all their contributions to the BSI.

*Voting is open to all paid categories of membership. Please note, this excludes undergraduate members and low-income economy overseas members who do not have to pay a membership fee.