Global Engagement Initiative


As a global neuroscience federation dedicated to the promotion of neuroscience around the world, IBRO was chosen by several leading neuroscience societies in 2012 to lead a collaborative effort in support of advocacy programmes across the world’s regions. The Global Advocacy Initiative was thus launched to facilitate the development of culturally relevant educational and motivational programs that would garner wider support for neuroscience research.

Now known as the Global Engagement Initiative since 2018, participating partners recognise that our efforts not only support advocacy but also outreach and awareness activities that have a broader and more inclusive reach. IBRO works in close collaboration with SfN, FENS, The Dana Foundation, the Japan Neuroscience Society, the Australasian Neuroscience Society and others to keep developing effective and impactful strategies that inform and inspire people about neuroscience.

Care has been taken to adopt a global voice to express all viewsIBRO’s mandate is to articulate a vision of what advocacy means across different countries and cultures, and our organization aims to provide workable models that can be adapted to various regional situations.” – Pierre Magistretti, IBRO Past President (2014-2019)


Background | Annual Reviews | Resources | Seed Grant Awardees



Founding Partners

IBRO and

•  Australasian Neuroscience Society (ANS)

•  Dana Foundation

•  Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)

•  International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN)

•  Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS)

•  Society for Neuroscience (SfN)


To increase awareness and build support for brain research, informed policymaking, training and education through activities and events that are culturally sensitive and regionally relevant.


1. Increase public and policy support for neuroscience research

2. Enhance public awareness about neuroscience through activities that are culturally sensitive and regionally relevant

3. Disseminate existing resources and develop new ones

4. Coordinate initiatives with other scientific organizations to boost global support and awareness


Global Engagement Committee Members

Keiji Tanaka, IBRO Secretary General and Chair of the Global Engagement Committee

•  Cliff Abraham, Australasian Neuroscience Society (ANS)

•  Tracy Bale, IBRO President

•  Fabio Blandini, IBRO Pan-European Regional Committee (PERC) Chair

•  Cecilia Bouzat, IBRO Latin America Regional Committee (LARC) Chair

•  Moses Chao, Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

•  Barbara Gill, Dana Foundation

•  Michisuke Yuzaki, Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS)

•  Bong-Kiun Kaang, IBRO Asia Pacific Regional Committee (APRC) Chair

•  Pierre Luabeya, IBRO Africa Regional Committee (ARC) Chair

•  Jean-Antoine Girault, Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)

•  Jerome Sanes, IBRO Treasurer

Global Engagement Initiative Background

With effective advocacy, greater political will and enhanced global cooperation, neuroscience will make faster progress for the benefit of all humans. Neuroscience research is the key to widening what humankind has already achieved with our brains, to secure a sustainable future for forthcoming generations.” – Pierre Magistretti, IBRO Past President (2014-2019)


Developing and protecting human potential through brain research is the key to solving the world’s most challenging problems. While medical progress and improved living conditions have generally increased lifespans across the globe, an ageing population brings unprecedented challenges to our medical systems and societies, with neurological issues such as Alzheimer’s threatening to boost healthcare costs beyond individual countries’ ability to afford them. Furthermore, in many parts of the world, neurological diseases such as epilepsy are not well understood or even accepted as underlying causes of disability. It is because of these issues that people – from politicians and policymakers to parents and children – must understand the importance of neuroscience research and how it can benefit human welfare.

However, even in the most developed countries, other areas of concern are considered higher priorities than brain research, despite the reality that most issues must be addressed with human brain power. As a global neuroscience federation dedicated to supporting and promoting neuroscience around the world, IBRO was chosen by leading neuroscience societies in 2013 to lead the collaborative Global Advocacy Initiative. It grew out of an earlier collaboration between the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), whose advocacy efforts are mainly focused within North America, and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), which mobilizes its member societies to pursue advocacy work in Europe.

Along with several other national neuroscience societies, SfN and FENS agreed that IBRO should become the global coordinator of this initiative in order to ensure cultural and regional applicability through its deep knowledge of other regions based on decades of capacity building in less developed regions of the world.

Founding partners – Society for Neuroscience (SfN), The Dana FoundationFederation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN), Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS) and the Australasian Neuroscience Society (ANS) –  launched a long-term funding program in 2014 that has included regional workshops and global advocacy seed grants, prioritizing those regions and cultures with the greatest need for education and advocacy.

Global Engagement Annual Reviews

2016 Review • 2017 Review • 2018 Review • 2019 Review • 2020 Review • 2021 Review

Advocacy: A Global Commitment (video generously produced by SfN)

Neuroscientists worldwide make discoveries that advance science and improve the health of millions of people. Continued progress relies on public funding for basic, translational, and clinical science. To make the connection between scientific discovery and strong funding, it is vital for scientists to communicate effectively and frequently with the public and policymakers.




Global Engagement Resources

Find below several online resources from our partners and other organizations interested in neuroscience and advocacy that will inspire, inform and support your brain advocacy efforts.


Dana Foundation | EBC | FENS | IBRO| SFN | Publications & Videos

Dana Foundation


Brain Awareness Week
Brain Awareness Week Calendar of Events
Educational Resources
Event Ideas and Planning
Outreach and Promotion
Publications and Resources

Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)


FENS Advocacy
Brain Awareness Week
CARE: Committee on Animals in Research
FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence
History of Neuroscience Outreach Calendar

2017 Global Advocacy Review
Statement on the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research

Society for Neuroscience (SfN)


Advocacy Action Center
Advocacy Network
Advocacy Network Newsletter
Animals in Research
Brain Awareness Campaign (in partnership with The Kavli Foundation & Gatsby Foundation)
Education Programs
Find a Neuroscientist
Global Advocacy Programs
Policy Positions
Science Funding Resources
U.S. Advocacy Programs



Advocacy: A Global Commitment (video generously produced by SfN)
Brain Science: Mapping the Landscape of Brain and Neuroscience Research (Elsevier Research Intelligence Analytical Services, 2014)
Interview with IBRO President, Pierre Magistretti, in International Innovation (2014)
Neuroscience of the Brain: An Introduction for Young Students (British Neuroscience Association & European Dana Alliance for the Brain, 2013)