Co-Chair appointment

The nomination period for Co-Chair of the Board is now closed.

All candidates standing for Co-Chair appointment will compete in a single field, and will be voted on by the current Governing Board. The appointment must be ratified by the members at the next Annual General Meeting, on 14 September 2017.

The result will be announced on 27 July 2017.


Anyone who holds or has held a leadership position within Cochrane is eligible to apply for the position of Co-Chair. Each Co-Chair holds the position for a term of two years, and can hold the position for a maximum of two terms.

Individuals may not begin service as a Cochrane Co-Chair if they have a current conflict of interest with any commercial company with a direct interest in the findings of Cochrane Reviews, such as pharmaceutical companies or device manufacturers, including funding, holding paid or honorary positions (including board memberships), or other conflicts. Candidates with these conflicts may stand for election, but are required to step down from those positions or otherwise end the conflict before being eligible to take up their position.


The new Co-Chair will share chairing duties with the current Co-Chair, Professor Cindy Farquhar, who is also Co-ordinating Editor of the Gynaecology and Fertility Review Group, and is based in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Co-Chairs agree upon an appropriate division of responsibilities, which include:

  • Chair meetings of the Board
  • Chair Cochrane’s Annual General Meeting
  • Ensure and facilitate strategic planning by the Board
  • Advise and guide the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Editor in Chief and Central Executive Team staff in working towards delivery of the Cochrane’s Strategy to 2020
  • Serve as official spokesperson(s) for Cochrane and the Board, with the authority to delegate this responsibility to others
  • Represent Cochrane at meetings with current and potential funders, and other agencies as required
  • Respond to issues raised by members of the organization, outside the remits of the CEO and the Editor in Chief
  • Pursue those initiatives and projects agreed by the Cochrane Board to be the responsibility of the Co-Chairs
  • Conduct the performance appraisal of the CEO

Skills and expectations

Cochrane is a charity registered in the UK, and members of the Board are its Trustees, with legal responsibility for the leadership of the organization. The full job description and expectations for members of the Board is included in the Board Policy and Electoral Procedure, and further information about the responsibilities of Trustees under UK charities law is available on the UK Charity Commission website. Further documentation on the operation of the Board, including past minutes, is available on the Board pages of the Cochrane Community website.

The Co-Chairs are accountable to the Board, and to the members of the organization. They are expected to have leadership skills, to be fully consultative, to have vision, to be adept at dealing with people, to be able to solve problems and resolve conflicts effectively, to communicate well, and to be able to represent Cochrane in a variety of different settings. 

The Board actively encourages nominations from candidates of diverse age, gender, geographic location, language and other considerations of equity. The Board will provide practical support for candidates whose first language is not English. Experience of membership of the Board is advantageous but not essential.

Time commitment and remuneration 

The term of the newly elected members of the Board will begin on the date that the election results are announced, 27 July 2017.

There is a need for an absolute minimum of eight hours per week for the Co-Chairs combined, but with an expectation that a combined total of up to 30 hours per week might sometimes be needed. In addition, the Co-Chair is expected to attend at least two face-to-face Board meetings each year (each meeting being 1-3 days), one at the Governance Meetings (previously known as Mid-Year Meetings) in March/April, and one coinciding with the Cochrane Colloquium, in September/October. There are also usually 2-3 Board teleconferences per year.

This year, the new Co-Chair must be available to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, for the Board’s meeting 10-12 September 2017, and stay on to attend the Global Evidence Summit, 13-16 September 2017 and Cochrane’s Annual General Meeting on 14 September. 

Cochrane’s Articles of Association allow the organization to remunerate its Co-Chairs, where necessary, for work conducted on behalf of the organization, up to a maximum of one day per week, pro rata. This cap is set by the organization and reviewed as necessary.

How to nominate

Candidates standing for appointment must submit their nomination by email to, by the deadline of the end of the day on Tuesday 20 June 2017 in any timezone

The nomination must include:

  1. A completed Co-Chair Candidate Statement.
  2. Letters of Support from three active members of the Cochrane community acting as ‘nominators’ for the candidate, including one current member of the Board, supplying the following information:
    1. Name and role in Cochrane of the person writing the Letter of Support.
    2. Statement about the capacity in which they know the nominee, why they consider the nominee to be an appropriate candidate in the light of the Co-Chair job description as set out in the Board Policy and Electoral Procedure, and the extent to which they think the nominee has the necessary attributes. 

The current Board members may only nominate one candidate each. 

Please note that the Co-Chair Candidate Statement of the successful applicant (i.e. the new Co-Chair) will be published on the Cochrane Community website on 27 July 2017 and will remain on the website against the name of the Co-Chair for the duration of their term on the Board.  For this reason, the Co-Chair Candidate Statement document template must be used; and full addresses, email addresses and/or unencrypted e-signatures excluded. Photographs (including personal headshots) are also not permitted.

Important Dates

2 May Call for nominations opens
20 June Deadline for nominations
21 June – 21 July Board teleconference to appoint external members and Co-Chairs, for ratification by Cochrane members at the 2017 Annual General Meeting
26 June Candidate statements for internal candidates posted
3 July Internal candidate voting opens 
24 July Deadline for internal voting
27 July All results announced