External candidate appointment

The nomination period for external members of the Board is now closed.

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

Results will be announced on 27 July 2017.


Individuals who do not currently hold a staff, editorial or leadership position in any Cochrane Group (including positions of deputy or executive directorship or membership of a Group Executive) are eligible to stand for election as an external member of the Board. They may hold other roles with Cochrane Groups such as author or consumer roles.

Please note that during the running of this election, the new Cochrane Membership scheme will be launched. Some eligible external candidates, for example those with a historical role as a Cochrane author, will be granted membership status. This does not affect their eligibility to stand as an external candidate if they meet the definition above. 

Individuals may not take up a Board position 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.

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.

You must have strong leadership skills, vision and expertise, able to play a pivotal role in Cochrane’s future success. You will bring high levels of personal integrity to the role and a commitment to working in a multi-cultural, geographically diverse organization. You must be able to challenge and debate constructively, whilst exemplifying mutual trust and respect for other Board members. Candidates who have not served at a board/director level before should feel welcome to apply.

The Board aims to ensure a balance of relevant skills and expertise among its members. For this round of appointments, candidates who have one or more of the following essential areas of expertise are encouraged to apply:

  • Board membership or other leadership of a large not-for-profit organization
  • Financial management and business development in the not-for-profit sector
  • Evidence-informed policy
  • Consumer advocacy
  • Organizational operations across an international network
  • Technology and data analytics
  • Technology assessment
  • Health economics
  • Primary research
  • Legal expertise
  • Education and learning
  • Communication and knowledge translation

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, and leadership development training and/or mentoring for new members. Candidates who have not served at a board/director level before should feel welcome to apply.

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

Board members are 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. In addition, there are usually 2-3 Board teleconferences per year. 

This year, all members must be available to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, for the Board’s meeting 10-12 September 2017, and are invited to stay on to attend the Global Evidence Summit, 13-16 September 2017.

Throughout the year, members should contribute actively to the business of the Board, staying up-to-date with current issues and contributing to discussions and working groups. The overall workload associated with this role is equivalent to approximately 1-2 days per month, averaged over the year. 

Neither external nor internal members of the Board will be remunerated for their role on the Board, with the exception of the expenses and costs of attending meetings. For more information, please see the Board expenses policy.

How to nominate

Candidates standing for election must submit their nomination by email to elections@cochrane.org, by the deadline of the end of the day on Tuesday 20 June 2017 in any timezone. 

The nomination must include:

  1. A completed External Candidate Statement.
  2. A copy of the candidate’s Curriculum Vitae (Resume) with full address and other contact/personal status details removed.

Please note that the External Candidate Statements and Curricula Vitae of successful applicants (i.e. new members) will be published on the Cochrane Community website on 27 July 2017 and will remain on the website against the names of the new members for the duration of their terms on the Board.  For this reason, the External 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