Internal candidate election

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

Four candidates are standing for election:

  • Burton, Martin
  • Dellavalle, Robert
  • Howe, Tracey
  • Meerpohl, Joerg

Please visit the Board Elections page to access the Candidate Statements and nomination letters.

Voting will open on 3 July and close on 24 July. All candidates for internal election will compete in a single field, and will be voted on by the entire Cochrane membership. There are no separate categories of internal Board members, or representation of specific constituencies.

The result will be announced on 27 July 2017.


Members of the Cochrane community are eligible to stand for a position on the Governing Board as an internal member. This is currently defined as anyone having an ‘Active’ role in Cochrane’s Archie database aside from ‘Other’, ‘Mailing list’, ‘Possible Contributor’, ‘Super User’, ‘Web Contributor’ and ‘Web Publisher’. 

During the running of this election, the new Cochrane Membership scheme will be launched. From that point onwards, all those who hold membership under this scheme will be eligible to stand for election as an internal member. Anyone with an ‘Active’ role in Archie (as defined above) will automatically become a ‘Cochrane member’ under the Membership scheme, and will remain eligible to stand and vote as before. 

Candidates must hold Cochrane membership status as of 26 May 2017 to be eligible.

The following groups are excluded and are not eligible to stand for election:

  • Central Executive Team (CET) staff (defined as any employee, contractor or seconded staff working at least 0.2 FTE for the CET);
  • Employees of contracted partners and service providers (this means, for example, that staff of our publisher or auditors are excluded. Individuals receiving research grants, such as the Methods Innovation Fund, are not excluded and are eligible to stand);
  • Individuals who have previously served two terms as members of the Cochrane Steering Group/Governing Board, unless a period of at least three years has elapsed since their last term;
  • Individuals who are under 18 years of age.

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. 

We are seeking Board members with 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 demonstrate extensive understanding of and commitment to the Cochrane community, including the complexities of 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.

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:

  • Evidence-informed health care or policy
  • Editorial policy and publishing
  • Consumer engagement
  • Systematic review conduct
  • Systematic review methodology
  • Knowledge translation and communication
  • Financial management in the not-for-profit sector
  • Organizational governance

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 do not serve at a Cochrane Group leadership level but can demonstrate leadership in other ways 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, by the deadline of the end of the day on Tuesday 20 June 2017 in any timezone. The names, statements and letters of support for nominated candidates will be made available on the Cochrane Community website for one week prior to the opening of voting.

The nomination must include:

  1. A completed Internal Candidate Statement.
  2. Letters of Support from two active members of the Cochrane community eligible to vote in this internal election acting as ‘nominators’ for the candidate, supplying the following information:
    1. Name and role in Cochrane of the person writing the Letter of Support
    2. Short statement about why they think the candidate is suitable for the position of Board member

Please note that both the Internal Candidate Statement and Letters of Support will be published on the Cochrane Community website during the elections process, and the Internal Candidate Statement 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 Internal Candidate Statement document template must be used; and full addresses, email addresses and/or unencrypted e-signatures excluded from Letters of Support. Photographs (including personal headshots) must not be included in the Internal Candidate Statement or Letters of Support.

Election of Board members

All members as defined by the Cochrane Membership scheme will be entitled to vote. Every member has one vote. The election will be conducted electronically via the Cochrane Community website, and will be managed by the Cochrane Central Executive.

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