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Nominations are now open for Co-Chair of the Cochrane Governing Board

Nominations are now open for Co-Chair of the Cochrane Governing Board.
The deadline for receiving nominations is the end of the day on Sunday 27 May 2018 in any timezone.

The Board has two Co-Chairs, to share workload, utilize complementary skills and experience, and permit continuity through the Co-Chairs stepping down at different times. The new Co-Chair will work alongside current Co-Chair Martin Burton and replace Cindy Farquhar, who is retiring as Co-Chair after four years of outstanding service.

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.  

Members of the Governing Board have responsibilities both as trustees under UK charity law and as directors under UK company law. All Board members must adhere to the Governing Board Charter and agree to the Code of Conduct.


The Articles of Association (Section 18) give the Board powers to appoint Co-Chairs under the terms they determine, provided that at least one is a member of Cochrane.

Currently, the Board has determined that anyone who holds, or has held, a leadership position within Cochrane is eligible to apply for the position of Co-Chair. Experience of membership of the Board is advantageous but not essential.


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

  • Chairing Board meetings and various Board sub-committees;
  • Chairing Cochrane’s Annual General Meeting;
  • Facilitating strategic planning by the Board;
  • Advising and guiding the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Editor in Chief and the Central Executive Team in working towards delivery of Cochrane’s strategy;
  • Serving as official spokesperson(s) for Cochrane and the Board, with the authority to delegate this responsibility to others;
  • Responding to issues raised by members of the organization, outside the remits of the CEO and the Editor in Chief;
  • Pursuing those initiatives and projects agreed by the Board to be the responsibility of the Co-Chairs;
  • Conducting the performance appraisal of the CEO.

Time commitment

There is a need for a minimum of eight hours per week for the Co-Chairs combined, but with an expectation that a combined total of up to thirty hours per week might sometimes be needed (not including the full-time requirements at the times of the two face-to-face Board meetings per year).

This year, the new Co-Chair must be available to travel to Edinburgh, UK, for the Board’s meeting 13-15 September 2018, and stay on to attend the Colloquium, 16-18 September 2018.

Term of office

The Co-Chairs hold office for two years. They may continue to hold office for a further two-year term with the approval of the Board.  After completing two terms, an individual may not stand again until after a break of three years, after which they are eligible to stand as a member of the Board, but not to stand again as a Co-Chair.

How to nominate

Candidates standing for appointment must submit their nomination by email to, by the deadline of the end of the day on Sunday 27 May 2018 in any timezone. 

The Board appoints the Co-Chairs. Candidates should be nominated by three members of Cochrane as defined by the Membership Terms & Conditions, including a current member of the Board. Current Board members may only nominate one candidate each.

Candidates must include:

  1. A completed Co-Chair Candidate Statement, which includes a declaration of conflicts of interest (including direct and indirect conflicts, and professional relationships to other members of the Board, and other boards they may sit on).
  2. Letters of Support from three Cochrane members 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 this policy and the extent to which they think the nominee has the necessary attributes.

The Co-Chair Candidate Statement of the successful applicant (i.e. the new Co-Chair) will be published on the Cochrane Community website 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.

Where an individual is selected as Co-Chair but is not a member of the Board, they are an appointed member of the Board (under Article 15.2 of the Articles of Association) and count as such in determining the proportion of elected and appointed members. This appointment must be approved at the next Annual General Meeting. The term of a newly appointed Co-Chair will begin at the following face-to-face meeting of the Board.

For more information, please refer to the Board electoral and appointment procedure on the Cochrane Community website or contact Lucie Binder, Senior Advisor to the CEO (Governance & Management) at

Important dates

Nominations open Friday 11 May 2018
Deadline for nominations Sunday 27 May 2018
Board decision (via teleconference) Wednesday 13 June 2018
Results announced From Thursday 14 June 2018
May 25, 2018