Election information

The Governing Board wants new members who will able to play a pivotal role in Cochrane’s future success. You should bring high levels of personal integrity to the role. You should be able demonstrate understanding of and commitment to the Cochrane community. You must be able to challenge and debate constructively, and show trust and respect for other Board members.

Cochrane is legally constituted as a charity and company in England and Wales. People who are elected to the Governing Board become Trustees of the Charity (Charity number 1045921) and Directors of the Company (Company Number 3044323). There are specific and serious legal duties and obligations for Trustees. The Board is committed to the very highest standards for governance and anybody considering standing for election to the Board must be aware of these. Before standing for election, you should read the following guidance produced by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in the UK:

  1. What is a charity
  2. What is a charity trustee
  3. What trustees must do
  4. How trustees look after the charity

All Board members are expected to adhere to the Board Charter and Trustees Code of Conduct. As as a charity Trustee you are not representing any particular group of people and must act at all times in the best interests of the charity as a whole, and to abide by, and support, all the decisions which the Board makes.  

You are able to read more about the role of the Governing Board in Cochrane’s Articles of Association and find information about UK charities on the UK’s Charity Commission website.

Required skills and experience:

The Governing Board works as a team, made up of members with different skills and backgrounds.

You do not have to be a leader of a Cochrane Group and the Board is looking for a diverse and international range of candidates. For this election, you should be able to demonstrate experience in any area of your professional or personal lives in at least one of the following areas:

  • Charity Governance (in any charitable organization around the world)
  • Organizational Finance and Resource Management
  • People Management (often called ‘Human Resources’ in English) and Organizational Development
  • Consumer involvement in Evidence Production and Health Policy
  • Advocating for Evidence
  • Widening Access, Participation, Reach and Impact of Research 
  • Fundraising & Development

In future, the Board intends to make its meetings public and is currently investigating ways of doing this. As a Board member, you will need to feel confident to express your views in a public forum. 

Main responsibilities: 

Strategy and Performance
The Governing Board is responsible for determining the overall vision, strategic aims and objectives of Cochrane, in accordance with the statutory duties and within Cochrane’s policy and resource framework. It also oversees the delivery of planned results by the Central Executive Team and Cochrane Groups by monitoring performance against agreed strategic aims, objectives and targets. 

Commitment of Resources
The Governing Board has a responsibility to ensure there is an effective framework of audit, risk management and internal control; and to approve, and ensure the effective direction of, commitment of resources.

Advocacy and Development
Governing Board members play an important role in helping Cochrane enhance its profile internally and externally. Board members are expected to represent Cochrane, its principles and values.

On joining, new Governing Board members will be given an induction programme.


To be eligible to stand in this election, candidates must:

  1. Have accepted the Terms and Conditions of Cochrane Membership and have been a Cochrane Member for at least 30 days prior to the close of voting in this election (i.e. by 10th November 2018). To check your membership status, please see https://join.cochrane.org/your-membership. If you have questions about your status, you can email membership@cochrane.org.
  2. Have read the following guidance produced by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in the UK:
  3. Accept the Governing Board Charter
  4. Accept and commit to adhering to the Code of Conduct for Trustees
  5. Complete a Cochrane ‘Declaration of Interest’ Statement
  6. Complete the ‘Trustee Eligibility Declaration’ required by the UK Charity Commission for all Trustees

To confirm eligibility and access all the resources listed above, candidates should complete the Elected Member Candidate Statement, downloadable below.

Time commitment:

The term of the newly elected members of the Board will begin on the date that the election results are announced, 11th December 2018. The term will be for three years, from December 2018 to December 2021.

Governance requirements for UK charities are changing and becoming even more stringent. The Board is determined to pursue the “gold standard” of charity governance. This has several consequences. One of these is the need for the Board to meet face-to-face more often than in previous years. As a result, it is hoped that the Board will meet in person up to four (4) times a year, with another two (2) teleconferences between these meetings. In addition, all members must join at least one of the Board Sub-Committees, and attend teleconferences and contribute to the work of these Committees during the year.

In 2019, all Board members should be available to travel to London, UK, 19-20 January; Krakow, Poland 1-5 April; and Santiago, Chile, 22-25 October.

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

This is a voluntary, unpaid role, although expenses will be paid. It does not matter in which country or location you are based. For more information, please see the Board expenses policy.

How to submit your nomination:

Candidates stand for election by their fellow Cochrane Members.

Thursday 25 OctoberCall for nominations opens
Wednesday 14 NovemberDeadline for nominations
Thursday 15 NovemberCandidate Statements posted
Thursday 22 NovemberVoting opens
Monday 10 DecemberVoting closes (12:00 pm GMT)
Tuesday 11 DecemberAll results announced

Candidates standing for election must submit their nomination by email to elections@cochrane.org, by the deadline of the end of the day on Wednesday 14 November 2018 in any time zone. The names of nominated candidates and their nominators 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 Elected Member Candidate Statement.
  2. The names of two Cochrane Members acting as 'nominators' for the candidate. Note that since October 2018, nominators are not permitted to provide letters of support for candidates. They must be Cochrane Members, but they do not have to be in a leadership position in the organization.
  3. A recent photograph (headshot) of the candidate if they so choose. Note that since October 2018, headshots are permitted and are optional. The aim of allowing photos is to increase the visibility of candidates and interest in the elections.

The Candidate Statement, photograph and names of the nominators will be published on the Cochrane Community website during the elections process, and the Candidate Statement and photograph will remain on the website against the name of the new member for the duration of their term on the Board. For this reason, the Candidate Statement document template must be used; and full addresses, email addresses and/or unencrypted e-signatures excluded from Letters of Support.

Nominated candidates' names will be announced on elections.cochrane.org following the nomination deadline, in alphabetical order (by family name), with the nominators' names. There will be a period of one week between the nomination deadline and the opening of voting to allow any disputes about eligibility to be resolved.

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 this website, and will be managed by Lucie Binder, Senior Advisor to the CEO (Governance & Management) and Electoral Officer for this election.

The full job description and expectations for members of the Board is included in the Governing Board electoral and appointment procedure. More information on the operation of the Board, including past minutes, is available on the Board pages of the Cochrane Community website.

Questions are welcome via email at elections@cochrane.org.