Elections to the Cochrane Governing Board 2021

Cochrane's Governing Board is seeking to elect 5 members.

Monday 4 OctoberCall for nominations opens
Sunday 24 OctoberDeadline for nominations
Wednesday 27 OctoberCandidate Statements posted
Wednesday 3 NovemberVoting opens
Thursday 25 NovemberVoting closes
Monday 29 NovemberAll results announced

This is an exciting opportunity to join an international team providing strategic oversight to Cochrane at a critical point in our history as we seek to deliver the Strategy for Change.

By 2025, our ambition is to achieve universal Open Access to Cochrane Reviews immediately upon publication for both new and updated reviews. This will require some big changes in how the charity generates income, which is currently through sales of licences to Cochrane Reviews and other products in the Cochrane Library. Decisions about how we achieve this are still to be made. 

We also want to do much more to advocate for, and embed, Cochrane evidence and the wider role of evidence-based decision-making in global health policy, which we believe is essential for protecting public health. Could you lead the organization to realize these ambitions? 

Skills and expectations:

Cochrane is a global organization and a registered charity in the United Kingdom, and members of the Governing Board from around the world are Trustees of the charity. The Governing Board is the organization’s highest governing body, responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of strategy and policy. Trustees carry ultimate responsibility for Cochrane.

The majority of Governing Board members are elected by you - Cochrane Members - and some are appointed directly by the Board.

The Board is seeking members who can play a pivotal role in Cochrane’s future success. You should bring high levels of personal integrity to the role and demonstrate commitment to the Cochrane community. You must be able to challenge and debate constructively, whilst exemplifying mutual trust and respect for other Board members. You will be expected to adhere to the Board Charter and Trustees Code of Conduct.  

As a Trustee you are not representing any particular group of people. You are always obliged to act in the best interests of the organization, and to abide by, and support, all the decisions the Board makes. More information about being a Trustee of a UK charity is available from the UK Charity Commission.

For this election, the Board is especially seeking candidates who have one or more of the following areas of expertise, in order to complement those of existing Board members:

  • Publishing and Open Access
  • Fundraising or business development
  • Digital product development
  • Financial management
  • Advocacy
  • Science communications or public relations
  • Making organizations more diverse and equitable

These skills can come from any area of your professional or personal lives. We also want to increase diversity on the Board, so for this election, one of the five places available is restricted to a Cochrane Member who is 30 years old or younger on the date the election results are announced.

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


Candidates must be a Cochrane Member as of 26 September 2021 to be eligible to stand in this election. This is defined as having accepted the Terms & Conditions of Cochrane Membership. You can check your membership status in your Cochrane Account.

Time commitment:

The term of the newly elected members of the Board will begin on the date that the election results are announced. The term is for three years, from November 2021 to November 2024.

Board members are expected to attend one 90-minute videoconference per month and to have prepared for this meeting in advance by reading and commenting on papers on the agenda, which takes around two to three hours.  In addition, you will be expected to join at least one of the Board Sub-Committees, which meet at least quarterly and also require preparation. Training and development sessions will require additional time. 

On average, you should be able to dedicate at least one day per month to the role and be flexible in joining meetings and responding to emails. You should contribute actively to Board business, staying up to date with current issues and contributing to discussions. To accommodate international participation, videoconferences are usually held in the mornings North & South American time, evenings European time, and later evenings or early mornings Asian & Australasian time. If and when international travel resumes, you may be required to attend in-person meetings internationally. 

Cochrane Members from any country or location are welcome to apply. The working language of the Board is English.

This is a voluntary, unpaid role, although expenses will be paid. For more information, please see the Board expenses policy.

If you’re interested in standing for election, continue to the Nomination page for more information.