Aims and Activities
The BAP is a learned society and registered charity. It promotes research and education in psychopharmacology and related areas, and brings together people in academia, health services, and industry. Formed in 1974, it is the largest such national association in Europe, and the second largest in the world.
The BAP remit comprises two interlinked areas:
- The biological basis of brain and behaviour, and its alterations in psychiatric disorders.
- The study of drugs used to treat disorders of brain and behaviour: the targets, mechanisms of action, effectiveness, and side-effects, of current and novel treatments, and drugs of abuse.
The BAP is relevant to all psychiatrists, neuroscientists, pharmacologists, neurologists, pharmacists, and psychologists. Its membership and interests cover all major techniques used in the field, including: pharmacology, genetics, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, electrophysiology, experimental medicine, clinical trials, and in vivo and in vitro models.
To achieve its aims, the BAP organises a range of scientific and educational activities:
- An annual 3.5 day scientific meeting. Includes plenary symposia, lectures, short oral sessions, and posters.
- Open access, evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
- Publication of the Journal of Psychopharmacology
- A Certificate in Clinical Psychopharmacology: in depth, up-to-date continuing professional development (CPD), with six modules held each year – anxiety disorders, affective disorders, child and adolescent psychiatry, old age psychiatry, schizophrenia, and substance misuse.
- A Certificate in Non-Clinical Psychopharmacology. Training courses in non-clinical psychopharmacology.
- Masterclasses: three-day CPD courses providing state-of-the-art updates in psychopharmacology for clinicians, taught by leading authorities.
- Online CPD modules, presented by experts, regularly updated, and supplemented by reviews of recent papers.
- BAP-badged symposia in meetings organised by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, British Neuroscience Association, British Pharmacological Society, and others.
- Public engagement activities, including BAP-badged sessions at Science Festivals
The BAP has a distinctive ethos:
- Scientists, clinicians, and trainees from any relevant background or discipline, and at all career stages, are welcomed.
- It is an open, supportive, and democratic organisation. It is governed by a Council, whose Officers are elected by the membership. An independent Governance Panel reports to members on the effectiveness of Council.
- The BAP values the contribution from both its clinical and non-clinical researchers. There is a balance between these groups in terms of the scientific content of all meetings, and representation on BAP Council.
- The BAP is independent from any other organisation. It has defined and transparent relationships with the pharmaceutical industry. Council members have disclosure statements available on the website.