Lei Zhang in an orange shirt with arms folded

A University of Birmingham researcher has been recognised by the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) in its 2024 BNA Credibility Prizes.

Now in their 4th year, the BNA awards aim to showcase individuals and teams making a contribution to ensuring neuroscience research is as robust, reliable, replicable and reproducible as possible.

Dr Lei Zhang, an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology, won the Individual Researcher Credibility Prize, and was recognised for his commitment to open and reproducible science, sharing his research paradigm, data and coding, and teaching materials widely since 2017.

Dr Zhang’s research addresses the fundamental question of the ‘flexible brain” by studying the cognitive, computational, and neurobiological basis of (social) flexible learning and decision-making in health and disease.

As an ambassador for the Center for Open Science and the eLife Community, Dr Zhang has made a significant contribution to community building in open and reproducible research. In addition, he is one of the founding members of the grassroots China Open Science Network (COSN), which aims to address the imbalance in the development of open science movement between Western and non-Western countries.

Receiving the BNA Credibility Prize is not just a testament to my individual efforts, but a celebration of the collective dedication of countless people.

Dr Lei Zhang, School of Psychology

Receiving the award, Dr Zhang said: “I am extremely honoured to receive the BNA Individual Researcher Credibility Prize this year! A couple of years ago, I started my open science endeavour all by myself, but soon I was fortunate to join forces with like-minded people across the globe to drive positive changes in the research culture.

"The University of Birmingham has also supported me in designing and delivering a postgraduate module Proposing Research to equip the next generation of researchers with all the best scientific practices in the field. Receiving the BNA Credibility Prize (nominated by Prof Siri Leknes, University of Oslo) is not just a testament to my individual efforts, but a celebration of the collective dedication of countless people.

Dr Mike Ashby, BNA Trustee for Credibility in Neuroscience, said: “Leadership like that shown by all the winners is crucial in driving the highest standards of open, robust and reproducible research. Their efforts are inspirational and hugely deserving of this recognition."