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We bring neuroscience and coaching together.

Launching February 2022

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The  Neuroscience Coaching Network (NCN) is an online professional training program and global community.

  • Created for new and experienced coaches with a genuine interest in the application of brain science to their practice.
  • Designed to encourage conversations and collaboration between the coaching and neuroscience communities.
  • Facilitated by neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay DPhil and coaching psychologist Dr Mary Collins PhD.

Introducing the Neuroscience Coaching Network

Our purpose is for the development of neuroscience-informed coaching tools & practice through education, collaboration & community.

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Here's the premise on which the NCN was built:

  • Coaching is designed to help people uncover their internal drive to change and develop the skills and behaviours that improve competence, confidence, and performance.
  • Neuroscience offers a compelling lens through which to view the human mind, thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and interest in this fast-paced and compelling science is intense.
  • We believe there's enormous potential for translation of brain science research to coaching practice. However, neuroscience rarely provides neatly pre-packed tools and techniques, and enthusiasm for 'using neuroscience'  in often outpaces individual practioner's scientific literacy.
  • Thus, attention needs to turn towards the training of coaches in how to understand, integrate and communicate neuroscience research to ensure the continuation of evidence-based coaching practice.
  • Rather than a 'bridge to far' between the disciplines, we see a golden opportunity to build reciprocal connections. The NCN provides neuroscientists and coaches a place to meet, to learn from each other, and to share meaningful conversations.

The NCN welcomes professional coaches who:

  • Share our passion for juicy conversation and appreciate the value of human connection, community and laughter (even if, for now, it is via Zoom!),
  • Are life-long learners dedicated to personal and professional development no matter which stage they're at in their coaching career,
  • Get excited by the intellectual challenges and opportunities of learning about neuroscience and from the scientists themselves,
  • Embrace human-centred values, including empathy, compassion, vulnerability and authenticity,
  • Care deeply about the potential of coaching to help people become better versions of themselves.

We believe neuroscience and coaching are powerful tools for human change.

Benefits & Outcomes

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Your NCN membership includes:

  • Lifetime access to all online content, including future updates.
  • Continuing coach education in applied brain science and coaching psychology.
  • Conversations and Q&A with neuroscientists, educators, professional coaches and experts in the application of neuroscience.
  • A global community of like-minded coaches.
  • The opportunity to develop coaching tools and practice informed by brain science.
  • A certificate of completion equivalent to 40 CPD/CCE hours recognised by various coaching federations and professional associations including the ICF and AC.



1. Building self-awareness

  • Awareness of the neuroscience & coaching landscapes.
  • Who you are is how you coach.
  • Translating research into coaching practice.

2.Coaching relationships

  • The social brain.
  • The neurobiology of trust, rapport & empathy.
  • Coaching presence as a symphony of strengths

3. Coaching journey

  • The neurobiology of goal-setting & motivation.
  • Coaching for change.
  • Asking the right questions.

4. Staying on track

  • The neurobiology of habits, emotion regulation.
  • How to build a resilient brain.
  • Coaching needs, capabilities & strengths.

5. Sharing neuroscience

  • The art and science of neuroscience communication.
  • Considering the mind vs brain. Facts vs feelings.
  • Using storytelling to communicate science.

6. The next 100 days

  • Invited speaker series.
  • 100-day triad coaching with peers.
  • Student presentations.

How is the NCN training delivered?

During the first 5 weeks of training (Feb-March 2022), coaches will complete an online course exploring neuroscience and its practical application to coaching.

  • Each online module (Me, We, Where, How, Now) consists of short pre-recorded video lectures, reading, and a reflective practice activity.
  • Each week the class will gather together with Drs McKay and Collins via Zoom to reflect on the weekly module and participate in small group discussion. (For times of calls, see FAQ below).
  • Upon completion of the 5-week program, students will commence a 100-day coaching challenge with a triad of NCN peers to deepen knowledge and practice.
  • An invited speaker's series will run concurrently to the 100-day challenge. Speakers include neuroscientists, coaches and psychologists invited to present their work, teach skill-development workshops, and take part in Q&A.
  • Upon completion of the 100-day challenge, coaches are invited to present a short talk a topic of their choice relevant to neuroscience-informed coaching practice (May 2022).
  • Upon successful completion, students are issued with a certificate of professional development equivalent to 40 hours of CCE (ICF accredited).

Invited speakers

Prof Andrew Huberman

Neuroscientist & host of the Huberman Lab podcast.

Stanford University

Neuroscience tools for managing stress and anxiety.

Prof Muireann Irish

Neuroscientist & Cognitive Neuropsychologist

University of Sydney

Remembering the past and imagining the future.

Dr Jared Cooney-Horvath

Educational Neuroscientist

CEO Science of Learning Group

Translating neuroscience to the classroom - opportunities and barriers.

Margaret Moore

Executive Coach

CEO Wellcoaches School of coaching

Skill development workshop: coaching the multiplicity of the mind.


Dr John Arden


Author of Mind Brain Gene and Brain2Brain.

Enacting client change through the persuasive power of neuroscience.

Dr Jolanta Burke

Chartered Psychologist 

Royal College of Surgeons Ireland

Skill development workshop: translating positive psychology research into coaching practice.

Prof. Louis Cozolino

Psychotherapist & Author of The Pocket Guide to Neuroscience for Clinicians

Pepperdine University

Skill development workshop + case study: Coaching a corporate client with neuroscience.


Michelle Guillemard

Health & Medical Writer

Health Writer Hub

Skill development workshop: communicating complex science simply and clearly.


A.Prof. Sarah Whittle


University of Melbourne.

Shame, guilt and empathy - the brain's social emotions.


Dr Alexis Whitton


UNSW & the Black Dog Institute

Pleasure, motivation and drive: How the brain harnesses dopamine to help us achieve our goals.

Lauching February 2022


b. About Dr Sarah McKay

I'm a neuroscientist and science communicator.

I grew up in New Zealand, and received my doctorate in neuroscience from Oxford University, and I like to sum up my doctoral thesis with the words, ‘Nature, Nurture or Neuroplasticity’. After completing five years of postdoctoral research in brain plasticity and spinal injury research I hung up my lab coat to pursue a career in science communications.

Nowadays, I'm the director of Think Brain which offers a suite of professional development training programs in applied neuroscience and brain health. I've been teaching brain science to coaches and other helping professionals since The Neuroscience Academy opened doors in 2015.

I'm the author of The Women's Brain Book. The neuroscience of health, hormones and happiness , and have contributed chapters on neuroscience and coaching to Positive Psychology Coaching in the Workplace and Positive Psychology Coaching in Practice.

In 2019, I hosted an episode of ABC’s flagship science show Catalyst exploring brain health, bio-hacking and longevity. You can watch the documentary here.

I live in Australia on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with my Irish husband, needy cocker spaniel and two surfer dudes, where can be found sailing, snorkelling or ocean swimming.

c. About Dr Mary Collins

I'm a chartered psychologist and professional executive coach with 15 years experience in organisation development and talent management.

I graduated from the Professional Doctorate Programme in Dublin City University in 2010. My thesis considered psychological contract theory in relation to engagement and retention strategies for high potential graduates ('Generation Y') in the professional services.

In 2019, I was delighted to receive a Kingstown College 'Coaching Hero Award' presented by the Minister of State for Education in recognition of my contribution to the field of coaching.

I'm a qualified coach assessor for the Association for Coaching (AC), council member of the Irish Institute of Training and Development, and mentor for the Aurora Women in Higher Education Programme. I'm also a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and committee member of the Coaching Psychology Special Interest Group.

My first book, Recruiting Talented Professionals was published by Chartered Accountants Ireland in 2021. I'm published widely including chapter contributions to the books including Managing Professionals and Other Smart People, and Leadership in Healthcare.

I live in Dublin, Ireland with my husband, two gorgeous children and very cuddly dachshund.


I got exactly what I wanted out of the course which is a deeper understanding of the neuroscience that underpins coaching people to their ultimate goals. I'm certainly a more effective coach for having studied this course.

The course is incredibly well structured with a natural flow to the order of learning. The pre-recorded lesson presentations are delivered with genuine enthusiasm that keeps you engaged. There are so many useful resources provided to accompany the course.

The live Q&A sessions were an excellent medium to discuss the lessons and get more out of them than what's in the material. It's great to be connected with like-minded people from various backgrounds through the community that is created by being a part of The Neuroscience Academy.

Gurinder Sandhu
Movement based coach & Evolve Achieve Thrive Podcast host

This has been a wonderful online learning experience. The structure and content of the course is both challenging and supportive. I feel that I had the opportunity to go deeper where I was curious but was so well set up with the foundational aspects of what can be an overwhelming topic.

I LOVE the model used to underpin the learning throughout this program - it is easy to recall and apply and really supports a level of expertise that I did not anticipate I would have following the program.

Thank you Sarah, another wonderful learning experience - I will be back. I also really love that as alumni we are welcomed back to delve back into and test our learning and thinking on topics relating to the brain. Very grateful.

Amanda Meehan
Head of coaching & flexibility at Grace Papers. 


The Neuroscience Academy was my fifth course on Neuroscience. And it simply set unparalleled standards in terms of excellence for all imaginable metrics.

The Dashboard for the program itself was an awesome interface for the student. It was both artistically and technically a delight to work with! The videos were excellent. Obviously, a lot of time and thought had been placed into their production. Because of this, learning about what would otherwise have been an intimidating topic became a joyful journey and enlightening experience.

Sarah is endearingly warm and gracious as she manages the calls, which encourages engagement and total participation from global learners in different time zones. And the fact that she holds the calls is a tribute and testament to the generosity of her character and her genuine concern for the development of her students.

The Neuroscience Academy indeed is peerless. And the saying goes: “A Lion does not need to roar”

Ben Ampill
Management consultant, coach, international speaker.

Studying with Dr Sarah was extraordinary. From the content, resources, community, engagement and of course incredible teacher.

I can't recommend it highly enough. The training provided not only extensive learnings but has laid a wonderful platform for many more months/years to come. It has been a game changer for me and my work with Imposter Syndrome.

Alison Shamir 
Imposter syndrome expert, coach, media commentator

Dr Sarah McKay is a bright, credible light who stands out in the complex yet fascinating field of neuroscience.

Fusing her prestigious academic background with her unique ability to translate complex concepts into words we can all understand, she offers real-world science that we can use to better our lives.

In her ground-breaking program, The Neuroscience Academy, she offers coaches, therapists and wellness pros a step-by-step blueprint to confidently integrate neuroscience into their practice.

In the past 15 years, what we’ve learned about plasticity has given us unprecedented hope for repairing and optimizing brain function. This program is an absolute must for any professional gifted with the opportunity to improve the lives of their patients, clients or students.

Erin Matlock
CEO, Brain Pages and Brain Summits


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Join our community

Email drsarahmckay@gmail.com with any questions.