Policy for science

Submission to cOAlition S from The Physiological Society

The Society has responded to a consulational call from cOAlition S on Plan S proposals - please read our submission here.

International Mobility

Science is an international undertaking, and physiology is no different. Research involves collaboration across the globe and the easy movement of researchers and students to ensure the right people, with the right skills, are in the right place. Immigration is a controversial topic in the UK, and some of the systems in place are showing themselves not fit for purpose. The Society has released a position statement on international mobility, with recommendations to government, and to inform our future work, on improving the situation for globally-mobile science.

Education policy

Physiology education is one of our key policy priorities, and we aim to both promote it and inform it at all levels. We collaborate extensively with the Royal Society of Biology’s Education Policy Advisory group, and run our own schemes rewarding higher education teaching and promoting best practise in physiology education. Read more about our education policy work.

General Election 2017

Ahead of the upcoming General Election, we have compiled the key points relating to science and higher education from the 2017 General Election manifestos of the major political parties of the UK and devolved administrations. They are summarised in our briefing note. This note is only intended to provide a snapshot, and does not represent every policy position of the parties.

EU Referendum

The recent vote to leave the European Union will have significant effects on the science sector, some of which are already being felt. The Society released a statement after the announcement of the result. The future policy work of The Society will aim to protect physiology research in the new regulatory regime, ensuring access to funding and the success of international collaboration.

It is important for us to understand and represent the views of the physiology community regarding Brexit, so a survey of our membership was conducted on this topic. As expected, a large majority of our eligible Members had voted to Remain. Visit our Brexit survey page to see the results and the areas of key importance which were highlighted by the survey. In September 2017 we followed-up this survey with a call for case studies demonstrating the problems already being caused as a result of the Brexit vote. These can be read in a booklet detailing the stories told by scientists, as well as some new survey data about public attitudes to Britain’s relationship with the EU concerning science.

Changes to Research Structure

The Government has announced that the recommendations of Sir Paul Nurse from his review of the Research Councils will be taken forward. These are to be enacted in the Higher Education and Research Bill, which is currently before Parliament. An overseeing body, UK Research and Innovation, is being created, which will control the Research Councils and Innovate UK. The Society has responded to consultations throughout the planning of these measures and will continue to work with government to ensure the changes bring about an effective, well-regulated research environment in the UK.