Statement on Grant Making Policy

The Society provides a number of grants whose primary purpose is to support the charitable objectives, namely:

To promote, for the benefit of the public, the advancement of physiology and facilitate the interaction of physiologists both at home and abroad, thereby contributing to the progress and understanding of the function of biological systems, biomedical and related sciences and the promotion of health and the detection, prevention and treatment of disease, disability and malfunction of physiological processes in all forms of life.

Grants are made by The Society to support its full breadth of activities including: support for scientific symposia and meetings; the interaction of physiologists through the provision of travel grants; grants to support training and development of young physiologists; support for the development of education and teaching resources and grants for outreach activities to schools and the wider public to raise the general understanding of physiology.

Grants must be proposed, developed and reviewed by the relevant Committees empowered by the Council. Grants are developed against objectives and budgets allocated annually as part of the planning process: Council approves budgets every autumn.

Applications are managed by respective Committees with appropriate peer review processes in place. Some student grants are allocated on a first-come first-served basis subject to eligibility. 

Travel grants are allocated to Members, Affiliates and Undergraduates upon application and on a rolling year basis. Travel grants are subject to a competitive application process, particularly in months where demand exceeds budgetary supply; with priority going to attendees of Physiological Society-run events.  

Where grants are allocated to non-members, steps are taken to review that the recipient has the appropriate experience or expertise compared to the objectives of the respective grant.

The Membership & Grants Committee (MGC) provides independent oversight to Council. Its role is to ensure appropriate consistency and governance, including review and approval of new schemes for compliance. It does not get involved in specific grant proposals, except for periodic review and in cases of conflicts of interest. The MGC also reviews annually the portfolio of grants made by The Society and make recommendations where they believe there is a gap or that a specific programme is out of scope.

Grantees are asked to provide reports or other feedback following their grant and many are asked to write articles for The Society’s magazine, Physiology News or for the website. In addition appropriate audit is required depending upon the size of the individual grant or grant fund: for large grants full reports and audit should occur; but for smaller grants audits should take place on 5% of grants awarded. Awardees must ensure that they retain all receipts and agree to refund any unspent monies to The Society.

The ultimate power over grants, as with all activities, lies with the Council, although it may delegate specific powers to respective Committees.