The role of the Society Representative

The Society Representative reports to the Membership & Grants Committee.

Purpose and background:

Society Representatives represent The Physiological Society at a local level, providing guidance and support to members of The Society.

Representatives should take opportunities to promote The Society and its membership processes at all times, together with raising awareness of physiology as a discipline to fellow scientists, students and the public, through outreach activities.

The role has responsibility for organising events via the Departmental Seminar Scheme and recruiting and supporting new members for The Society.

Representatives are encouraged to provide items of interest for publication on The Society’s website and in its quarterly membership magazine, Physiology News, raising awareness of local events, news and developments in research that would be of interest to the national and international physiology community. 


Representatives must be Full or Affiliate Members of The Society.

Primary objectives/responsibilities:

Promotion of The Society and its objectives and supporting members

  • Takes the opportunity to promote The Society and its publications at all times, while avoiding a hard sell approach

  • Supports local members and is prepared to make contact with members and potential members in institutions that are geographically local or connected (for example, partner institutions overseas) without a Society Representative to provide support and assist with any local issues – creating ‘virtual’ and cross-institutional physiology departments

  • Provides particular support to student members and encourages undergraduate and postgraduate leavers to apply for Affiliate or Associate membership

  • Co-ordinates local feedback on members’ issues and communicates this to The Society

  • Communicates frequently with the staff of The Society on local matters, especially the Membership Engagement Manager and the Outreach Officer

  • Is prepared to propose prospective members for membership upon receipt of a CV and supporting information

  • Working with other Society Representatives within your allocated region, including providing welcome, support and sharing best practice

  • Promulgates local outreach activities with the support of the Outreach Officer

Grants and prizes

Department Seminar Scheme 

  • Co-ordinates an event each year making use of the Department Seminar Scheme grant to provide a local physiology event

  • Formally welcomes and registers attendees, introduces the speaker and raises awareness of The Society and its membership benefits, directing interested parties to The Society’s website 

  • Publicises the seminar in the local area, for example, through email and social media 

  • Provides a write up, including names of attendees, and photos for potential use on The Society’s website, in Physiology News and in the members’ monthly newsletter

Vacation Studentships 

  • Society Representatives should promote this scheme amongst students and colleagues, and will be asked to advise The Society on the applications from their university each year 

Undergraduate Prize for Physiology 

  • Liaises transparently and fairly with colleagues to nominate a final year student for the Undergraduate Prize in Physiology. We award the Prize to either the best BSc Honours physiology research project or to an outstanding BSc student who has performed consistently well throughout their physiology degree course. The recipient would receive their first year of either Affiliate or Associate Membership (if continuing their studies) free of charge and a £100 prize. 


Secondary objectives/responsibilities

  • Is a ‘friendly face’ at Society meetings for new attendees and encourage them to make the most of the networking opportunities

  • Promotes The Society’s meetings to colleagues and students

  • Nominates potential successors and undergoes a handover process as appropriate

  • Promotes awareness of The Society’s Benevolent Fund, both for donations and advising members in need of funds of its remit

  • Supports The Society to promote Physiology and membership by attending externally organised meetings and events.

  • Where there is more than one Rep per university, coordinate activities through fellow Reps to ensure all Grant and Prize applications are agreed and submitted via one individual. All Reps must be in agreement regarding the final submission.

  • Supports current and potential members and institutions where there is currently no appointed Rep, helping to develop a region based support network for all those working in Physiology.


Full member Representatives

  • Full member Reps are the main contact between institutions and The Society; all grant/prize submission must be coordinated via a Rep.

  • Where there are multiple full member reps at the same institution, a main contact and deputy reps must be identified; these must be notified to the Membership Engagement Manager to ensure the correct information is disseminated to the correct individuals where relevant.


Affiliate member Representatives

  • Affiliate member Reps work with their institutions main contact Rep to ensure The Society, its activities and membership are promoted

  • Liaise between their fellow Affiliate and Undergraduate members and The Society to ensure the relevant support is provided and membership remains pivotal to career progression.

  • Encourage Undergraduate members to progress onto Affiliate membership once they commence post-graduate study or take on a junior post-doc position.


Read more: What do Society Reps do?