​Strategy 2018-2022

​The Society’s 2018-22 strategic plan sets our direction of travel and priorities for the next five years. It is ambitious and forward-thinking, and positions us to continue to be a world-leading society for our discipline.

Our strategy defines a clear vision: to make physiology flourish. As the political, economic and societal structures in which we operate face uncertainty, it is all the more important that we have this clear strategic direction. Physiology is the science of life and all of us involved in this field owe it to future generations to ensure it continues to thrive.

For over 140 years, we have been at the forefront of the life sciences. While as an organisation we have never stood still; the pace of change in the world around us is now greater than ever and demands a step change in how we operate to meet the challenges we will face.

To achieve our strategic goals we will widen participation at our scientific conferences, ensuring excellent science and lasting impact, and make our journals flagships for physiology where any researcher is proud to publish. To ensure the continued health of the discipline, we must ensure we are meeting the needs of the next generation of physiologists. Over the lifetime of this strategic period, this generation will move from school, to university and then into early career positions. We are operating in a multi-channel world in a digital age, and must focus on the issues that matter to them and be innovative in how we communicate.

Our Members are at the heart of The Society. They are the passionate advocates for our cause and key to the success of our strategy is to inspire and empower them to engage with others about physiology.

Physiology and The Society have been at the heart of many of the great advancements over our 140 year history. This is a tremendous achievement, but we must never take our future relevance for granted. As a discipline and as an organisation, we must be clear in our mission and ready to adapt in order to achieve it. Being proud of our past while looking clearly to the future is at the core of our strategy, and how we will work with our Members, partners and the public to ensure physiology flourishes.

View the full strategic plan in our booklet


Making our journals flagships for physiology, where any researcher is proud to publish

The strategy applies to all three journals – The Journal of PhysiologyExperimental Physiology and Physiological Reports, although not always to the same degree. Physiological Reports is owned and published jointly with the American Physiological Society (APS) and its strategy is set by the Joint Management Board (JMB). We have grouped the strategic aims for The Society’s journals under four headings: building the community around the journals, developing their brands (including the distinction between their editorial remits), raising physiology’s standards for scientific integrity, and shaping physiology itself. Of course the journals’ future will be closely tied to the future of physiological research.


Advancing physiology through our meetings: excellent science, wide and active participation, lasting impact

Researchers go to scientific meetings to present new work and get feedback on it from their peers, to make connections with other scientists, to learn about new research, techniques and ideas, and to catch up with friends and colleagues. Meetings also have a role in setting the direction of research, particularly by highlighting hot topics. Through its programme of meetings The Society showcases physiological research, spotlights new areas of discovery, delivers training for Early Career Researchers and provides an opportunity for physiologists to interact.


Engage for success – improving our two-way commitment and communication to increase recognition of the importance of physiology

The goal of the engagement strategy is to increase awareness of physiology in order to strengthen the pipeline of physiologists across the discipline. The successful achievement of this goal will be measured by an increase in The Society’s membership numbers and the number of engaged Members. The primary target audience for the engagement strategy is 16-25 year olds studying biosciences. This target audience has been chosen as it reflects the importance of shaping the decisions of the ‘next generation’ of physiologists. This age group represents what has become known as ‘Generation Z’: the first digital native generation who were born into a world where limitless information is available at their fingertips through smartphones. This strand of the strategy ensures that The Society’s approach evolves to meet the needs of this new generation, who over the lifetime of this strategic period will move from school, to university and then into early career positions. To ensure The Society and our discipline continues to thrive in the medium to long term, we need to ensure we are meeting the needs of the next generation of physiologists.

Internal processes

  • Harnessing technology
  • Working smarter
  • Increasing transparency and improving performance to support delivery of the strategy

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