The Physiological Society awards a number of Prize Lectures each year. The Prize Lectureships have been instituted at various times in The Society’s history, and many owe their existence to the generosity of donors. Some awards are accompanied by an honorarium that is funded by The Society’s private funds and many, subject to the agreement of the Editorial Boards, are published in either The Journal of Physiology or Experimental Physiology. These Prize Lectures play an important role in The Society's commitment to advancing and promoting the physiological sciences and recognising outstanding achievements in the discipline.
Initiated in 2005 and held at The Society's Main Meeting, this lecture is designed to illustrate the importance of physiology and further its understanding by the general public and in schools.
The premier award of The Society was instituted in 1968. Subject to the agreement of the Editorial Board it is published in The Journal of Physiology. There is a £500 prize.
Established in 1960 as a joint memorial to Bayliss and Starling. This was a triennial lecture (to 2015), subject to the agreement of the Editorial Board, is published in The Journal of Physiology. There is a £500 prize. From 2015, following a generous donation from The Bayliss and Starling Society, this lecture is now awarded annually and will be given alternately by an established physiologist and an early-career physiologist.
Established in 1975 in memory of Professor Sir (George) Lindor Brown (1903–1971), this is an annual series of peripatetic lectures aimed at a younger audience in order to stimulate an interest in physiology. Subject to the agreement of the Editorial Board, this lecture is published in Experimental Physiology. There is a £1,000 prize.
GSK Prize Lecture (discontinued)
Instituted in 2010 with generous support from GSK, this prize is for early-career physiologists to encourage them and bring their work to general notice. It is awarded annually and comes with a prize of £1,000.
In 1986, The Physiological Society instituted a triennial lecture in memory of the late Professor G. W. Harris. These lecturers were subject to the agreement of the Editorial Board, published in Experimental Physiology.
Established in 1999, this prestigious biennial lecture celebrates the contributions to the physiological sciences of Alan Hodgkin, Andrew Huxley and Bernard Katz. To emphasise the international impact of their work, the lecture is normally given by a distinguished physiologist working outside the UK or RoI. Subject to the agreement of the Editorial Board, this lecture is published in The Journal of Physiology. There is a £1,000 prize.
International Prize Lecture
From 2011, The Society has sponsored the International Prize Lecture designed to be delivered in countries where there is a strong physiology community, but with whom The Society has previously had little or no interaction. The recipient of the award travels to the host country and delivers a series of peripatetic lectures over a period of 7 to 10 days. 2011 (China), 2012 (Egypt), 2013 (India) and 2014 (Brazil).
Established in 1995 and funded by a bequest from Joan Mott, this biennial lecture is usually given by a female physiologist. The lecture may cover any area of physiology but should be particularly relevant to young physiologists and also aim to enhance the profile and significance of women within the discipline. Subject to the agreement of the Editorial Board, this lecture is published in Experimental Physiology. There is a £500 prize.
Established in 2002, this biennial lecture is given in memory of the distinguished physiologist, with input from the Cardiovascular & Respiratory Physiology Theme Lead.
Otto Hutter Teaching Prize
The Society launched the Otto Hutter Teaching Prize in 2009, to recognise outstanding teachers of undergraduate physiology and to raise the profile of physiology teaching. The prize’s namesake, Professor Otto Hutter, emeritus Regius Professor of Physiology at University of Glasgow, is recognised as a passionate and innovative teacher. The £1000 prize includes £500 for the winner and £500 for the host institution (the latter to support education and teaching in physiology). In addition, the recipient is invited to present a lecture at the main meeting. Previous winners are listed on the Education pages.
R Jean Banister Prize Lecture
Established in 2016 in memory of Professor (Rachel) Jean Banister (1917-2013), this is an annual series of peripatetic lectures given by an early career scientist on any physiological topic. There is a £500 prize.
Initiated by the History & Archives Committee in 1994, this annual lecture commemorates Professor Sir William Paton's support and initiatives for promoting interest in the history of scientific experiments and ideas. The lecture is given on a historical aspect of physiology and, subject to the agreement of the Editorial Board, is published in Experimental Physiology. The lecturer is selected by the Editorial Board of Experimental Physiology and the History & Archives Committee.
Funded by bequests from Sir Edward Sharpey-Schafer (1850–1935) and his daughter Miss GM Sharpey-Schafer and in memory of Sir Edward and his grandson Professor EP Sharpey-Schafer, this is a triennial lecture given alternately by an established physiologist (preferably but not necessarily from abroad) and a young physiologist chosen by The Society. There is a £500 prize and medal. Subject to the agreement of the Editorial Board, this lecture is published in Experimental Physiology.
In 1985, The Wellcome Trustees launched this Prize Lecture to encourage and support young physiologists (less than 40 years of age). The Prize was awarded biennially by a panel comprising members of the Prizes & Prize Lectures Committee, and a representative nominated by the Wellcome Trust. The lectures were, subject to the agreement of the Editorial Board, published in The Journal of Physiology. The winner was awarded with £1,000 prize.