Constitution & Bylaws


Article I

Name and Seal

  2. The Union shall have a seal containing the words “INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PHYSIOLOGICAL SCIENCES” in conjunction with (an) appropriate symbol(s) underpinning its character as a global network. ExCo and council can choose to change the graphics if necessary.
  3. The legal seat of the Union is at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. The seat of the Union for routine business is in the office of the Secretary General of the Union.

Article II


The purposes of the Union are exclusively scientific, educational, literary, and no other, and, in furtherance of only those purposes, the particular business and objectives of said Union shall be

  1. to encourage the advancement of the physiological sciences;
  2. to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge in the field of physiological sciences;
  3. to foster and encourage research in the field of physiological sciences;
  4. to promote the International Congresses of Physiological Sciences;
  5. to promote such other meetings as may be useful for the advancement of the development of physiological sciences;
  6. to promote such other measures as will contribute to the development of physiological sciences, provided that it shall not otherwise engage in activities which in themselves are not in the furtherance of one or more tax exempt purposes, except as some do not represent a substantial portion of its activities.

Article III

Composition of the Union

The Union shall be composed of member organizations, which in turn may be unions or federations of smaller organizations in a given country or scientifically independent geographical area. It shall have a General Assembly, which is the deliberative body of the Union. It shall elect a Council, which shall be the legal representative of the Union and act as its administrative body between meetings of the General Assembly. It shall also elect committees and officers and shall appoint such employees as are necessary to effect its purposes.

Article IV


  1. The Union shall consist of a number of Adhering Bodies adequately representing organizations concerned with studies in physiological sciences.
  2. The official organization representing the physiological scientists of a country or territory shall be called the Adhering Body (National Academy, Research Council, Royal Society, etc.), the societies of physiological scientists will be designated as Supporting Societies. In countries or territories with no national representation the society of physiologists itself may be the Adhering Body.
  3. There shall be Regional Members which are regional federations or associations of national societies of physiological scientists from a continent or other geographical entity. Regional members may send an observer without vote to the meetings of the General Assembly.
  4. There shall be Associate Members of the Union to represent physiologists in countries or territories where physiological science is not sufficiently developed to justify full membership. No dues will be required of an Associate Member, but it may send an observer without vote to the meetings of the General Assembly.
  5. There shall be Affiliated Societies which are international scientific societies representing branches of science which overlap with physiology. They may send an observer without vote to the meetings of the General Assembly. There shall be Special Members such as research and development institutions and laboratories, industrial organizations and production units, and any other bodies or individuals interested in the aims of the Union. They shall be admitted by vote of Council. Special Members are entitled to receive advance notice of congresses and symposia sponsored by the IUPS and other appropriate information concerning IUPS activities. Each Special Member may send an observer without vote to the meetings of the General Assembly.

Article V

General Assembly

  1. The membership of the General Assembly shall be composed of Delegates appointed by each Adhering Body in addition to the officers of the Union and the other members of Council. In addition to discharging such duties as may be prescribed by the Constitution and By-Laws of the Union, the General Assembly shall act as an advisory body in matters pertaining to the general management of the Union. The Board of the General Assembly (BGA) of the IUPS shall be delegates at each full meeting of the General Assembly of Congress sessions of IUPS. They shall present the IUPS Report on physiological sciences emphasizing major challenges, opportunities, and problems. They do not have voting rights, unless they also act as delegates for their respective adhering bodies or supporting societies.
  2. The number of delegates representing an Adhering Body or the respective supporting society shall be related to membership size category as set forth in the By-Laws. Each member society shall be represented by at least one delegate. Adhering Bodies or membership societies shall have the right to apply for representation for up to two more delegates than applies to their size category, in consultation with the Treasurer, if they agree on the accordingly increased membership dues.
  3. The President and Secretary General of the Union shall be the Chairperson and Secretary, respectively, of the General Assembly.
  4. There shall be regular meetings of the General Assembly at such times as the International Congress of Physiological Sciences shall meet.
  5. The term of a Delegate to the General Assembly shall be determined by the Adhering Body which the Delegate represents and the term of each Delegate shall be considered continuing until a new Delegate is appointed by the responsible Adhering Body of the Union.
  6. There shall be no delegation of the power of the General assembly to
    a. admit members
    b. expel members
    c. change the Constitution and By-Laws
    d. adopt a new Constitution and By-Laws
    e. dissolve the Union
  1. Decision in these matters requires a two-thirds majority of the Delegates present.Selection of the location for an international congress shall be determined by the General Assembly of the Union. Eight years before an international congress, from among the bids received up to three invitations to host the congress shall be selected by Council for presentation to the General Assembly which will determine by majority vote the preferred location. Consideration should be given to the rotation of the congress to different geographical regions. Four years later, a report by Council will be presented to the next General Assembly for confirmation of the location. This decision can be altered by Council only in case of an emergency occurring between meetings of the General Assembly.
  1. The General Assembly (GA) will have a Board of the General Assembly. The Board is a 15-person group authorized by the GA to act on its behalf between meetings of the full GA in specified ways with respect to specified matters. The Board also acts as the main communication channel between member societies and the Executive Committee and Council. This Board has three purposes:
    a. To increase and expand the ability of the GA to play continuing, active roles in the management and operation of IUPS during the periods between the quadrennial full meetings of the GA that take place at IUPS Congresses.
    b. To contribute to increased and wider participation in organizational direction and policy-making through a reasonable balance in its membership between representatives of both the larger and smaller participating societies in IUPS and between representatives from the different regions of the world.
    c. To have rights and responsibilities with respect to areas of IUPS activity as specified below:
    1. The right to appoint half of the members (50%) of the Nominating Committee that is responsible for nominating candidates for the five elective Constitutional officers and for members of Council. The other half of the membership of the Nominating Committee is selected by the Executive Committee and Council.
    2. The responsibility to make suggestions to the Nominating Committee for possible Officers and Council members.
    3. The responsibility to develop and present to each full meeting of the GA a written assessment of the current status of the field of physiology world-wide, emphasizing major challenges, opportunities, and problems.
    4. The right to communicate to the Executive Committee and Council relevant decisions and proposals of the member societies, and to provide news items for the IUPS website.
    5. The right to bring items to the Executive Committee and Council for consideration, possible adoption and implementation.
    6. The right to be the first point of call for reactions to proposals by IUPS and to communicate relevant items to their society councils.
    7. The right to be listed on the IUPS website, in addition to the relevant administrative information on the member societies.
    8. The responsibility to play a role in promoting the IUPS Congress and regional meetings within their own societies.
    9. The right to be the leading delegate(s) for their society to the General Assembly.
    10. The right to meet independently on a regular basis via teleconference.
  1. The first panel will be responsible for developing By-Laws for the organization and operation of the Board. Those By-Laws will be adopted by majority vote of all voting members of the GA following their presentation and discussion at the 2013 GA.
  2. All 15 Board members will be elected to four year terms in electronic elections administered by the IUPS Manager according to procedures specified by the Board By-Laws. Elections must be completed within six months after each meeting of the GA. Individual elected Board members may serve no longer than two consecutive 4-years terms.
  3. The BGA will elect a Chairperson from among its 15 voting members by simple majority email ballot within three months of a new BGA being appointed. The Chair organizes and participates in all Board meetings and discussions of issues but will normally not vote on any issues requiring votes unless there is an irresolvable tie vote among the voting members. The Vice-chair of the Board will be chosen by the 15 Board members from within the remaining voting members. Responsibility for this election process resides with the Chair. The Vice-chair will organize and preside over meetings in the event of disability or absence of the Chair.
  4. If a vacancy, for whatever reason, occurs in the position of Chair or Vice-Chair, the members will elect a replacement within two months.

Article VI


  1. All members of the Council shall be elected by the General Assembly from the list of candidates proposed by the nomination committee or, additionally, a group of delegates of the general assembly (as stated in article I.4 of the bylaws). They shall all be members of Adhering Body or Supporting Societies in good standing within the Union. The council shall consist of the 5 current officers of the Union, the chairpersons of all commissions and committees and four additional individuals preferably from under-represented geographic regions in order to achieve a balanced representation of the global scientific community. New Commissions and Committees or the closing of existing ones are decided / installed by the general assembly or, in urgent cases, by the ExCo in agreement with BGA. No more than two officers, nor more than two chairpersons of Commissions and Committees shall be from any one Adhering Body. Council members shall be elected as individuals and not as representative of their country or region. A Council member is not, therefore, entitled to name an alternate to represent him/her or vote for him/her in his/her absence. As the legal representative of the Union, the Council shall have, hold and administer all property, funds and affaires of the Union. With the exception of the Secretary General and Treasurer, as stated in Article VII-5, the Council members shall take office immediately after the General Assembly meeting at which they were elected. The term of office shall be four years. Ordinarily, except as put forth in the By-Laws, no Council member may serve more than two consecutive terms, unless he or she serves a third term as an elected officer.
  2. The Council may recommend appropriate action in matters reserved under V-6 for final decision by the General Assembly.
  3. There shall be regular meetings of the Council at such times as the International Congresses of Physiological Sciences shall meet. Additional meetings, to be called special meetings, may be convened at any time by the Executive Committee as defined in VII-1. A special meeting must be called on written demand of the majority of the Council members.
  4. The Council shall fill any vacancies occurring on the Council between meetings of the General Assembly, and the individual so appointed by the Council shall serve for the unexpired term of the individual whose position he/she is filling. The individual filling the vacancy may be elected to one additional term on Council.

Article VII

Executive Committee: Officers

  1. The officers of the Union constituting the entire Executive Committee shall be a President, a First Vice President, a Second Vice President, a Treasurer and a Secretary General. These officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the General Assembly.
  2. The duties of the officers shall be such as usually pertain to the offices they hold and, in addition, any other duties as may be assigned by the General Assembly or Council.
  3. The First Vice President (or the Second Vice President, in that order of priority) shall fulfill the duties of the President should he or she become unable to discharge them. Should both Vice Presidents be unable to function as President, the Council shall designate a Council member as replacement.
  4. The officers shall be elected for a term of four years. Ordinarily, except as put forth in the By-Laws, an officer shall not be eligible for more than two consecutive terms. An officer appointed to a fill a vacancy occurring between meetings of the General Assembly shall hold office of the unexpired term, which will count as one full term.
  5. Ordinarily, except as put forth in the By-Laws, consecutive service as a member of the Council, including service as an officer, shall not exceed altogether three terms. When either a Treasurer or Secretary General is elected by the General Assembly, his/her predecessor shall continue in office until 31 December next after the election, unless the General Assembly shall decide otherwise.

Article VIII

Commissions and Committees

Council shall recommend the establishment, dissolution or merger of Commissions and Committees, subject to the approval of the General Assembly. Commissions deal with specific aspects of physiological sciences, whereas Committees deal with other matters of interest. The duties of such Commissions and Committees shall be as set forth in the By-Laws.

Article IX


  1. Each Adhering Body shall pay annual dues to the Union at a rate determined quadrennially by the General Assembly upon recommendation by Council.
  2. Dues, if any, to be paid by Regional Members and Affiliated Societies shall be decided by the Council on an individual basis.
  3. In the event a member should resign or cancel its membership or be requested on the vote of the General Assembly to resign, such funds received from that member as are allocable to the current or former years shall be retained by the Union.
  4. The financial year of the Union shall be from 1 January to 31 December inclusive. All memberships shall be renewable and dues payable as of 1 January. All new members shall be liable for their dues for the ensuing year on the first day of January after their election.
  5. In the event of dissolution or termination of the Union, title to and possession of all the property of the Union shall pass forthwith to such organization dedicated to similar purposes and qualified for exemption under Section 501 (c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, or under such successor provision of the Code as may be in effect at the time of the Union’s dissolution or termination, as the General Assembly of the Union shall deem best qualified to carry on the functions of the Union.

Article X


A person, normally a member of the Council, shall be designated Archivist of the IUPS to whom the President, Secretary General and others will send copies of all pertinent IUPS material. All material is to be deposited chronologically and by subject in the IUPS Archives at the American Philosophical Library in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Article XI

The above Constitution shall become effective as of August 1, 2016.


Article I


  1. A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by Council and the Board of the General Assembly not less than one year in advance of a regular meeting of the General Assembly. The committee shall consist of six members. Three members, including the chairperson, shall be appointed by Council, and three shall be appointed by the Board of the General Assembly.
  2. Under extraordinary circumstances, such as to ensure the continuity of Council, a Council member may serve one additional term of office if approved by the Board of the General Assembly.
  3. At least three months in advance of a regular meeting of the General Assembly, the Nominating Committee shall announce a list of candidates, one for each position on Council (including officers), having ensured that each nominee is willing to serve.
  4. Additional candidates may be proposed not less than six weeks in advance of a regular meeting of the General Assembly. The Secretary General shall announce these names not less than four weeks in advance. A name shall be added to the list of nominees if approved by at least one-third of the Delegates present at the General Assembly.
  5. Elections may be by secret ballot. A candidate for any given office shall not take part in the election for that office.

Article II


  1. At least three months in advance of a meeting of the General Assembly, and at least one month in advance of meetings of the Board of the General Assembly and of Council, the Secretary General shall notify Adhering Bodies of the Union, or the individual members of the Council, of the date and place of such a meeting, and such notice shall further set forth a proposed agenda of the meeting.
  2. Delegates not appointed by their Adhering Bodies at least one month in advance of the meeting of the General Assembly must be approved by majority vote of the General Assembly before they are entitled to vote.
  3. On the recommendation of the Treasurer and approval by Council, the Delegates appointed by any Adhering Body which repeatedly does not pay dues shall lose the right to vote at the General Assembly.
  4. Unless specifically provided otherwise in the Statutes, half of the membership of the General Assembly, of the Council and of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum, and the decisions made by these bodies shall be by simple majority of the members present and entitled to vote. The Chairperson of the meeting shall have a vote and a further (casting) vote when there is a tie.

Article III

Number of Delegates

Annual dues will be based on a system considering the size of the member society (irrespective of whether or not they are represented by a national academy or similar) the economic situation of the country and a fixed dues amount per delegate. (Dues formula: number of delegates*gdp/capita-correction factor*fee per delegate) The number of delegates will be deduced from the size of the society based on the size categories, as set forth in the table below. The GDP per capita will be taken as a measure of the economic situation and will be also categorized to deduce a correction factor. The fee per delegate will then multiplied by the GDP correction factor which ranges from 0.25 for the countries in the lowest category up to 2.5 for countries in the highest category. Each member society is represented by at least one delegate. Member societies can voluntarily request, in consultation with the Treasurer, for up to 2 more delegates than would apply for their size category. The value of the delegate fee will be determined in accordance with Article IX-1 of the Constitution.

2. For the categorization of size and GDP the following rules apply:

CategorySizeNumber of delegates

GDP per capita

CategoryGDP / capitaMultiplication factor

Membership dues will automatically increase p.a. by 2% to account for inflation.

Article IV – Interim Opinions of the Assembly

An expression of opinion of the General Assembly, if desired at any time between meetings, may be obtained by requesting each Adhering Body to submit to the Secretary General by mail or electronic means, the number of votes on the question at issue equal to the number of Delegates to which it is legally entitled.

Article V – Observers at Council Meetings

The Council may invite the president of the following international congress to attend its meetings as an observer.

Article VI – Commissions and Committees

The Chairperson of each Commission, as well as the Chairperson of each Committee so designated by Council, shall be elected as described in Article I-1 of the By-Laws. The Chairperson shall select members of the commission with adequate international representation, subject to the approval of Council to serve as a rule for four years, renewable once. If a member becomes Chairperson, the total number of terms shall not as a rule exceed three. The commissions shall assist the Organizing Committee of a congress in the generating of the congress program and shall fulfill the aims and objectives of commissions as defined by Council.

The Union shall provide initial organization expenses and sustaining funding. The funds in possession of such commissions and committees shall be the property of the Union and shall be accounted for annually.

The International Union of Physiological Sciences has been legally incorporated in the District of Columbia, the United States of America.