September 2022 – September 2026

This strategy for The Scandinavian Physiological Society (sep2022-sep2026) is developed by the current Executive Committee, which is responsible for the practical coordination of SPS activities in the period from September 2022 to September 2026. The strategy is formulated in respect of the long history and traditions of The Scandinavian Physiological Society. The Society’s stated goal is to promote research, interest, and education in various fields of physiology and the related life sciences within the Nordic countries, with the vision to connect researchers in physiology and other life sciences. The purpose of the SPS Strategy Sep2022-2026 is to ensure that our goal and vision are implemented in a manner that is relevant and current for our scientific community.

The Scandinavian Physiological Society has a tradition of providing ample opportunities for our members to influence the activities of the society. Thanks to the previous SPS leadership, one of the main columns supporting society activities is the Special Interest Groups (SIGs), which ensures community engagement and relevance for the members. Therefore, the SPS Strategy Sep2022-2026 builds on the SIG structure with the ambition to further support and facilitate the work in this framework. The other main column is our Society Journal, Acta Physiologica, which provides our members with a natural goto journal of high quality for publication of their prominent scientific production and generate the revenue support society activities: thus, giving the profit back to the scientific community. Supported by these two resources, the SPS Strategy Sep2022-2026 strives to strengthen the SPS status and relevance for scientists engaged in physiology and life sciences under the headlines: Community, Collaboration, Communication and Society Governance.


Serving the scientific community is the core of SPS. The goal and vision for SPS hint to that our community should reach beyond classically trained physiologists and reach out to what is coined life science, which in many cases constitutes physiologically based research. SPS would like to provide the strongest network possible for our members, and therefore, outreach and a strong portfolio of membership benefits are necessary. The proudest difference a society can make for its members is to support their ongoing research and scientific career development.

Supporting science

SPS support the scientific community by publishing the high-quality topic journal Acta Physiologica, supporting bottom-up SIG initiative, arranging high-quality meetings and focused SIG seminars, providing travel grants for early career researchers for meetings arranged by SPS, Federation of European Physiological Societies (FEPS) or International Union of Physiological Sciences(IUPS). As a new initiative, SPS strive to promote our members’ scientific output.

Supporting career development

The SIGs are imperial in supporting career development by providing trusted positions at every career stage through their work. As part of the SPS Strategy Sep2022-2026, SPS will be more implicit in providing career-advancing elements in our activities. Therefore, with closer collaboration between the SPS board and the SIGs, it will be possible to focus on the career-advancing element and integrate them strategically into the SIG work for the diverse inclusion of our members.

  1. Early career SPS has a strong tradition of supporting early career scientists with a generous travel grant programme to secure participation at our annual meetings and other society-supported meetings. However, there is room to expand our portfolio of early career promotions. Therefore, the strategy includes the promotion of a SIG with a specific focus on career development, engaging early career researchers across the SIGS. This will align SPS with the other societies that we work together with for scientific meetings and hopefully provide a smoother platform for collaboration and a sense of the value of SPS in the community of early career physiologists.
  2. Prizes One of the ways a society can support its community and visibility is through a coherent celebration of scientific achievements. Therefore, the strategy for scientific prizes naturally integrates into our current structure of electing plenary and keynote lectures for our annual meeting combined with the tradition of granting poster presentation prizes also at our annual meeting. The strategy is rolled out in phases, where phase one includes the senior prizes, named after prominent Nordic physiologists and with prizes for the very early career scientists. The second phase will only be initiated after an evaluation of the first phase and will target newly established group leaders and midcareer scientists.


The Scandinavian Physiological Society best serves its members’ interests and our goal to promote research, interest, and education in various fields of physiology and the related life sciences within the Nordic countriesthrough collaboration with scientists worldwide. Therefore, SPS is an engaged member of IUPS and FEPS and readily collaborates with sister societies outside these organisations.

Scientific meetings

The conditions for in-person scientific meetings have changed considerably over the last few years. Particularly university politics on air travel creates the need for attractive meetings in ground-transportation travel distance. Therefore, the strategy for our annual meetings is to reduce the competition with fellow societies and collaborate on stronger combined annual meetings with a quality that allows comparison to transatlantic endeavours. In this, the SPS Strategy Sep2022-2026 follows the extensive work from previous SPS leadership in laying the ground for this type of meeting with the collaboration on the Europhysiology series. This work has ensured that our fellow societies collaborating on the Europhysiology series are familiar with and accepted the SPS way of SIG-pre-meetings. The overall idea with pre-meetings is to combine the strength of focused meetings with broad meetings for a future strong and reliable meeting culture within the society. The upcoming planned meeting is found here.

Society journals

The publishing scene is experiencing the most drastic changes seen in scientific publishing in a century. We are currently facing a situation where opportunists are financially exploring the positive wave for open access, making very uncertain time for society-owned journals. The society journal stands as a guarantee for high scientific quality and a rigorous peer review – a position thatseems to have resulted in a large drop and unfortunate in submissions to society journals at large. In the current publishing landscape, SPS view other sister society journals as our allies, not as competitors. Therefore, the strategy is to collaborate with other physiological societies that own and publish society journals on a common campaign to support society publishing to secure options for our members to publish in a portfolio of journals with a society quality stamp also in the future.

Teaching physiology

A common denominator for physiologists is that we teach, if not the most – but at least one of the very demanding topics in biologists’ and health professionals’ education. Therefore, teaching physiology is, to a high degree, something that unites society members, and is a pressing argument for broad annual meetings in physiology. Depending on the local tradition, physiologists may be employed in primarily teaching positions. SPS should be a relevant society for those of us that primarily devote our effort to university teaching. Therefore, we will have teaching symposia at all our annual meetings, but to lift the level of teaching support and resources available to our members, we need to collaborate with the sister societies.


SPS is to develop a communication strategy to support the activities within the Society, support our Society journal, and engage our community. The full communication strategy includes a steady and continuous presence on social media (X and LinkedIn) and a regular newsletter and shorter information with direct communication to the members. The social media engagement will extend to Acta Physiologica and will include a promotion of our members’ scientific products when published in the Society journal widely. As the core of the communication plan, SPS have had a facelift of the website, with a simplification of the content for easier overview. The news feed will here reflect the ongoing activities also in the SIGs, newsletters to the members and the social media appearance.

Science publication

SPS own and publish the journal Acta Physiologica. This is intended as the main channel to communicate our members scientific productions. The profile of the journal, with its strong scientific standing is of course appealing far beyond our membership forum. As mentioned, all Society journals are challenged by a new publishing scene. We have recently renewed our contract with Wiley for the period 1st of January 2024-31st of December 2026. Within the SPS Strategy Sep2022-2026, we will together with our Editor in chief, work for getting Acta Physiologica in shape to go open access when the contract ends in 2027.

Society Governance

The Scandinavian Physiological Society changes its chair per rotation between the participating countries every fourth year. This rotation is healthy for the organisation by ensuring representation and inclusion. Since the society with the rotation also changes office support, this principle puts a strain on governance. It is part of the SPS Strategy Sep2022-2026 to tighten the governance of the society for smoother transfer and continuation. The ExCo will create an annual cycle of work based on our first year in the chair (Sep. 2022-2023) that include all our main activities for easy transfer in Sep 2026 and improved membership support. For our new website function, we have had a membership system built in, allowing the members to update their membership information. This will make it easier to keep track of membership payments and membership status. Before the transfer of members to this system, we analysed our membership profile to make sure we only included active members in the new system. Similarly, we are working on the principles for governance regarding the running of Acta Physiologica. These are the initial steps, but we plan to expand our activities to provide better administrative support for the SIGs, making it easier to accept the responsibility of chairing a SIG.


The SPS economy has had a very positive development in the recent years. However, the result for 2022 is very disappointing. This mainly reflects the changes in the global economy and our engagement in Europhysiology2022. Although the impact of the market on our budget is very likely to improve, we are moving towards open access with Acta Physiologica, which will impact our and means that we need to prioritise our obligations. In the memorandum of agreement that we have and will sign, the meeting in the future is planned as cost neutral. This means that our expenses for the annual meeting will decrease, allowing us to continue with financing SIG initiatives and travel grants. The strategy for SPS Prizes will have the financial consequence that the prizes are given out through the Society allowing precise budgeting. Overall, the SPS Executive Committee strive for cost effective administration of SPS and our journal to allow for support of science and scientific networking.

With hope the SPS Strategy Sep2022-2026 will keep SPS an appealing, agile society for our current and new members – and that SPS will continue to be a relevant collaborator for sister societies around the world.