How Academic Associations support postgraduate students

An Academic Association (previously called a learned society) can provide valuable resources for postgraduate students. Whichever discipline you are in, there will be one dedicated to your area of study, whether they be known as a learned academy, society, or academic association.

Membership is often free or heavily reduced for students, and they offer events and conferences on new research, career development and networking opportunities and some produce their own academic journals.

We asked The Physiological Society about their provision for postgraduates, and how to find out more about your academic society, including postgraduate scholarships they may provide.

The Physiological Society

The Physiological Society is committed to supporting the scientific advancement of physiology. It provides an international platform for research in physiology and supports the professional development of physiologists. The Society also engages with non-physiologists with the aim of promoting the discipline and developing a research environment where physiology can flourish.

The Physiological Society publishes three scientific journals: Journal of Physiology, Experimental Physiology and Physiological Reports. It also hosts international scientific meetings including, Future Physiology, and Europhysiology 2020 will be a celebration of international physiology and will be hosted in September, in collaboration with three other European societies.

The Physiological Society has over 4,000 members that share an interest in physiology. Membership is free for undergraduate and masters students, whilst those embarking on a PhD or post-doctoral position are asked to pay a reduced fee. Benefits include regular newsletter updates – highlighting opportunities to develop in your discipline, free access to journals, and reduced/free registration at our meetings. Further details are available on our website.

The Society recognises excellence in physiology by awarding grants and prizes. Prizes are awarded for academic excellence, and achievements in teaching and research. Members can also apply for grant funding to support their career, for example for travelling to meetings or conducting and presenting research at scientific meetings. Receiving a grant or prize provides an excellent way to make your CV stand out amongst others.

As well as supporting our current members, we are keen to strengthen the discipline by highlighting its relevance to the public. We run many public engagement activities throughout the year, all over the UK, to highlight the relevance of physiology – both as a subject and as a career.

For more information about joining The Society and the related opportunities, email

Find out more about Learned Societies in your academic area

There is a wide range of associations and learned societies serving academic disciplines. A quick search for Learned Society for your subject area should lead to one most relevant to you.

Becoming a member of the learned society that best represents your scientific interests, can provide excellent opportunities to access cutting edge research, network with others, learn new skills and enhance your own career opportunities.

Here are some links to just a few from the hundreds of learned societies that will have activities, prizes and networking opportunities:

  • The Royal Society of Chemistry
  • The Institute of Physics
  • Royal Society of Biology
  • Royal Geographical Society
  • Royal Historical Society Postgraduate Speakers Series

Find postgraduate funding from the Learned Societies in your academic area

Search our listing of Other Postgraduate funding to find Masters and PhD funding from learned societies, charities and other organisations.