Society for Endocrinology - a world-leading authority on hormones

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Issue 146 Winter 2022

Endocrinologist > Winter 2022 > Society News


| Society News

This event was funded by a Society meeting support grant.

Physical activity (PA) is ‘any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure’. Our hormones play an important role in the response to and recovery from PA. For this reason, we decided to organise a focused scientific meeting with support from the Society for Endocrinology.


Despite the important interplay between PA and the endocrine system, our experience within a sport and exercise science department is that many researchers within our field would rarely deem themselves to be researching aspects of endocrinology. This is the case even though they analyse a wide range of hormones, cytokines and other chemical messengers regularly within their experiments. Likewise, endocrinologists would very rarely think of themselves as having overlapping links with PA and sport and exercise sciences research.

As members of the Society for a number of years, and being involved in the Early Career Steering Group, in governance reviews and in judging undergraduate members’ video competitions, we rarely crossed paths with fellow researchers in sport and exercise sciences. Nor is it apparent within the annual Society for Endocrinology BES conference that there is a clear section in which these overlapping themes could fit.

It was for these reasons that we wanted to create an event to highlight PA and endocrine research. The primary aim of applying for the Society’s Meeting Support Grant was to acquire support to stage such an event. We wanted the event to be inclusive and accessible to all and therefore decided to hold a free event with the support of the Society.


‘It was very satisfying to be able to make our events free and accessible to all.’

We took our first steps in 2021: we were awarded a Meeting Support Grant which allowed us to host a two-day virtual conference. With the help of the Bioscientifica events team, we planned and prepared for the conference over the course of six months. Pursuing this venture was a new experience for both of us, and we were extremely grateful for the support we received from both Bioscientifica and the Society, which helped to create a professional and interesting conference.

Over the course of the two-day programme, an average of 80 people tuned into our talks at any one point. We had 16 oral communications from early career researchers, giving each a chance to present within a friendly environment. After such a successful event, we even had an offer to make this a commercial venture, something we are still mulling over!


Building on our success in 2021, we were determined to host an in-person event. Another successful Meeting Support Grant application to the Society gave us the capital we needed to fulfil this aim.

The event was hosted in July 2022 at Nottingham Trent University (NTU)’s Clifton Campus and attracted over 100 registrants, with around 85 people attending on the day. It not only attracted experienced researchers to NTU, it also gave an opportunity for early career researchers from across the country to submit their work and present to an engaged and friendly audience. We hosted speakers from the USA, Canada and the UK.

Read abstracts of the prize-winning oral presentations from the meeting on the Society's blog


Our experience of organising and hosting Society-supported conferences at NTU over the past two years has been positive. Enlisting the expertise and support of the Bioscientifica events team for our virtual conference and our own in-house events team for our face-to-face conference at NTU resulted in the creation of professional, well organised events.

The challenges we faced for both events were budget and event management, and the balancing of these new tasks alongside our own daily workloads. This year, with a face-to-face event, we needed to provide a stimulating environment and a warm welcome to all our attendees at our NTU campus. The first and perhaps the most important task in creating this environment was the development of the scientific programme.

We designed a wide-ranging programme, focusing on the effect of PA on energy balance and cellular metabolism. We also developed an expert panel session, focusing on sex differences in PA and endocrine research. We committed to inviting world-leading researchers in these areas, with a mixture of early career and established researchers in their fields. We were delighted to succeed in attracting a group of national and international world-leading researchers for this year’s event.

With the scientific programme in place, the event itself needed detailed planning. The main challenge we faced was planning our budget without knowing the number of attendees. Fortunately, the experience of our virtual conference in 2021 enabled us to estimate attendee numbers well.


Overall, we have been able to run two successful conferences with the support of the Society. We have gained invaluable personal experience in the creation and management of these events and are proud to have provided opportunities to many early career researchers to present in a friendly and engaged environment. It was very satisfying to be able to make our events free and accessible to all.

We wish to continue with a face-to-face conference in 2023 which we hope will be supported by the Society, and we look forward to welcoming Society members to our event.

John Hough and Jessica Piasecki
Senior Lecturers in Exercise Physiology, Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement (SHAPE) Research Group, Nottingham Trent University

Learn more about the Society's support grants.

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