Medical Physics Group

This is an IOP special interest group, which is a community of IOP members focused on a particular discipline, application or area of interest. Special interest groups allow members to connect and share knowledge and ideas. The IOP funds groups to deliver a range of activities including events, prizes and bursaries. All of our groups are driven by members.

About the group

As a special interest, member-driven group, we are interested in the medical applications of physics in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. We promote physical science and support scientists interested in medical physics who are working in:

  • industry
  • academia
  • healthcare

We keep physicists briefed on the latest developments in applied technologies. We campaign for training and support for our members in their careers, including at the early stages.

What the group does

We promote all areas of physics with potential for medical applications and foster the exchange of ideas and collaboration between academia, healthcare and industry to address a wide range of medical challenges.

We focus on the whole range of physics and engineering technologies applied to:

  • diagnostics
  • treatment
  • intervention
  • healthcare research
  • personalised medicine
  • computational modelling
  • big data in the healthcare industry
  • techniques for the development of pharmaceuticals

We are involved in training and promote early career development through:

  • mentoring
  • networking
  • membership
  • group committee
  • signposting of funding
  • promoting a skills hub to help facilitate suitable training opportunities at industrial, academic and clinical centres

Our engagement activities

We actively encourage:

  • relationships with interested professional and learned bodies
  • engagement with the industrial community by invitations to events and meetings

Would you like to join this group?

Group physics prizes and competitions 

Medical Physics Group PhD Prize 2019

The annual prize is for an outstanding thesis.

You can apply if you are:

  • a postgraduate researcher 
  • from an institution in the UK or Ireland
  • have a PhD viva between 1 August 2018 and 1 September 2019
  • a member of the Institute of Physics
  • not a paid employee of the IOP, a member of its Council, or a member of one of our group committees

The submission should include:

  • candidate’s list of publications
  • summary of the research of not more than 500 words
  • candidate’s abstract of a maximum of 300 words maximum 
  • supervisor’s reference of not more than 500 words on the candidate’s suitability for the award that includes confirmation of the date of PhD viva
  • if the thesis has been submitted for a similar prize offered by another Institute group. We liaise with other groups so that more than one group prize is not awarded to the same applicant

Submissions are judged by an expert panel that looks for:

  • conceptual originality 
  • quality and clarity of presentation
  • originality of research methodology and analysis
  • originality and the work’s potential for a paradigm shifting nature
  • potential for implementation in a professional healthcare setting
  • application potential of the results or products of the PhD research
  • how the work addresses a specific clinical need or global healthcare challenge

Submission deadline: 1 September 2020

Informal enquiries and applicant submissions can be emailed to University Liaison committee members Professor George Corner and Professor Louis Lemieux at

Winner 2019

Dr Elena Boto, University of Nottingham
Wearable magnetoencephalography

This ground-breaking work, applying optically pumped room temperature magnetometers, has enabled, flexible, adaptable wearable systems with immediate clinical application, making a true paradigm shift in this field.

This work has produced 12 major, highly cited papers in international peer-reviewed journals including one accepted for Nature. According to committee member Louis Lemieux: “Because of its much superior sensitivity, and capability to record brain activity from the neocortex and much deeper structures than currently possible non-invasively, this technology could replace scalp EEG in many applications".

Physics resources 

Our officers recommend applicants for the IOP Research Student Conference Fund and IOP Early Career Researcher Fund to support them to attend medical physics conferences. 

Early Career Researchers Fund

For researchers at the start of their careers to attend international meetings and facilities.

Find out more about the fund.

Research Student Conference Fund

Financial support for PhD research students to attend international and major national meetings.

Find out more about the fund.


2018 (PDF, 768KB)
Winter 2015 (PDF, 4.05MB)
Winter 2014 (PDF, 1.97MB)
Summer 2013 (PDF, 5MB)
Summer 2012 (PDF, 4 MB)
Summer 2011 (PDF, 3.7MB)
Winter 2010 (PDF, 2.49MB)

Read the American Institute of Physics' Special Topic Physics of Cancer 
Read the International Atomic Energy Agency's Human Health Series 

Useful links 

Download presentations from the meeting on Up-and-Coming Techniques in Medical Physics Translated into Clinical Practices (IOP December 2015 )

Download presentations from the meeting on Up-and-Coming Techniques in Medical Physics Translated into Clinical Practices (IOP December 2014)

The Lancet: Physics and Medicine, April 2012 

The articles in The Lancet are given context by former Institute President Peter Knight’s paper here, published in The Lancet on 21 April 2012 (Volume 379 Issue 9825 Pages 1463-1464 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60603-5) 

Committee and contacts

We report annually on our activities to the IOP Groups’ Committee and review our terms of reference. 

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