The Institute of Physics is a charity registered in England and Wales and Scotland, established in its current form by Royal Charter on 17 September 1970.

Our Council is our Board of Trustees. It has ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the Institute, and ensuring that we are solvent, well-run, and deliver the charitable outcomes for which we were set up.

The role of Council is to:

  • ensure that the Institute complies with our governing documents, charity law, and other relevant legislation or regulations
  • ensure that the Institute pursues our object as set out in the Royal Charter
  • ensure that the Institute applies our resources exclusively in pursuance of its object
  • giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • ensuring proper and effective use of the Institute’s resources, and maintaining and enhancing our reputation and profile
  • ensuring effective representation of, and interaction with, the membership
  • overseeing the processes for election, progression and disciplining of members
  • overseeing the activities of the executive
  • safeguarding the good name and ethos of the Institute.

Council can delegate certain powers but will, and must always, retain the ultimate responsibility for running the Institute. Given the size of the Institute and its many activities, Council has delegated some powers to standing committees, to ensure that the necessary time and attention can be applied to particular areas of interest. These specific delegations are set out in the relevant committee terms of references.


The Institute is governed by Council which consists of at least 18 members elected from, and by, the membership, and up to three co-opted members who are appointed by Council itself.

The membership of Council, along with the terms of office of members, is set out in the Bylaws.


PositionTerm of office
The presidentTwo years, not eligible for re-election
The president-electTwo years, then takes office as President
At least three vice-presidentsFour years, not eligible for re-election for one year after retirement
The honorary secretaryFour years, eligible for re-election for second term
The honorary treasurerFour years, eligible for re-election for second term
Ten membersFour years, not eligible for re-election for one year after retirement
Up to three co-opted membersOne year, eligible to be renewed annually for up to three years


The chief executive, managing director of IOP Publishing and members of the executive board attend council meetings.

Council Membership (Trustees) 2018-2019

PresidentDame Julia Higgins20152019
President-electJonathan Flint20172021
Honorary SecretaryBrian Fulton20172021
Honorary TreasurerJulian Jones20112019
Vice-president, MembershipMark Telling20172021
Vice-president, EducationCarol Davenport20162020
Vice-president, BusinessJames McKenzie20162020
Vice-president, Science & InnovationSarah Thompson20152019
MemberNeil Thompson20152019
MemberDeborah Phelps20152019
MemberBecky Parker20162020
MemberWendy Flavell20172021
MemberJune McCombie20172021
MemberAnne Tropper20172021
MemberTamara Sheret20182022
MemberTariq Ali20182022
MemberDavid Boyce20182022
MemberPeter van der Burgt20192020
In attendance   
Chief Executive OfficerPaul Hardakern/an/a
Chief Finance OfficerMichael Brayn/an/a
Chief Operating OfficerRachel Youngmann/an/a
Director of policy and public affairsTony McBriden/an/a
Managing Director, IOP Publishing LtdSteven Halln/an/a
Governance and Compliance ManagerZena Khann/an/a

Council meeting minutes

Cookie Settings