Constitution of the British Society for Cell Biology

Amended 2002, 2014, 2017.


The Society shall be called the British Society for Cell Biology.

The objects of the Society shall be to promote the advance of research in relation to all branches of cell biology and to encourage the interchange of information.

The Accounts of the Society shall be examined annually with the appropriate external scrutiny of the accounts required by current legislation, and a report made by the Treasurer to the AGM.


The Officers of the Society shall be a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Meetings Convener, a Membership Secretary, a Newsletter Editor, a Website Co-ordinator and a Travel Grants Secretary. The Officers are the Trustees of the Society.

There shall be an Executive Committee of the Society consisting of the Officers and of twelve other elected members.

The Executive Committee shall prepare the Agenda for meetings of the Society, and between meetings shall act as necessary on behalf of the Society; it shall report on any such actions as indicated, to the next meeting of the Society.

The Executive Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.

The Officers of the Society shall be elected by the Executive Committee.

The President shall be nominated by the Executive Committee.

Nominations for the Executive Committee may be made by the committee or by any two ordinary members and shall be sent together with the written consent of the nominee, to the Secretary so as to reach him/her at least two months before the Annual General Meeting.

Any member unable to attend the AGM may obtain a list of the nominees from the Secretary and may cast a postal vote which must reach the Secretary before the AGM. If other nominations are not received for the filling of vacancies, the committee’s nominees shall be deemed elected.

The Members of the Executive Committee shall be elected for 3 years, in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal for a further three years. A member of the Committee who fails to contribute to the business of the Society may, at the President’s discretion, be asked to step down.

President, Secretary, Treasurer, Meetings Convener, Membership Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Website Co-ordinator and Travel Grants Secretary may be re-elected by the Executive Committee, subject to approval at the next AGM, for a second term of office of another three years. They shall then not be eligible for re-election to the same office for one year, but they shall be eligible for any other office in the Society.

Each year the two ordinary members of the committee senior in order of election and having completed their term shall retire from office and shall not be eligible for re-election for one year.

Any vacancy occurring in the Committee other than by annual retirement shall be filled by another member of the Society, to be elected by the Committee. The date of termination of this office shall then be that of the replaced Committee Member.


The Society shall consist of Members engaged in or directing work of the nature indicated in Article 2 (or undertaking shortly to become so active) and of Honorary members.

A candidate for ordinary membership of the Society may be proposed by two or more members, to whom he or she is known personally; alternatively, direct applications accompanied by a Curriculum Vitae may be considered by the committee. The names and qualifications of these candidates must be sent to the Secretary on the form provided for the purpose, and the applications approved by the Executive Committee. A list of the approved candidates will be circulated or read out to the membership at the Annual General Meeting (or at an ordinary meeting of the Society).

The Executive Committee shall have the power to terminate a membership if such termination appears to them to be in the interest of the Society.


Honorary Members of the Society shall not number more than ten.

Nominations for Honorary Membership shall be put forward by the Executive Committee and shall be circulated to Members with the Agenda for the Annual General Meeting. Members who cannot attend the meeting shall be entitled to vote by post if they wish, by writing to the Secretary before the AGM. To qualify for election, a nominee must be supported by nine-tenths of the Members who take part in the voting.


Members shall pay to the Society’s account, an annual subscription, payable in advance, due on the 1st March, the amount of such subscription being determined at the Annual General Meeting of the Society and continuing in force until changed at a subsequent one. The Committee shall have the power to terminate membership if a member fails to pay his subscription after due notice has been given. Student members shall be made welcome at a reduced subscription.

For Membership of the Society to become effective a Banker’s Order for the payment of subscription shall be received by the Treasurer within three months of the date of election, but the Committee shall have the power to relax this requirement in the case of members resident abroad, or in other exceptional cases.

The funds and estates of the Society shall be derived from the annual subscriptions of members, donations, grants and other endowments accepted by the Executive Committee on behalf of the Society. They shall be administered by the Treasurer, acting on instructions given to the Executive Committee by the Society at its Annual General Meeting, for the furtherance of the objects of the Society.


The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held at a place and time decided by the Committee. The Secretary shall circulate the Agenda to all members at least two weeks before the meeting.

Scientific meetings and special symposia relating to the objective of the Society shall be arranged by the Executive Committee. Under normal circumstances these would include one main annual congress during which the Annual General Meeting of the membership would occur. At each Annual General Meeting the Executive Committee shall submit proposals, so far as is reasonably practicable, for the dates of other scientific meetings to be held during the ensuing twelve months. Unauthorized reports of proceedings shall notbe disclosed to the press.


Alterations of any Rule of the Society shall be made only at a General Meeting of the Society provided that notice of such alteration has been given on the Agenda of the meetings and two thirds or more of those voting on the alteration signify their assent. Members unable to attend the meeting shall be able to vote by post by writing to the Secretary before the AGM. Notice in writing of any proposed alteration duly seconded, shall be given to the Secretary at least two months before the meeting.