The European Peptide Society (EPS) was founded in 1989 to provide a legal framework for the activity of scientists in the field of peptides, who had up to then met informally at the European Peptide Symposia held biennially since 1958. In March 2012, a Scientific Society termed European Peptide Society (also known as EPS) was constituted (based in Prato, Via Francesco Ferrucci n.203 / C). According to the EPS Statutes, the European Peptide Society is a non-profit, non-political organization with the objective of promoting and advancing research and training in the peptide sciences in both European and other countries. As such, it represents its members and coordinates activities with other similar entities and/or institutional organisms worldwide.
The most important activity of the EPS is the organization of a biennial international symposium in Europe, regularly attracting about 800 – 1000 participants from all over the world. Symposium Proceedings have been published biennially since the foundational 1958 edition. While early symposia were necessarily devoted largely to the development of chemical methods for the synthesis of peptides, scientific programs have gradually expanded to cover a broad array of subjects including structure-activity relationships, structural studies, or peptide-based pharmaceuticals, vaccines and biomaterials.
The Society supports financially also smaller, national meetings, specialized workshops and sponsors the EPS Mobility Fellowships for PhD students. The governing body of the EPS is the General Assembly (Council Meeting), where each constituent European country (25 countries in 2019, including Israel) has one representative that elects the Executive Committee. Council elects from ordinary members of the Council or from co-opted members of the Council a Chairman, a Secretary and a Treasurer each for a period of four years. Council also appoints an Executive Committee consisting of the Chairman of the Council, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Scientific Affairs Officer and the Communication Officer. The Society has a membership of about 1600 (from some 30 countries, mostly European but also from the Americas and Asia-Pacific). Membership requires a proven track record in peptide-based research and is free of charge at present, thus ensuring that scientists from diverse European countries are able to enroll. Members have access to the Newsletter and the electronic versions of the Proceedings and have right to apply for the EPS Mobility Fellowships; those from European countries (with a required minimum membership) have also the right to nominate/elect a national representative of their respective country.
The Council introduced the following rules in 2002. For the acceptance of application for membership one full paper published in peer-reviewed journal or two publications in Proceedings of International meetings related to peptide science or one accepted patent are required. For the acceptance of application for temporary membership no written record in the field is needed, but the applicant must be supported in written by a member of the Society. Temporary membership will be automatically cancelled after 3 years or renewed upon written request. For consideration of travel grant application at EPS meetings or at EPS supported meetings there is no EPS membership required.
The only current income to the Society is from sponsorship contributions, a small per capita contribution from the registration fee of the biennial symposia, and advertising in, and with, the Society’s Newsletter and the EPS website. Of these sources, sponsorship is the most important, and indeed the continued viability of the Society as currently organised is completely dependent on the support of Sponsors. The Society’s outgoings at present comprise expenses of its annual Executive Committee Meeting (which are very modest), other administrative expenses (which are minimal), the subsidy of small scientific meetings and workshops in the field, the travel grants at EPS meetings and the EPS Mobility Fellowships. It does not contribute to the costs of the Journal of Peptide Science, although this is the Society’s official journal, published by John Wiley & Sons as a financially independent project. None of the Society’s Officers receive any benefit from their offices; the Society has no employees or administrative overheads apart from postage etc; its accounts are professionally audited and are available to any interested Sponsor or potential Sponsor.
Society members may subscribe to the Journal of Peptide Science at a greatly reduced rate. In addition, the Society circulates a Newsletterwhich contains brief reports of meetings and other news, book reviews, and lists, and a calendar of relevant symposia. The EPS sponsors three awards: the Josef Rudinger Memorial Lecture Award (established in 1984), the Leonidas Zervas Award (established in 1986), the Miklós Bodanszky Award (established in 2014), and funds to assist younger members to attend EPS symposia or to visit another laboratory in Europe to acquire new methodology or perform experiments that are not possible at the home institution. It has close and cordial relations with the other Peptide Societies. At present, the membership is free to academic and individual industrial applicants giving evidence (by listing published papers or patents) of their commitment to scientific research in this field.