Project Details IUPAC Organizational Structure Review

Project No.:
Start Date:
17 February 2020
End Date:
30 December 2021
Division Name:


The IUPAC Organizational Structure Review Group is tasked by the Executive Committee and Council to undertake a complete review of the organizational structure of IUPAC, with respect to its ability to achieve its scientific objectives, reduce costs and improve efficiency. To continue to be relevant in the 21st century, IUPAC must focus on its unique international roles and work effectively with stakeholders who can contribute complementary skills.


The concept of a thorough review of IUPAC’s structure and functions arose during the IUPAC Centenary as a result of factors that have emerged in the last several years, including financial concerns, administrative pressures on the members of the Secretariat, the rapidly changing field of chemistry and of science in general, developments in the area of scientific publications, and perceived needs of the National Adhering Organizations. It was noted that the occasion of the Centenary was an ideal time for a review of the organization with respect to its future roles and value.

As a starting point, and following on the 2016 IUPAC Strategic Plan, with the support of the Finance Committee, a task group in IUPAC in 2019 submitted a report on Options (Options-report.pdf) which included a set of short-term and medium- to longer-term actions that the Union could implement to improve its financial health. This Review Group will take the task group’s recommendations into account while examining more broadly the roles of IUPAC in the coming century with respect to the field of chemistry, the scientific enterprise, and the Union’s organizational, management and administrative structures. The Review Group may propose changes and modifications of IUPAC’s processes and structure for consideration by IUPAC leadership and its member National Adhering Organizations. These changes and modifications would be intended to strengthen IUPAC to maximize its fitness for purpose in the coming decades.


See project announcement/call for input published in Chem Int April 2020,

July 2020 update – IUPAC is seeking advice from its stakeholders to imagine whether, and how, the Union should evolve in order to fulfill its vision and mission. A survey has been developed to seek your thoughts on the current structure of IUPAC and how the Union might be organized in the future. We hope you will take a bit of time to complete the survey at:
The survey will be open until 31 July 2020. We look forward to your participation.


April 2021 update – The task group prepared an update for publication in CI: Ferrins, Lori, Chao, Ito and Cesa, Mark. “Stakeholders’ Thoughts on the Future of IUPAC” Chemistry International, vol. 43, no. 2, 2021, pp. 36-39. (see issue content for an alternative view)


August 2021 update – The task group continued working with Bureau and the EC and several “Engagement Meetings” are being coordinated during the General Assembly, for discussion with NAOs.
The purpose of the engagement sessions is:
– to discuss and answer the questions posed on p.3 of the WG briefing discussion document
– to address the important points made in the cover letter from the Executive Committee. These are: the future strategic role of the officers, the relationship between the Executive Board and the Science Board, the make-up of the Science Board and are there any better ways to retain inclusivity whilst ensuring speed of decision-making and lower costs

The three sessions, of ~2 hours each will have start times as follows, in chronological order, specifying the time in the time zone of the moderators:

Session 1: Monday 9th August 11.00 EDT (UTC-4)
Moderators Chris Ober (Zoom Organizer), Mark Cesa
(reasonable hours for the Americas, Europe, Africa though to western Asia and India/Bangladesh)

Session 2: Wednesday 11th August 08.00 (China) (UTC+8)
Moderators Mei-Hung Chiu (Zoom Organizer), Zhigang Shuai
(reasonable hours for Eastern Asia, Australasia and the Americas (previous day 10 Aug.))

Session 3: Wednesday 11th August 13.00 CET (UTC+2)
Moderators, Javier Garcia (Zoom Organizer), Michael Droescher
(reasonable hours for Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia)

The engagement sessions will be open to all NAO delegates, bureau members and review group members. The following hand-out has been prepared  (7-page PDF).


Dec 2021 update – In the General Assembly in August 2021 and soon after the engagement sessions, Council approved the Bureau recommendation on the nature of the proposed structural changes, the main one being to replace the Executive Committee and Bureau with an Executive Board and a Science Board. Bureau was asked to identify the changes in the Statutes, Bylaws and Standing Orders that would be required to enact such changes, and to bring them to Council for consideration. This enabled the drafting of revised Statutes, Bylaws and Standing Orders. The proposed revised Statutes, Bylaws and Standing Orders were approved unanimously on 6 November 2021 by the Executive Committee and further approved on 29 November 2021 by 25 out of the 29 voting members of Bureau. A special Council meeting is necessary to ensure that the proposed changes, if approved, can be implemented in January 2024; this is scheduled 4 June 2022; see event for details.

Project completed

Apr 2022 – The work of this task group is summarized in an article published in Chem Int Apr 2022 (p.34), together with the group’s major recommendations.

Page last updated 8 Apr 2022