Career development


When thinking about the next steps in establishing your career in microbiology, remember to consider development opportunities that will help you to advance your career. Opportunities for development in your career can be clear-cut: for example obtaining funding, attending further training courses or gaining further qualifications. They can also be less obvious activities, outside of your day-to-day job, that can help you to gain experience as you develop your career. Many of those opportunities can be easily accessed through your Society membership, and we can also provide support for you so that you can confidently undertake career development activities.



Travel and research

Whatever your career stage, we can support your career development via our grants.

Travel Grant

You can apply for half of the costs associated with presenting at your chosen meeting. You can also apply for funding to attend a short course or training event.

Research Visit Grant

If you are planning a research visit of between one and three months, you can apply for funds to help support your visit. If you’re an eligible member in the UK or Republic of Ireland, you could get funding to visit any other laboratory worldwide. If you’re an eligible member outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland, you could get funding to visit a lab in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

Education and Outreach

We are committed to advancing the understanding of microbiology, so if you are planning an outreach activity apply for grants to support teaching or educational initiatives. These are great ways to improve your organisation, communication and time management skills, and to widen your personal network.

Microbiology in Society Award

To support education, outreach or public engagement work, the Society awards up to £5,000 to members. The Microbiology in Society Award could support you if you’re interested in sharing your science with a wider audience of non-scientists.


Support is available through our professional development training and schemes to enhance your professional skills.

Essential Skills sessions

During the Annual Conference, the Society hosts a series of Essential Skills sessions for all registered delegates wishing to enhance their professional skills in microbiology. Previous sessions have included Managing a research laboratory and How to secure a Fellowship and selected presentations can be found in the Members area.

Teaching in higher education symposium

The 'Teaching microbiology in higher education symposium' takes place during the Annual Conference. The symposium offers those involved or interested in teaching in higher education current information and practices and the opportunity to learn from other. Previous sessions have included 'Novel techniques in the lecture theatre' and 'The use of digital platforms in teaching', and selected presentations can be found in the Members area.

How-to guides

Members can access our how-to guides which offer useful tips on key career skills for microbiology researchers through the members area. Guides include ‘How to write a great manuscript’, ‘How to review a scientific manuscript’ and ‘How to give a poster presentation’.

Shadowing Scheme

Thought about running for a position at the Society but not sure what it involves? We offer the opportunity to apply to shadow Council or Committees to any member who would like to find out more about how our governing bodies work. If you are considering applying for a position, the Shadowing Scheme can provide valuable insight and the opportunity to widen your personal network.

Find out more about shadowing Council and Committees and the application process below.


There are many positions within the Society that members can apply for to develop their own profile and leadership skills as well as help shape the work of the organisation.


The Society is governed by a Council which consists of Chairs of Committees and several elected members. As the highest level of leadership, positions on Council offer the opportunity to demonstrates leadership in the scientific community and contribute to the direction of the Society’s work.


Committees feed into Council on specific areas of the Society’s work. Members of committees have the opportunity to demonstrate strategy and leadership skills and get directly involved in our activities.


The scientific programme for the Society’s conferences and events is determined by Divisions. Division members have the opportunity to demonstrate interest in the organisation of the scientific community.

Journal Editor

The Society publishes a wide portfolio of journals related to microbiology and the content is overseen by Editors-in-Chief and Editors for different aspects of each journal. This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate standing in the field and contributions to the scientific community.

Peer review

Journal reviewer

The Society’s journal articles are peer reviewed and reviewers are always required to ensure the rigor of the process. Being a reviewer offers the opportunity to further develop critical thinking skills and contribute to the publishing process.

To find out more about becoming a reviewer, please contact our Publishing Team.

Grant reviewer

Reviewers are required to peer review research grant applications to maintain funding of high-quality applications. This is an excellent opportunity to further develop critical thinking skills, improve your own grant applications and contribute to the professional development of early career researchers.

Members can find out more about becoming a grant reviewer by contacting the Grants Office.

Engaging, influence and impact

Focused Meeting proposals

Members determine the Focused Meeting programme by submitting suggestions which are then considered by the Scientific Conferences Committee. Organising a Focused Meeting presents a great opportunity to network with like-minded researchers where the meeting logistics are supported by a professional conference team.

Find out more about organising and submitting a proposal for a Focused Meeting.

Annual Conference session proposal

The Society’s Annual Conference is shaped by member input and session suggestions are invited from any field of microbiology. This offers a good opportunity to network and play a large role in the success of a large international meeting as well as bringing together different groups of microbiologists at one of the biggest microbiology meetings in Europe.

More information on how to submit your session ideas, as well as the suggestion form, can be found on the Annual Conference sessions page of the website.

Society-Supported Conference Grants

Members wishing to organise a conference can apply for funds of up to £2,000. Members are given the opportunity to have sponsorship for a meeting already being organised with colleagues.

For upcoming deadlines and how to apply, please visit the Society-Supported Conference Grant page.

Writing for Microbiology Today and Microbe Post

The Society publishes a blog and a members’ magazine. The magazine is circulated to 5000 members and we receive on average 4,500 blog views per month. These are great platforms to use to communicate your research and interests, and to build your public profile.


The Society’s Champions scheme gives members the opportunity to receive training and a dedicated budget to communicate microbiology to different audiences and spread awareness of the Microbiology Society. Since 2014, Champions have been involved in many activities, including local pub quizzes, large scale public engagement activities and scientific symposia.

Find out more about the Champion scheme and how to become a Champion below.

Support for carers

The Society believes in creating a welcoming community for all those interested in microbes, and members can apply and sign up for support to enable them to attend a Focused Meeting or the Society’s Annual Conference.

Caring costs

Members can apply for funding to support their caring costs associated with attending the Annual Conference. Applications can be made through the Society Conference Grant or by contacting the Grants Office. Support for caring costs has been provided for childcare costs at home or at meeting locations, and has also been provided for bring carers to the conference. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, please speak to the Grants Office.

Crèche at Annual Conference

All registered delegates can make use of a fully accredited free creche service provided by the Society at the Annual Conference.

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