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Why is the Society asking for funds?

The Society is seeking to raise funds for the Unlocking Potential Grant which helps members who require support for a variety of reasons, in order to help them progress and reach their full career potential.  

Doesn’t the Society have enough funds to pay for this without asking its members to donate?

Most of the Society’s income comes from its publishing operations, with smaller additional contributions from member subscriptions and event fees. However, given the changing publishing landscape, this may not always be the case in the future. We need to look at diversifying our income to ensure we continue providing the level of service and support our members need in a constantly changing research environment.   

Why should I donate?

Many microbiologists are under increasing pressure within their place of work or study. The recent pandemic added to the pressure many members were already experiencing. We would like to give those in our community who are in a position to help, the opportunity to support those who would benefit from the interventions this grant enables.

Advances in microbiology very often rely on groups of scientists working collaboratively, and the impact an individual can make in this process can be significant. We want to help our members deal with a situation that threatens to hold them back from achieving what they could.

Why was this launched?

The Society recognises the wide variety of issues many members face in their professional lives. We have always had an existing grants programme that supports members in many ways. However, over the years we have had feedback from our members that there is more we could do to provide further professional support and care, to ensure members are best placed to realise their full potential.

How will you use my donation?

The fundraising appeal generates funds to underwrite the Unlocking Potential Grant.

How will the grant support members?

The grant supports members who may face career progression barriers for various reasons.

The Unlocking Potential Grant:

  • helps those facing issues of confidence
  • provides mentoring/partnering support
  • gives access to career support
  • supports those with leadership potential to achieve their goals
  • supports those facing workplace issues associated with discrimination, access, bullying, or other related issues
  • supports with other issues that require bespoke help

How does it work?

Applicants are invited to outline the nature of the issue(s) that prevents them from reaching their full potential. An assessment will be made of the applicant's suitability for grant funding and an interview may be part of the process.

If successful, the applicant will be offered financial assistance to select professional support from a range of approved service providers. The support may come from professional coaches, career experts, leadership development experts or from organisations that can provide complementary services, for example, mentoring and partnership development support.

The Society’s role in this process is to guide the applicant, connect the applicant to approved providers and monitor and evaluate the success of the interventions. The precise nature of the issue(s) will remain confidential between the grant recipient and the professional service provider.

Why is the Society providing this service? Can’t members access this support elsewhere?

While some institutions may offer similar services, the individual and personalised nature of this offering makes it unique. We are committed to offering a high-quality and individually tailored approach to ensure each grant recipient gets the best possible level of support. This isn’t always possible at their place of work, for example, where access may be limited.

What is the application process and timeframes?

The dates below are indicative at this stage and dependent on the funds being successfully raised:

Applications accepted: from January 2022
Assessments under-taken: October–November 2022
Grants awarded: from January 2023

Who can apply for the grant?

Initially, members in the UK and Ireland can apply for the grant. We recognise a need for support in career development across all levels. From feedback, funds may be requested by early and mid-career members who may require an extra level of support to help them deal with a situation that may hold them back at a critical point in their career.

When can I apply for the grant?

The grant is currently closed for applications. Find out more and apply on the Unlocking Potential Grant page.

  • Donate to the Unlocking Potential Fund

    The Microbiology Society is fundraising for the Unlocking Potential Grant. Our members have a unique depth and breadth of knowledge about microbiology and our role is to help unlock and harness their potential.