International Development Fund

International Development Fund

The Society aims to assist microbiologists in countries with low-income or lower-middle-income economies (as defined by the World Bank) through the International Development Fund.

Key details
Maximum award: £5000
Deadlines: 1 April 2024 and 1 October 2024
Eligible membership categories: Full, Full Concessionary and Postgraduate Student Members
Minimum membership: One year membership and two consecutive membership subscription payments required

Enquiries about this scheme should be made by email to [email protected].

Please read all information on this page carefully and ensure you have read and agreed to the grant's terms and conditions before submitting an application. 


Current paid-up Full, Full Concessionary or Postgraduate Student members who have held membership for a minimum period of one year (two consecutive membership subscription payments) and who have not received a grant from this scheme in the previous calendar year.

What is covered by the grant

Awards will normally provide up to £5,000 to contribute to the expenses of the proposed activity.

A variety of activities may be considered for support, for example:

  • Support (travel and accommodation) for visits by members of the Society to laboratories in countries where microbiology is inadequately developed but where its further development may assist education or the economy of these countries. The purpose of the visits must be to give short lecture courses and laboratory training in subjects designed to meet the needs of these countries. Host institutions are expected to provide some evidence of local support for the courses.
  • Purchase of consumables or small pieces of equipment, which are essential for the needs of such training courses.
    • Support for national microbiological facilities, e.g. culture collections (which underpin microbiology), where these run into temporary difficulties.
    • Other small projects to assist in technology transfer from countries with upper-middle- and high-income economies to countries with lower-middle or low-income economies for which other sources of funding do not exist. This might include provision of small pieces of equipment to a nominated centre at which a member is working permanently or payment for temporary local technical assistance for a one-off purpose.

Application process

Applications should be made online via Mi Society. All required supplementary material should be provided at the point of application. Full expected costs of attendance should be given in the appropriate part of the application.

There are two rounds of application per year. Closing dates are 1 April 2024 and 1 October 2024.

Award criteria 

Awards are made by competition. Applications are reviewed by at least two referees and funding decisions are made by an Award Panel comprised of members of the Sustainability Committee, and are based on the reports of the referees.

Applications are reviewed under the following criteria:

  • The activity is relevant to microbiology
  • The activity is clearly described and technically feasible                                     
  • The activity is realistically achievable in the proposed time frame
  • There is clear benefit to the target audience or institution                                     
  • The activity will further the development of microbiology and/or microbiologists in the host country                                               
  • The activity/knowledge has sustainability beyond the completion of the activity or the end of funding                                               
  • The applicant has the required expertise to support the project through to successful completion                                               
  • Full and reasonable costings are given

We have provided an example application form to demonstrate the standard of answers and level of detail required for applications.

International Development Fund: Example application form


Administration of awards

Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome of their application within two months of the closing date. It is therefore expected that applications for the April and October rounds will be for activities taking place after 1 June and 1 December, respectively.

Applicants will be notified of an awarded grant via email. The grant award will also be displayed on the Mi Society account under ‘Grant History’.

To claim a grant, Applicants should log into Mi Society, and upload evidence of the claim (this can be receipts or invoices, and evidence of attendance) when completing the grant claim form.

Awarded funds will be paid to the applicant’s nominated account by bank transfer within one month of an award claim being made.