Why is the Society asking for funds?

The Society is seeking to raise funds to launch a new grant. The new grant will be called the ‘Unlocking Potential Grant’ and it will help members who may require support for a variety of reasons, in order to help them to progress and to 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 ways of diversifying our income to ensure we continue to provide 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 current pandemic has added to the pressure many members are 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 would enable.

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 is this being launched now?

The Society recognises the wide variety of issues many members face in their professional lives. Our existing grants programme already supports members in many ways. 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 will generate funds to underwrite the new Unlocking Potential Grant.

How will the grant support members?

The grant will be used to support members who may face barriers to career progression for a variety of reasons.

The grant will:

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

How will it work?

Applicants will be invited to outline the nature of the issue(s) that prevents them from reaching their full potential. An assessment will be made of the applicants’ 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 will be 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 the 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 timeframe?

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

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

Who can apply for the grant?

Initially, members in the UK and Ireland will be able to 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 key point in their career.

When can I apply for the grant?

We expect to open applications from January 2022, subject to the funds being raised.

  • Unlocking Potential Fund

    The Society has launched its first fundraising initiative for members who may require support for a variety of reasons, in order to help them to progress and to reach their full career potential.

  • Donate to the Unlocking Potential Fund

    The Microbiology Society is fundraising to open a new grant stream called the Unlocking Potential Grant. Our members have a unique depth and breadth of knowledge about microbiology. The Microbiology Society’s role is to help unlock and harness their potential.