International Volunteering Day – thank you to our volunteers

05 December 2018

Each year people from the microbiology community volunteer their time to support the Microbiology Society and the field of microbiology. Without their support and dedication, it wouldn’t be possible to unlock and harness our members’ knowledge and bring together and empower communities that shape the future of microbiology. This International Volunteering Day we’d like to say thank you to everyone who has volunteered and contributed to another great year for the Society and the microbiology community.


The Society is governed by volunteers who form the Society's governing board, the Council. These volunteers support the direction and remit of the organisation to enable it to function. We now have new group of volunteers who will take up positions on the Council, Committees and Divisions from 2019.


Our members also support many aspects of the Society’s work. They have assisted with media enquiries, blogged about events they have attended or organised, contributed to our podcast Microbe Talk, contributed to our videos flagging key research and activities, and reviewed books and submitted articles to our member magazine, Microbiology Today.

Empowering members to represent the Society on external committees is also central to what we do. This provides opportunities for volunteers to attend meetings and events they may not otherwise be involved in, such as parliamentary events. We also work with volunteers who are not members, who dedicate their time as journal editors and reviewers, and volunteers who form organising committees ensuring we host successful events throughout the year.

What our volunteers say

“One of my favourite roles with the Microbiology Society was as Editor of Microbiology Today. I learnt a huge amount about areas of microbiology that I knew very little about and met and interacted with a wide network of talented scientists and researchers with interesting stories to tell. As scientists and researchers, we are driven by a natural curiosity and the Microbiology Society provides a platform to share this curiosity with others. I genuinely believe that getting involved with the Microbiology Society and the opportunities it gave me, allowed me to enhance my academic portfolio, grow my professional networks, and develop the self-confidence I needed to successfully apply for my Professorship.”

Member Laura Bowater is the Academic Director for Innovation at the University of East Anglia and an active volunteer for the society.

“Volunteering as Editor for Microbiology has helped me hone my own paper-writing skills. It has provided me the opportunity to read about some fantastic advances in the field, both in and outside of my specialism, and has considerably improved my network. I’ve also benefitted from discounted attendance at the Annual Conference and I’m looking forward to presenting my own research in Belfast next year.” 

Non-member Dr Louise Horsfall is a Senior Lecturer and EPSRC Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Louise currently volunteers as an Editor for our flagship journal Microbiology.

“Being a member of a larger network is incredibly beneficial, particularly as an Early Career Researcher as it offers you a way to meet hundreds of other like-minded people with whom you can share ideas and start collaborations. An excellent new feature of the Microbiology Society website is the Members’ directory on Mi Society which allows you to find people with similar research interests quickly and easily, allowing you to strike up a conversation before trying to find them in the crowds of people at the annual conference.”

Lee Sherry is a member and Society Champion, and a post-doctoral research associate in the Stonehouse Group at the University of Leeds.

Visit Mi Society to find out more about current opportunities available to members of the Society. If you are not a member and would like to know more about how you can get more involved, please contact Erin Taylor, Member Engagement Manager.