Issue: Soil

07 May 2015 article

Second call for Prize Lecture nominations

The Society is reopening its call for nominations to our 2016 Prize Lectures and the 2017 Prize Medal. If you missed the opportunity to submit in the first wave, this is your chance to acknowledge the contribution of someone you know to microbiology. For all Prize Lecture criteria, process information and nomination forms please visit our website.

Nominations will close 3 August 2015. Members are reminded to consider the widest talent pool available when selecting candidates for nomination.

Microbiology policy challenges – members share their views

January saw the members of the Microbiology Society and Society for Applied Microbiology discuss the grand policy challenges most relevant to microbiology at a workshop in London. Following on from workshops held last year in Nottingham and Glasgow, members from a diverse range of backgrounds picked their top policy priorities and identified ways learned societies could help microbiologists make a difference. We will be combining the views from the workshop with 140 responses we received from our online survey to identify priorities for our policy work going forward. Thank you to all members that took part. Further information will be provided in the August issue of Microbiology Today including the results from the member survey.

Young microbiologists quiz politicians

Six of the Society’s younger members got the chance to put their science policy questions to parliamentarians and policy-makers in March at Voice of the Future 2015. The event, which followed the format of a committee hearing in the House of Parliament, saw young scientists and engineers quiz witnesses including Sir Mark Walport, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, and Greg Clark, Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities. Leah Fitzsimmons, Lorena Fernández-Martínez, Elaine Cloutman-Green, Ruth Nottingham, Kevin Maringer and Sarah Duxbury attended on behalf of the Society. Kevin asked Sir Mark about how vaccination uptake can be improved in the UK, while Ruth questioned Mr Clarke about what Conservative science policies set them apart from the other parties.

Politicians and researchers discuss genetically modified insects

Earlier this month the Society co-sponsored an event at the House of Lords, which brought politicians and researchers together to discuss the promise and pitfalls of using genetically modified insects to control infectious diseases. The event was organised by Society member Dr Anusha Panjwani, a postdoctoral researcher at The Pirbright Institute, who wrote a policy briefing on this issue during a recent fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. The event was co-sponsored through one of the Society’s Education and Outreach Grants. For further information on the Society’s grants programme visit our Grants page.

Federation of Infection Societies (FIS) 2015: Glasgow 21–23 November


FIS 2015 promises to be a vibrant meeting to address the issues of tackling infection beyond 2015 so that although the ‘post-antimicrobial era’ may remain a concern, it does not become a reality. International speakers who are leaders in their field will be discussing issues that will help tackle infection. All aspects of infection will be covered, from point of care diagnostics through to innovative treatment options. There will be 40+ interactive sessions and excellent networking opportunities. Up to 40% reduction will be available on 2014 registration prices. Go to to register.

Small World Initiative PhD studentship

We are delighted to announce that a team from the University of East Anglia (UEA) have been chosen to host the Society’s match-funded PhD studentship as part of the Small World Initiative. Dr Laura Bowater, Professor Elena Nardi and Dr Gary Rowley will draw on their expertise in searching for new antibiotics in soil, public engagement in science and educational theory in this multi-disciplinary project. Applications for the match-funded studentship were extremely strong and Council would like to thank all those that took part as they recognised the enormous amount of work that had gone into preparing the proposals. The Education and Outreach team is very much looking forward to working with the UEA on this exciting project.

2015 Focused Meetings

Two more international Focused Meetings are taking place in September; the first will focus on invasive fungal species and is held jointly with the British Mycological Society, the second is on arboviruses and their associated vectors. These events offer a defined programme on a specific microbiology topic to engage key researchers in the field. More details are available here.

Irish Division Meeting 2015: Microbial Interfaces

To coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Microbiology at the National University of Ireland, Galway, the Irish Division has organised a meeting on ‘Microbial Interfaces’ which will take place on 17–19 June. For further information visit the event's page.

Equality & Diversity in the Society

Equality and Diversity will now be embedded across the Society’s Council and Committees following a recommendation from the Society’s Equality and Diversity Working Group, chaired by Professor Hillary Lapin-Scott. A member of each Committee and Council will be the Equality and Diversity Champion and the Champions will meet once a year to review Equality and Diversity across the Society. The Microbiology Society Council would like to thank all of the members of the Equality and Diversity Working Group for their work and input over the last 18 months.

Grant deadlines




1 June 2015

Travel Grants

For conferences and courses from 1 July onwards

10 August 2015

Society Conference Grants

For support to attend the 2015 Focused Meetings*

10 August 2015

Inclusion Grant

10 August 2015

Undergraduate Student Conference Grant


Local Microbiology Event Sponsorship

All members can apply for funds to support microbiology-related events, e.g. sponsored talks.

*Please note, you do not need to have received confirmation of abstract acceptance to apply for these grants as conditional offers will be made. In this case, evidence of acceptance is required to claim your grant.

Contributions and feedback

The Society welcomes contributions and feedback from members. Please contact [email protected] with ideas.


Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Strategy and Communications
[email protected]

Image: At the Voice of the Future 2015 event. Society of Biology..