Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM)

Who we are?

The Society for Applied Microbiology is the oldest microbiology society in the UK, serving microbiologists around the world, and in partnership with Wiley, publishes five internationally acclaimed journals.

Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM)

As the voice of applied microbiology, SfAM’s core vision is to drive improvements in the applications of microbiology so they contribute to addressing the significant challenges facing humanity. Our values include equality, diversity, and inclusivity, collaboration to amplify impact, scientific integrity, evidence-based decision-making, and political neutrality.

Our members are at the heart of our Society, working and studying in organizations across the world. We draw on their unique knowledge and expertise to help shape future activities and develop evidence-based policy in our priority areas of microbiology, both in the UK and across the globe.

SfAM values integrity, honesty, and respect, and seeks to promote excellence and professionalism and to inspire the next generation of microbiologists.

The Society is managed in a participatory way by the members through an Executive Committee which is supported by a team of administration staff.

Reasons to join SfAM

As a member, you join a prestigious and diverse community that has a powerful voice in raising the profile of applied microbiology. Together we can ensure the applications of microbiology have an impact on the global challenges and issues that are important to us all. You can get actively involved with the Society, helping us to shape the field, and to support innovation in microbiology and its application in the real world. Members of SfAM can gain access to the many following benefits:


Publishing is at the heart of our society, and you will gain:

  • Access to our five peer-reviewed journals:
    • Journal of Applied Microbiology (JAM)
    • Letters in Applied Microbiology (LAM)
    • Environmental Microbiology (EMI)
    • Environmental Microbiology Reports (EMR)
    • Microbial Biotechnology (MB)
  • Access to our quarterly electronic magazine: Microbiologist
  • Our monthly e-newsletter sent to your inbox

Grants and Funding

We support our members with a wide range of funding opportunities, included but not limited to:

  • Up to £1200 to assist you in presenting at a scientific meeting or attending a workshop
  • Scientific meeting grants to cover attendance fees of up to £300
  • Work experience grants of up to £2,500 for undergraduates or recent graduates
  • Newly-appointed lecturers in their first academic appointment can pump-prime their research with a grant of up to £10,000
  • Public engagement grants of £3,000 to promote microbiology to the general public

Events and Networking

SfAM runs a variety of events throughout the year, and members of the society greatly benefit from:


Members gain special access to benefits not available to non-members, such as:

  • 35% off Wiley-Blackwell book titles
  • The chance to win one of our prizes for public engagement and scientific communication
  • Being able to have your writing published on SfAM’s blog
  • The chance to nominate candidates for the prestigious WH Pierce prize, awarded for a substantial contribution to microbiology

Stay Engaged

SfAM is at the forefront of science in the UK and globally, and we’ll keep you updated and help you have your say with:

  • Updates on parliamentary inquiries, government consultations and other opportunities to engage with policy-makers
  • Close ties to the Science Media Centre to provide expert advice for journalists and scientists who wish to engage with them
  • The chance to question MPs at Voice of the Future, and media training at the Voice of Young Science workshops
  • Engaging with the public – join us for public events, science fairs and family days, improve your science communication skills and get people talking about microbiology

Professional Development

The society offers many ways to continue your professional development:

  • The opportunity to join the executive committee of the society
  • Join our subcommittees on policy, ECS, finance, or the Microbiologist editorial group
  • Accreditation for many of our events towards CPD certificates

Membership grades

SfAM has 6 membership grades:

Early career scientist membership is for those that are beginning their career in science, whether they are students, researchers, or new to the field.

Our ECS Members are an integral and highly valued part of our Society. Early-career scientists represent the future of applied microbiology. Supporting and highlighting their work is a core part of SfAM’s vision.

If you are based in the UK and identify as an early career scientist (or are still in full-time education), then join now. SfAM’s ECS members gain access to ECS-specific events (including the ECS Annual Research Symposium and workshops by Sense about Science), grants to aid with attending conferences, networking opportunities, and guidance from your peers at the same stage as you are.

Full membership offers all of our member benefits (see Reasons to join SfAM).

You are eligible to apply for full membership if you reside in the United Kingdom. As a Full Member, you will be kept at the forefront of microbiology and benefit from the experience of an invaluable network of peers, advancing your own professional development. Joining SfAM is easy, and offers a wide range of membership benefits.

For those with just an interest in Microbiology or those who wish to get member rates to our events, we also offer associate membership. Associate Members do not get access to grants or journals.

International membership is for those that reside outside of the UK.

You are eligible to apply for international membership if you reside outside of the United Kingdom. As a member, you join a prestigious community that has a powerful voice in raising the profile of applied microbiology. Together we can ensure the applications of microbiology have an impact on the global challenges and issues that are important to us all.

The annual dues for International Members are priced according to World Bank economy tiers. For those outside the UK (includes all member benefits), membership is £60 per year, If you are based in a lower, lower-middle or middle-income country (as defined by the World Bank here), we offer a discounted rate of £5, £30 or £45 respectively. International Members receive an electronic version of Microbiologist magazine only.

Each year the Society for Applied Microbiology also awards a large number of grants to our International Members to support further education, public engagement, and the presentation of research. The Society also provides assistance for International Members from overseas to attend SfAM meetings and conferences. SfAM grants are designed to help a more diverse, international community gain access to educational and professional opportunities in microbiology beyond the United Kingdom.

Associate membership is for those with an interest in microbiology, but do not need access to all of our member benefits.

Associate membership is available to all with an interest in microbiology. Associate members get a reduced rate compared to full members, allowing them to access Microbiologist Magazine, our email newsletters, and discounted rates for SfAM events. Associate members are not eligible to apply for grants or gain access to SfAM’s 5 journals – for those with an interest in these features, please see full membership.

Life membership is a special membership grade that can be applied for by written application to the society.

Life membership is free for our retired members, and may only be attained by written application to the society, or in some cases nomination by SfAM’s executive committee.

Fellowship is awarded to scientists and public figures who have made an outstanding contribution to microbiology and the way we, the public, perceive it. Fellowship is awarded by invitation only.

Our most prestigious award, fellowship to the Society for Applied Microbiology is granted to those who have made a significant contribution to advancing microbiology and science as a whole.

Recipients of this award may be prominent members of SfAM, leaders in business, industry, or public figures who have been influential in the field of microbiology.

Become a member

Contact SfAM

The best way to contact SfAM is by emailing us at and one of the team will get back to you ASAP. If you have a question regarding grants or finance then please contact

Mailing Address:

Society for Applied Microbiology
90 High Holborn


+44 (0) 20 3880 2881

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