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About FEMS

FEMS is leading the way in promoting excellence and equality in science, and in channelling high quality knowledge to solving today’s societal problems around microbiology. It does this by funding research, publishing journals, organizing collaborative projects and partnering with other organizations.


Microorganisms play an essential role in humans, animals, plants, the environment and industrial processes, and impact significantly on health, the economy, food supply, and ecosystems. Scientific knowledge of microorganisms and their interactions in the biosphere is essential for informed decision and policy making, improved health and well-being, wealth generation and environmental quality and sustainability. FEMS' vision is to coordinate and lead the acquisition of scientific knowledge and innovation in microbiology and to maximise communication of this knowledge, and its importance, to scientists, politicians, policy makers, industry and the general public.


FEMS aims at advancing microbiology in Europe and the neighbouring regions through grants, publication of internationally renowned journals, news items, congresses, teaching support, and additional initiatives that fulfil its Vision.

Strategic framework:

To achieve our mission, we focus on networking, professionalization and internationalization, as well as developing additional revenue streams in order to maintain and develop our charitable activities. Our organizational direction 2015 - 2019 is summarized in our strategic framework.

Our network and activities:

We are made up of an active and diverse network of around 30,000 professionals who are committed to advancing microbiology for the benefit of society in the areas of health, energy, food, materials, and the environment.  Set up in 1974, today we are a growing coalition of 53 member societies from 36 countries. Around half of those in our network are early career researchers, and others are business people, scientists or campaigners.  To subscribe to FEMS newsletters as an affiliate, please use this link.

We nurture this network with a variety of knowledge development and network-building activities:

  • We publish five highly regarded journals – Articles from our journals are downloaded over 2.5 million times annually (2014).  Together, they provide the revenues that support our charitable activities, enabling us to continue investing in science.  We thank and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of every contributor to this process: the Editorial boards, Editors, Authors, Reviewers and our publisher, Oxford University Press (OUP) who together make this possible.  Since the first article was published in FEMS Microbiology Letters in 1977, FEMS has built up its publishing portfolio to span all fields of microbiology at all stages in the scientific process. Both FEMS Microbiology Letters and FEMS Microbiology Reviews – the fourth-ranking journal in the field – are broad based, whereas FEMS Microbiology Ecology, FEMS Yeast Research and Pathogens and Disease focus on their specific fields. 
  • We hold a biennial scientific congress – This event is hosted in different European locations and hosts some of the biggest names in microbiology, attracting around 2,000 participants.
  • We provide small research and meeting grants – We give out more than 250 grants worth over EUR 250,000 every year to our Member Societies to enable trainings, research or meeting participation across 11 European countries
  • We recognize excellence by giving out awards – Our first awards program was set up in 1999.  We now have 4 awards programs running, one of which is a joint award with the American Society of Microbiology (ASM).
  • We promote education and continuing professional development (CPD) – our Education Working Group runs sessions at our Congress and can contribute to the professional development section in FEMS Microbiology Letters.
  • We also coordinate the provision of expert advice through groups such as the European Academy of Microbiology (EAM).

Our Network is growing and our reach is broadening as we continue to advance the microbiology agenda in partnership with researchers, educators, industry professionals, and policy makers.

2014 Annual Report

2014 was a big year for FEMS. It was the 40th anniversary of our first general meeting and it marked the start of profound organizational change. After four decades of helping thousands of scientists to meet, learn, and exchange ideas, expertise and knowledge we are now also further increasing our community's impact across both academia and the wider society.

You can read or download the full Annual Report here.

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