Early Career Microbiologists' Forum

The Early Career Microbiologists’ (ECM) Forum was established in 2016 to give early career members of the Society a way to influence our work. Every member starting out in their microbiology career is invited to join the Forum. Members of the Forum are kept in the loop about opportunities of interest within the Society, and are eligible to vote for the Executive Committee – a group of ECM Forum members which steers the group. The Executive Committee is comprised of Representatives with positions on the Society’s committees, which brings the views of early career microbiologists to the table at committee meetings, Division meetings, and Council. As only ECM Forum members are eligible to vote for the committee, this is a real opportunity to reflect the view of this group within the Society and make sure that issues of relevance to early career microbiologists are addressed.

Who can be part of the ECM Forum?

All members of the Society are welcome to join the Forum. As a guide, we consider you an early career microbiologist if you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate student, or within five years of appointment to your first position after your highest degree earned. However, if this doesn’t fit your situation and you consider yourself an early career researcher, you are welcome to join. This group is not just for academic scientists. We want to take the views of all microbiologists, whether you are medical, clinical, veterinary, industrial or working in other relevant fields, into account as we make the Society work for you.

What do I get as a member of the ECM Forum?

When you join the ECM Forum you will receive a quarterly newsletter which shares upcoming exclusive opportunities for Forum members. In addition to the benefits of Society membership that all Microbiology Society members enjoy, these include:

  • Exclusive access to free places on selected training courses for core skills.
  • Eligibility for an ECM Forum poster prize if presenting at the Annual Conference.
  • Eligibility to apply for the ECM Co-chairing Scheme at the Annual Conference.
  • Discounted access to ECM-focused conferences and meetings.
  • The right to run for a position and vote for your elected representatives on the Executive Committee and its subgroups.

What's the Executive Committee?

The Executive Committee represents the Forum at Committee and Council level. They are expected to listen to the needs of the general membership of the Forum and feed this information into their respective committees. The roles on the Executive Committee are as follows:

The Chair: works with Council and the Professional Development Committee and is a full member of both. As a member of Council, this member of the Executive Committee is a trustee of the Society. From January 2019, a separate role of Professional Development Representative will work with the Professional Development Committee, and the Chair will focus on representing the Forum on Council.

The Finance Representative: works with the Finance and Operations Committee, which oversees the conduct of the Society's finances at strategic and policy levels by monitoring and authorising all aspects of the Society's finances.

The Conferences Representative: works with the Scientific Conferences Committee, which considers the scientific content of Society meetings, i.e. the Annual Conference, Focused Meetings and Irish Division Meetings. The Conferences Representative also charis a sub-group of the Executive Committee tasked with running the ECM Forum Summer Conference. The sub-group is comprised of four ECM Division Representatives who sit on each of the Society's Divisions.

The Policy Representative: is a member of Policy Committee. The Policy Committee oversees activities, including briefings, consultation responses and events, which connect members with policy- and decision-makers. These activities: champion the importance of microbiology for tackling global challenges; ensure policy-makers have access to appropriate scientific information and expert opinion and that the improvement of resources and infrastructure for microbiology is supported; and empower members to engage in science policy and expand their networks.

The Publishing Representative: is a member of Publishing Committee. The Publishing Committee supports the success and sustainability of the Society’s publications through the implementation of the publishing strategy approved by Council.

The Communications Representative: works with the Communications Committee, which oversees delivery of the Society's strategic priority to inspire and educate a diverse range of external stakeholders. The committee is responsible for the Society’s quarterly magazine Microbiology Today, e-newsletter, website, the development of educational resources across the key stages through to post-16, outreach activities, social media activities and press.

The Undergraduate Representative: is the point of contact within the Executive Committee for undergraduate microbiology societies. This contact facilitates a wider network of undergraduate students interested in microbiology and the work of the Microbiology Society.

The International Representative: ensures the ECM Forum is considering its international endeavours in line with wider Society policy.

How do I sign up?

Fill out the form below; this will let us know that you are interested in the work of the Forum, and we'll keep you in the loop with updates on nominations and voting.

Please note: we will only use your details to contact you regarding the ECM Forum.


If you have any questions, please email ECM@microbiologysociety.org.

Early Career Microbiologists' Forum Linkedin Group

Early Career Microbiologists’ Forum on Linkedin – a group to help ECMs to connect and support each other. Please use this group to troubleshoot issues that are coming up with your work, talk about careers and learn about the Society’s work to help you achieve your potential in your career. Please see the code of conduct below:

ECM Forum Linkedin Group Code of Conduct


Previous ECM updates

You can view all of the ECM email updates by clicking the links below.