Following the end of year celebrations for our 40th Anniversary last year, we started 2015 with
renewed efforts to help our community build its influence and impact across both academia and
the wider society. By the end of 2014 we had made the necessary preparations to start publishing
with our new business partner, Oxford University Press (OUP), moved our business office to a lighter,
communal space among university spin-offs and other science-based businesses at the Delftechpark,
and welcomed two new Member Societies to our federation.
In 2015, we grew again, this time welcoming the Greek Society, MikroBioKosmos, whose aim is to
connect those microbiologists working on non-medical microbiology, and which brings another 200
microbiologists into the FEMS community. At the same time we saw an increase in FEMS Affiliates –
individuals who sign up for news and information about our activities and our Member Societies – to
almost 4,700 recipients across all continents, including countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
This was a great year for our high-prestige journal, FEMS Microbiology Reviews, which increased its
Impact Factor to 13.687 to come fourth in the Thomson-Reuters 2015 rankings1 for the fourth
year running – well ahead of both Annual Review in Microbiology, and Trends in Microbiology.
Meanwhile, from January, we started to publish our first issues with OUP, our journal content now
instantly recognisable with its bold new branding, designed in collaboration with them.
Our journals currently remain the main source of the revenues that allow us to continue to invest in
science. In 2015 our journal income allowed us to contribute €460,321 towards the training of 423
FEMS grantees and hundreds of other early career researchers. This contribution was made through
our grants programme – which includes small research grants, and meetings and travel grants – and
through bringing invited speakers to our Congress. Together these contributions allow meetings
organisers to bring in expert speakers and invite hundreds of early career researcher to attend
specialist meetings, workshops and our Congress. In addition, our Members benefited from a further
€73,334 from our Membership discounts (reduced FEMS Congress registration fees for all Member
Society’s members) plus contributions to organising Member Society meetings.
Particularly exciting in this Congress year was our allocation of €20,000 that allowed 12 participants
from our Latin American counterpart, the Latin American Association for Microbiology/ Asociación
Latinoamericana de Microbiología (ALAM), to attend the FEMS2015 Congress in the Dutch city of
Maastricht. Being a Congress year, we gave out two Lwoff awards to senior scientists, Professor
Fernando Baquero and Professor Rudolf Kurt Thauer. The FEMS-ASM Mäkelä-Cassell Award – awarded
biennially to allow a member of the Amercian Society for Microbiology (ASM) to attend our meeting –
went to Dr. Ember Morrissey for her work on “Taxonspecific growth rates are related to phylogeny in
soil bacterial communities”. Other awards included our annual FEMS-ESCMID reciprocal awards to
Dr Sergio Álvarez-Pérez, Madrid, from the Spanish Society for Microbiology, and to ESCMID member,
Lidija Senerovic, from Belgrade, Serbia.
2015 GRANTS AND DISCOUNTS
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Plus 31 travel grants, 40 research grants – including €20,000 allowing 12 Congress participants from Latin America.
2015 CONGRESS IN NUMBERS
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Two new developments this year have been the expansion of our education work – under the
dedicated stewardship of Member-at-Large (Education) Joanne Verran – and our efforts to better
understand the needs of our Members. This latter, saw us conduct a range of Member consultations,
at the annual meetings of the Council in September, at a series of meetings at the office in Delft, and
one-to-one with Member Delegates and Presidents at FEMS2015.
On behalf of the European microbiology community, I would like to thank everyone involved in FEMS
activities during this very busy year, and look forward to working alongside them in 2016.
Dr Jean-Claude Piffaretti