How are we governed?

FEMS is registered in the United Kingdom as a Charity (No. 1072117) and as a Company (a Company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital; incorporated on 18 May 1998; No. 3565643).

FEMS is overseen by a Board of Directors, who provide strategic direction and individually contribute their skills and experience. The Board of Directors are responsible for checking that we are working efficiently, delivering objectives and complying with our policies, relevant laws and legislation. Directors also act as Trustees, responsible for FEMS’ governance and ensuring the organization is well run, solvent, and delivering to its charitable objectives and contribute to ensuring the long-term security of FEMS by ensuring the organization is prepared to meet future challenges.

Our Members convene annually to review the organization’s performance and vote on important decisions, including the election of Directors. A representative from each Member is invited to attend the meeting of the FEMS Council.

The governance of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies is described in two documents that constitute the FEMS Statutes. The statutory documents are the ‘Memorandum of Association’ and the ‘Articles of Association’. These two documents may only be amended after approval by the FEMS Council. As the registered office of FEMS is situated in the UK, the statutes adhere to UK format.

Grants Committee

The Committee oversee the delivery of FEMS Grants, assessing and awarding grants based on their potential to deliver scientific excellence, professional development and/or impact.

The Committee is currently made up of:

  • The Director (Grants & Awards), Dr Jozef Anné
  • Triinu Visnapuu, FEMS Delegate, University of Tartu, Estonia
  • Victor Cid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
  • Alexander Netrusov, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

You can find more information on our Grants Committee members here.

Election Committee

The Committee’s focus is on encouraging nominations to the FEMS Board of Directors (the “BoD”) from candidates who reflect the full diversity of the FEMS community and our Member Societies. It oversees the election process to ensure transparency and compliance with FEMS regulations.

The Committee consists of one representative from the Board (the Secretary General) and representatives from Member Societies, reflecting the regional diversity of FEMS. For more information on the Committee, you can contact them via

Awards Committee

The Committee has responsibility for delivery, oversight and development of FEMS awards in line with its strategy. It is the assessment panel for FEMS portfolio of awards.

The Committee currently consists of:

  • Bauke Oudega (Former FEMS President)
  • Hilary Lappin-Scott (FEMS President)
  • Patrik Bavoil (FEMS Director Research & Publications)
  • Beate Averhoff (FEMS Delegate on behalf of VAAM)
Featured article

Microbiomes inhabiting rice roots and rhizosphere

Land plants directly contact soil through their roots. An enormous diversity of microbes dwelling in root-associated zones, including endosphere (inside root), rhizoplane (root surface) and rhizosphere (soil surrounding the root surface), play essential roles in ecosystem functioning and plant health. Rice is a staple food that feeds over 50% of the global population. This mini-review summarizes the current understanding of microbial diversity of rice root-associated compartments to some extent, especially the rhizosphere, and makes a comparison of rhizosphere microbial community structures between rice and other crops/plants. Moreover, this paper describes the interactions between root-related microbiomes and rice plants, and further discusses the key factors shaping the rice root-related microbiomes.

read more
More articles
more articles