Your voice in policy

Science is a crucial element in evidence-based policymaking. Every engaged scientist wishes that evidences form the basis for new policies, and every serious policymaker seeks evidences before drafting policies. FEMS wishes to be active in the field, and to help in contributing to the right conditions for scientists and policymakers to be able to do their best possible job.

Since 2019, FEMS started to be active in the area of policy by electing the first Director in Business & Policy. Below you can learn what are our aims, ambitions, and plans, as well as how you can contribute.


The FEMS Strategy 2020-2024

FEMS wants to be the voice of microbiologists in Europe, and to help bring evidences to the table of decision makers at both the national and European level. In particular, FEMS wants to encourage a meaningful dialogue between scientists and policymakers, to provide tools and opportunities for researchers, and to network the community of like-minded microbiology professionals. FEMS also wants to connect with and learn from similar organisations sharing a common goal.

An excerpt from the FEMS Strategy 2020-2024 (see here for the full document).

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Why science & policy?

Our world faces major challenges – poverty, war, inequalities, discrimination, pandemics, antimicrobial resistance, and planetary warming, just to name a few. Many of these global issues have a direct connection with microbiology. As an organisation deeply rooted in science, we believe that evidence-based policymaking can help address many challenges of our current time.

We also live in an information era: knowledge is generated and spread as fast as never before in history. At the same time, many people discard scientific facts, believe in fake news, or are simply overwhelmed by the deluge of information.

But how to let the ‘right’ experts bring the ‘right’ information to the ‘right’ places to make the best possible societal impact? At FEMS, we want to explore this and enhance a fruitful, transparent interaction between scientists and policymakers.

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Who we are

We started our work in 2019, with Paul Cos elected as first Director for Business & Policy (see Our Team). We started with a small, focussed Working Group in Business & Policy (in 2020-2021) to explore possibilities and define directions. From 2022 onwards, we split the work to continue with more focussed actions. The FEMS Policy Network is created.*

Developments of the Working Group on Business & Policy into two separate networks.

*If you wonder about the outcomes from the FEMS Business Network, take a look at the FEMS Industry Placement Grants (IPG), the new grant scheme (form 2022) to support Early Career Scientists acquire new skills in industry!

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How you can contribute

So, what can be your role? Whether you are a scientist working to bring new microbiology knowledge to light, a practitioner active at the intersection of science and its applications, a policymaker seeking evidences and expertise in microbiology, you might want to consider joining forces and network with our community.

You can do so by joining the dedicated virtual space ‘Your voice in policy’ to connect with like-minded professionals, offer your expertise, or find the right person or group to connect with. Feel free to reach out per email with questions, suggestions, comments, or feedbacks using the header ‘RE: FEMS Policy Work’.

You might also be interested in exploring the Competence Framework ‘Science for Policy’ for researchers created by the European Commission Joint Research Centre. The interactive diagram allows to learn competences needed to interact with policymakers and make a positive impact together. On the Smart4Policy self-assesment tool, anyone can take a brief survey to learn more about their skills and potential to participate in the policy-making process (EU-login account is required).

The interactive competence framework developed by the EU JRC allows researchers to explore skills needed to make an impact at the policy making level.

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FEMS Journals and Open Access

Embracing an Open Future

All but one of the FEMS journals are now fully open access (OA), with one journal, FEMS Microbiology Letters remaining a subscription journal with free-to-publish and OA options. Open access is key to supporting the FEMS mission of disseminating high quality research as widely as possible: when high quality, peer reviewed sound science is open access, anyone, anywhere in the world with an internet connection, can read it.

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