Priority areas

At the heart of the Society’s work is a commitment to giving microbiology a voice, so we can shape our work and influence change.

As part of SfAM’s commitment to make its work more purposeful, collaborative and driven by the needs of microbiologist themselves, our member community and other interested parties were given the opportunity to discuss what significant challenges our planet is facing, and how microbiology may be applied to provide potential solutions.

The Society then identified priority areas for those challenges and a series of priority campaigns have been initiated for this current strategy period (2018-2021).

ocean wave

Preserving & protecting our oceans

Many areas of science are seeking to protect the enormous and diverse range of habitats that make up our oceans. Microbiology is no exception.

pills antibiotics

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

When a pathogen becomes resistant to antibiotics, it becomes incredibly difficult to treat. Trying to solve this complex problem is at the forefront of microbiology research today.

vet and cows

Food safety & security

As humans we must ensure the safety and security of our food supplies - and as microbiologists we have a role to play.



The complex communities of microbes that inhabit particular niches are revolutionising the way we think about the world.

the future concept

Future applications

The field of microbiology is on the cutting edge of science, and looking to the future to see how microbes and their products may help us is a part of this.


Diversity and inclusion (D&I)

SfAM encourages numerous approaches to diversity and inclusion in microbiology and related disciplines, and undertakes inclusive practices in support of this.


COVID-19 response

We are investigating how Covid-19 has affected microbiology and related research areas, and the people who work in them, so that we can support the community going forward.

These campaigns will consistently aim to make sure we identify the important questions that need to be answered, how any skills gaps can best be filled and how research can influence policy development and delivery - when such action should be taken. We will also be regularly asking members, the public and other interested parties for input and feedback to ensure they have their say on these priorities.

Members who may already be working in these areas can also contact SfAM to ensure their voice is heard.