IUMS is one of the 31 Scientific Unions of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). The Union consists of three Divisions:

  • BACTERIOLOGY & APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY (BAM),
  • MYCOLOGY and EUKARYOTIC MICROBIOLOGY (MEM)
  • VIROLOGY.

Within these Divisions are 3 Committees, 6 Commissions and 2 Federations (COMCOFs), under which are subgroups consisting of working groups concerned with bacteriological, mycological and virological research. IUMS acts as an umbrella organization for these scientific research activities (see also IUMS structure).

The Divisions are responsible for the organization of their International Congresses (International Congress of Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology, International Congress of Mycology, and International Congress of Virology)
IUMS also has 96 national member societies and 26 associate member societies adhering to the Union. These societies are spread throughout the world and IUMS represents an important link for instance by organizing International Conferences at regular intervals The International Union of Microbiological Societies was founded in 1927 as the International Society for Microbiology. lts first President was Nobel Laureate and Director of the Pasteur Institute in Brussels (Belgium), Jules Bordet. The first International Congress for Microbiology was held in Paris in 1930. At the time of the 10th International Con­gress of Microbiology held in Mexico in 1970 the Executive Committee decided to create three sections covering the fields of Bacteriology, Virology and Mycology. Subsequently these sections became three separate divisions of IUMS possessing complete autonomy in the conduct of their affairs and the organization of their International Congresses (list of past presidents of IUMS and past and future International IUMS Congresses).

An IUMS Executive Board is elected at each IUMS General Assembly meeting. The Board consists of 14 members: a President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary General, Treasurer, two Members at Large and the Chairman and Vice Chairman of each of the three Divisions. The Executive Board meets annually and coordinates IUMS activi­ties.


Finances of IUMS (financial Statements 2001-2012 can be found here)

The income of the IUMS is derived from:

  • Dues of member societies and associate member societies: Annual dues from full member societies are based on the number of resident microbiologists in their country. Dues are not less than $100. Associate member societies do not pay dues and do not have voting rights at General Assemblies.
  • Congress levies from Divisional International Congresses: A small levy is paid by each participant at IUMS Congresses. A portion of this goes to the IUMS budget and a portion to the Divisions.
  • Fellowship grants from SGM: These grants are awarded annually to support microbiologists from developing countries.

IUMS expenditures are for:

  • Grants to young scientists and scientists from developing countries to attend IUMS International Congresses.
  • Grants to member societies and COMCOFs for assistance in organizing workshops, training courses and scientific meetings
  • Activities such as the IUMS Outreach programme (read more>)
  • Executive Board: Meetings and administrative expenses. The Executive Board meets annually for one or two days to review IUMS business.