Start an ASM Student and Postdoctoral Chapter

June 18, 2018

ASM Student and Postdoctoral Chapters are for students and postdocs interested in microbiology at their local university. Chapters host several events throughout the year such as career panels, visits to microbiology companies, judging science fairs, etc. to promote ASM's mission of advancing the microbial sciences. Chapters: 
  • Hold weekly or monthly meetings for students and faculty.
  • Collaborate with local ASM Branches or Ambassadors to develop meeting programs, organize local ASM events, or create presentation opportunities for their members.
  • Invite local experts from the Careers in Microbial Sciences Speaker Program to speak with their Chapter.
  • Organize professional development workshops on scientific writing or presenting and communicating your science.
  • Host informational seminars using materials from ASM Careers to discuss next career steps, creating a CV and the job search process. 
  • Tour microbiology related companies such as local laboratories, hospitals, breweries, sewage treatment plans, wineries, etc.
  • Support primary and secondary science education by hosting (or judging) a science and technology fair. 

Your Benefits to Starting a Chapter: 

  • Expand your network by collaborating with students, faculty, industry, clinical laboratories and nonprofit organizations.
  • Develop leadership instincts.
  • Improve presentation skills.
  • Give back to your local community and support science through K-12 engagement.
  • Gain mentors outside of academic institutions.
  • Have an opportunity to write a proposal seeking financial support from ASM.
  • Recognition as an official part of ASM and a network of sister chapters throughout the world.

How to Start a Chapter: 

  • Draft a constitution for your group. 
  • Seek initial sponsorship from your university. Universities have various requirements for forming on campus groups. Consult your student affairs department to make sure you are in compliance with your institution. 
  • Select a faculty advisor who is a current member of ASM. 
  • Draft an action plan of activities your Chapter would like to accomplish in the current calendar year. 
  • Ask your local Branch or Ambassador for sponsorship. Contact the ASM Branch in your area or local Ambassador to request sponsorship to become an ASM-recognized Student and Postdoctoral Chapter. Enclose a copy of your constitution and action plan for review. 
  • Submit an application to with:
    •  Your drafted constitution
    • Letter or email of approval from your Faculty Advisor (who is an ASM member)
    • Letter or email of support from your local ASM Branch or ASM Ambassador
    • List of names and contact information of Executive Board members 
  • ASM will review your application and contact you when your Chapter is provisionally approved. Your Chapter will be officially approved by the ASM Board of Directors at the next ASM Microbe meeting. 
Questions? Please contact