As a student you may be eligible for reduced membership fees upon joining professional societies. As a member you will receive newsletters informing you of meetings, developments and sources of funding, and some professional societies will contribute towards travel expenses. However, if you hope to benefit from this it is important to join at the beginning of your PhD, as some organisations (e.g. the Biochemical Society) will only allow you to apply for travel funds after you have been a member for at least a year. Similarly, if may well be advantageous to join more than one society. This is not an exhaustive list.
American Society for Cell Biology
A large and important USA society. Student membership costs $38. Reduced personal subscription rates for Molecular Biology of the Cell. Pre-registering students are exempt from registration fees at ASCB meetings. Good for contacts. Newsletters; Directory of Members.
Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The professional society for anatomists in the UK ; publishes the Journal of Anatomy. Reduced rate affiliate membership for students registered for higher degrees (£12 per annum). Access to travel funds for attenging meetings, quarterly magazine and meetings abstracts. This Society supports a number of postgraduate studentships.
The Biochemical Society
A British society, which publishes the Biochemical Journal. Student membership costs £15 per year. Members can apply for travel funds to attend FEBS, IUB and Biochemical Society meetings - details change, but are always published in "The Biochemist", a quarterly magazine which comes automatically with membership. In addition, members of 1 year’s standing can apply for travel grants to attend any meeting or course of their choice.
British Society for Cell Biology
Student subscription rate £15 per annum (£10 p.a. by direct debit) provides the twice yearly Newsletter, and Members' Handbook which lists addresses of all members; also reduced registration at BSCB meetings. A travel fund is available for members of at least 1 year's standing (or less if joining as a 1st year postgraduate), which can give up to £500 per meeting. The Society holds a Student Poster Competition at its major annual meeting, for which the First Prize is a trip to the USA to attend the annual American Society for Cell Biology Meeting. The non-profit making Company of Biologists publishes the Journal of Cell Science and supports the BSCB
British Society for Developmental Biology
Student membership rate £15.00 per year. Reduced registration fees at BSDB meetings, access to travel funds, a twice-annual BSDB newsletter and reduced subscriptions to key developmental biology journals.
Student memberships costs £10 per annum when paid by direct debit. The Genetics Society meetings programme includes an annual three-day spring meeting, a one-day symposium each November and other one-day meetings on topics of special interest, all with registration fees at a reduced rate for Genetics Society members. The Genetics Society newsletter presents news and opinion on current issues of concern to geneticists and society at large. Members qualify for reduced subscription rates for "Genes and Development, Nature Genetics", "Trends in Genetics", "BioEssays", "Heredity", "Genes and Function", Current Biology", "Current Opinion in Genetics and Development" and "Genetical Research". This Society also has grants available for attendance of student members at any other scientific meetings in the Genetics area.
The professional society for physiologists in the UK ; publishes the Journal of Physiology. Affiliate membership (for students) costs £20 per annum. Copies of the Quarterly Magazine and Meetings Abstracts come automatically, with details of travel grants and international meetings. Travel Bursaries of up to £500 may be awarded to affiliates for attendance at meetings or training courses.
Society for Experimental Biology
Student membership costs £10/£50 for one year/5 year membership. Help with travel to SEB meeting also available.
Society for General Microbiology
Student membership costs £21 per annum. Reduced personal subscription rates for journals. Free registration at SGM meetings, travel funds available to support members' attendance at SGM meetings and eligibility to apply to the “President's Fund” for sponsorship to attend meetings/visits abroad.