Since its launch at the 12th International Sol-Gel Conference in Australia in 2003, the International Sol-Gel Society has aspired to support the sol-gel community-of-practice through a variety of initiatives, including the biennial International Sol-Gel Conferences and the awards given to celebrate achievements at various career stages from PhD student to senior sol-gel practitioners. These activities, their expansion, and future initiatives currently being developed by the ISGS Board, are all supported by our annual membership fees.
ISGS Initiatives – funding the activities of a dynamic and responsive non-profit society
Hopefully you will have noted that over the past few years (and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic), the activities of the ISGS have ramped up substantially. Among the most visible of these has been the revised format ISGS Newsletter, which is now released on a monthly basis, together with the monthly eSeminar series in which leading sol-gel practitioners describe their work via ZOOM. We hope that these have helped to provide a sense of continuity for our community, in the absence of our regular face-to-face initiatives such as conferences and Summer Schools. The main costs associated with delivering the Newsletter and eSeminar series (which are managed by volunteers) are the annual subscription fees to access ZOOM and the costs of maintaining a modern functioning website. These cost around US$200 per year and US$1200 per year, respectively. If these expenses are “calibrated” in terms of the number of membership fees required to fund their fixed costs, then the fees of around 23 regular members (currently $US60 per annum) are consumed. Extending this analysis to include other fixed operating costs (excluding the various awards offered by the ISGS) indicates that managing the Society’s day-to-day activities consumes the subscription fees of over 160 regular members. The recently introduced Renata Reisfeld Fellowship for Women in Sol-Gel Science and Technology, which was awarded for the first time in 2021 and will be an annual feature of the awards offered by the ISGS, is funded by the subscription fees of over 30 regular members.
When assessing candidates for the 2021 Renata Reisfeld award, it was evident that at least one other candidate was worthy of support if the necessary funds had been available.
Similarly the ongoing capacity of the ISGS to expand the number of awards available, together with introducing other new initiatives such as travel grants for PhD students to attend the biennial International Sol-Gel Conference, support Summer Schools, etc, depends on the availability of funds.
Engaging with the ISGS and the International Sol-Gel Community
There are various ways in which you can support the ISGS and its activities on behalf of the International Sol-Gel community, but the most direct way is to become a member of the ISGS (or to renew your membership, if you are already a member). Regular membership is currently priced at US$60 per year, while student membership is US$35 per year. Institutional entities such as Universities, National Laboratories and Companies also have the option of Regular, Silver or Gold Partner memberships, which are priced at US$600, US$900 and US$1200 per year, respectively. The benefits associated with these various membership options are outlined here and include free access to the Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology.
The ISGS is your Society and exists to support the work and aspirations of the international Sol-Gel Community of Practitioners. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions on the various initiatives and programs offered by the ISGS and ways in which the Society might better meet the needs and aspirations of our members. Please feel free to contact the ISGS Secretariat, President or Newsletter Editor at any time.