Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs for incoming members
What is the difference between a Student Associate member and an Associate member?

Apart from the discounted price, Student Associate membership is tailored to provide career-building opportunities such as the Student Launchpad and wider participation in the Student Community as a whole.

Am I allowed to be a member of other institutions such as the Royal Society of Chemistry or the Institute of Physics?

Yes. Many of our members are involved with other learned societies and professional membership bodies.

I am just about to enrol as a student, at what point can I apply to be a student member?

We process Student Associate applications with your university email address. As soon as your student email account is activated you can join us directly online. However, if you have a proof of acceptance letter we may be able to make an exception, please contact JoinUs@ifst.org.

Do I have to be a member before I can attend IFST events?

No. However, it will cost more for a non-member to attend an event. When attending your first IFST event you will be given the option to apply for a year’s complimentary Associate membership and deduct the event fee (£25) from your membership fee.

Do I need to go through an application process for all membership levels?
You can join as an Associate member straight away. If you want to become a Member (MIFST) or Fellow (FIFST) you will need to complete the application process.
I have applied for Membership/Fellowship with IFST - how long does the process take? 

The length of the process can vary depending on how long it takes to get references etc but typically it takes 6-8 weeks from start to finish.

While I am waiting to hear about my application for Fellow/Member can I attend IFST events?

While your application is being processed you will get access to all IFST member benefits including events.

I was a member of IFST several years ago and would like to re-join. Can I join at the same level?

You are very welcome to re-join IFST. The level of membership will depend on the one you previously held and how long ago that was, please contact JoinUs@ifst.org for more information on this.

Do you provide any financial aid for those who are passionate about Food Science & Technology?

We currently do not provide financial aid, however, we provide discounted membership prices for students. Occasionally, we may offer membership bursaries that have been funded by other bodies/sponsors around the time of our Spring Conference.

Do you have any internship opportunities available at IFST?

Thanks for your interest in working for IFST – we love working here too.  We aren’t recruiting at the moment but we do list all our opportunities on our website, so check back from time to time.  We’re sorry, we don’t consider applications from overseas candidates. Best of luck in your search.

FAQs for current members
Do I have to be involved in IFST events and activities to retain my membership as a Member/Fellow/Associate?

We encourage all members to make the most of their membership benefits and to be part of IFST’s food science community. However, there is no minimum requirement to attend or volunteer in order to maintain your membership.

How do I access the International Journal of Food Science & Technology?

We provide exclusive, free membership access to IJFST Access this page: https://www.ifst.org/our-resources/publications/international-journal-food-science-and-technology

You must be logged in to view this page. Underneath the text is a link that you can click on which opens IJFST and all articles will be open access.

Does IFST have a CPD system I can use?   

IFST has a CPD portal that is available to all members to record their CPD. If you are on one of the registers, access is included in your registration fee. If you are not on a register, there is a £15 fee per year to access this.

How can I be involved with the IFST Networks (Braches and Special Interest Groups)?

Members are welcome to utilise the IFST Community platform to engage with other members, by logging in via the IFST website and you can join as many Networks as you wish. 

How can I volunteer to be part of a Special Interest Group (SIG) committee?

Members can join a Special Interest Group (SIG) organising committee to take on a specific role e.g. Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Events, Communications, or be a general core committee member (when space permits as numbers are restricted). Please note, this is a volunteer role. 
FAQs on membership upgrades
Can I apply for Fellow status straight away or do I have to progress through the other membership levels first?

You can apply to become a Fellow without any prior IFST membership. If you have any questions or would like to discuss making an application further, please contact JoinUs@ifst.org

I want to upgrade my membership. How can I do this and what supporting information do I need to provide?

Please contact JoinUs@ifst.org to discuss upgrading your membership. To help, kindly provide an up-to-date CV and /or LinkedIn profile. This will allow our Registration and Assessment Officer to advise which level of membership and /or professional registration best reflects your skills and expertise.

As part of the application, I need to provide details of referees to support my application. However, they are not members of IFST.

This is not an issue. A suitable referee would be a senior professional in your field of work; someone who is able to base their view on direct knowledge of your work experience. They should also be able to confirm the validity of your stated achievements. Your referees should not be related to you or subordinate to you.

Do I need to have university qualifications in order to apply to be a Member or a Fellow?

No, you do not. IFST’s Membership Assessment Panel look at a combination of both qualifications and experience gained throughout your career. You can qualify on experience alone. See here (Member) and here (Fellow) for further information about eligibility for professional membership levels.

I have non-UK qualifications; can I still make an application for Member or Fellow?

Degrees (and other qualifications) from non-UK universities are welcome. However, to support your application we will need a statement of compatibility from NARIC. This can be obtained from https://www.naric.org.uk/naric/individuals/Compare%20Qualifications/Statement%20of%20Comparability.aspx

What happens if I apply for professional membership and am not successful?

You will be given automatic status as an Associate. We will also provide feedback as to why your application has been unsuccessful but note that application fees are non-refundable. Please refer to our Terms of Payment for more information.

If I change job roles and/or leave an employer that provides IFST group membership, will I have to re-apply and submit a new application to maintain my professional membership/registration?

No. Your IFST professional membership/registration is an individual recognition and not linked to your employer. If you have any questions regarding re-joining IFST, please contact JoinUs@ifst.org.