The European Science Foundation currently has 66 Member Organisations from 29 European countries.
On 1 December 2006 the ESF Assembly approved changes in the ESF membership policy and criteria with the aim to strengthen its links with the different groups of Member Organisations.
The ESF adopted an inclusive membership policy with membership from research funding organisations, research performing organisations and academies, both with research institutes and learned societies, operating nation-wide or at the European level, with no differentiation in membership rights. This membership policy would strengthen ESF’s role as the European platform for policy debate and action by its members in investigator-driven research.
At its meeting in May 2010 the ESF Governing Council agreed to the declaration of a moratorium on decisions on ESF membership applications, until further notice.