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European Molecular Biology Organization

The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) promotes excellence in life sciences in Europe through a range of programmes and activities. EMBO is largely funded by the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC), an organisation comprising 27 member states including most European Union states and some neighbouring countries. Together with EMBO, EMBC promotes a strong pan-European approach to research.

The organization nurtures training and careers at all stages. This is done through courses, workshops, conferences and fellowships. The most recent is the Young Investigator Programme, which promotes Europe’s best young scientists in the early stages of their research careers. EMBO promotes mobility throughout member states, and globally through post-doctoral and short-term fellowships.

Case study

BBSRC-supported scientist Dr Marc Veldhoen, Principal Investigator at the Babraham Institute, was a winner in EMBO's Young Investigator Programme (YIP) 2011.

Marc Veldhoen

“Winners are selected from molecular biologists across Europe and it is a very prestigious programme. The e-mail with the news that I was selected was a great joy. I can now make use of a wider network of young scientists from diverse field at a very similar stage of their career.

EMBO selects the candidates on both past achievements and their potential to independently lead a lab of international standards, and your future plans. My time at the National Institute for Medical Research in London in the Stockinger lab has allowed me to raise my profile with several papers in high impact journals, including Nature, Immunity, and Nature Immunology. These included the first description of how a new set of white blood cells differentiate from precursor cells, and a role of these cells in the initiation of autoimmunity.

It’s early days, but so far winning has been very positive. EMBO provides some additional lab funding for a period of three years. Every year there is an EMBO YIP meeting, this year it was in Lisbon, and it was great to network with scientists in a similar stage of their career and exchange experiences. In addition, EMBO financially and logistically supports the setup of regional or topic specific meetings, offers training courses such as lab management. And, as EMBO YIP members, we are allowed to make use of the great facilities at the Heidelberg European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

As a young investigator having setup my own independent lab, you can use all the help you can get. It is very important to get funding, the only way to pursue your ideas, but setting up a lab takes time and publications will be minimal in the first few years. Adding the EMBO YIP award to my CV will hopefully add some additional weight to my future grant applications.

Applying for the EMBO YIP is absolutely to be recommended. Two things are very important for applying, a strong CV and a record of scientific independence. The access to EMBL, EMBO courses, mentoring option and especially the network opportunities with scientists at a similar stage in their career, but from a uniquely diverse background, is a great opportunity to boost your career.”