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EMBO Fellows

The EMBO Fellowship Programme promotes the mobility of outstanding scientists and allows them to carry out research in leading laboratories in Europe and the rest of the world. Rigorous evaluation and selection by EMBO Members ensures that EMBO fellowships are awarded to some of the most talented young scientists. The consistently high quality of EMBO Fellows has made the EMBO Fellowship Programme one of the most renowned fellowship schemes. Today former EMBO Fellows hold many of the leading positions in the best European research institutes and universities.


Young scientists seek EMBO Long-Term Fellowships for postdoctoral research to fund and support their internationally mobile careers. Hundreds of scientists also benefit each year from EMBO Short-Term Fellowships, returning to their home laboratories with new skills as well as contacts for future collaborations.


Renowned for strict attention to scientific excellence, EMBO Fellowships have supported thousands of talented young scientists since they were first introduced in the 1960s. More than 6000 Long-Term  Fellowships have been awarded since 1964. Selected Fellows receive more than an opportunity to broaden their research experience: they join an active network of scientists and participate in training developed for young scientists.



The idea of fellowships was mentioned in an unpublished paper (1) by Conrad Hal Waddington and discussed as early as 1963 by a group of leading European biologists who shaped the early days of EMBO. In his paper, Waddington proposed the election of 100-150 Fellows who would be funded to make short visits to one another, as well as postdoctoral posts and courses.

(1) Waddington C.R., unpublished paper, Bodleian Library MS. Eng. c. 2418, NCUACS F.3.


EMBO Young Investigators and Installation Grantees

EMBO Young Investigators
Established in 2000, the EMBO Young Investigator Programme was the first initiative in Europe that recognized the specific needs of young group leaders setting up their first independent laboratories and it developed activities to help this group of scientists. The mission of the programme is to highlight the best young group leaders and to create a mutual support network among the next generation of scientific leaders in Europe.


The Programme offers young scientists support for networking, mentoring by EMBO Members and a monetary award. EMBO applies the highest standards when selecting new members for the programme. Since its inception, it has created an active network of 300 of the best young group leaders in Europe. Many of them have become EMBO Members or have received other awards and honours. The distinction of being an EMBO Young Investigator is widely recognized as a mark of excellence.


EMBO Installation Grantees
EMBO Installation Grants were launched in 2006 to help scientists to set up laboratories in participating member states. Grantees are selected within two years of having established their independent laboratories in the target country and must have spent at least two consecutive years outside that country before setting up the laboratory.

Installation Grantees benefit from participating in the activities of the EMBO Young Investigator Programme, Laboratory Management Courses, regular network meetings and training for their laboratory members. They also receive special benefits beyond those offered to the EMBO Young Investigators, such as an additional mentor and enhanced support for their lab members to attend meetings and take part in collaborative activities. Participating countries have included Croatia, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, and Turkey.

EMBO Installation Grants enable scientists from member states that lack sufficient scientific infrastructure to become part of the network of young leaders of European life science research.

EMBO Members

The core of EMBO is its more than 1700 members and associate members – some of the most renowned life scientists worldwide. When EMBO was founded, the first members were the eminent researchers in what was then the relatively small field of molecular biology. As molecular biology has become an integral component of advanced research in almost all areas of the life sciences, so has the membership broadened to include the leaders in all of these areas. It now also includes experts in such fields as environmental biology, synthetic biology, human genetics, and personalized medicine, and is actively engaged in interactions to enhance translation from fundamental research to communities outside EMBO, such as clinical scientists.

Election to EMBO Membership is recognition of research excellence and the outstanding achievements made by a life scientist. There are 79 Nobel Laureates amongst the membership. The annual nominations and elections ensure that the membership remains at the forefront of contemporary life science research.

With emphasis always on scientific merit, EMBO Members apply their expertise and insight to guide the execution of the EMBO initiatives by serving on EMBO Council, Committees, Advisory Editorial Boards and the Science Policy committee. As a result, EMBO Members collectively influence the future directions of life science research and strengthen research communities across Europe.