Conferences & Conference Series
EMBO Conferences and EMBO Conference Series support European scientific communities by providing an opportunity for scientists to meet and discuss topics with leaders in the field.
Organizers can apply for a one-off conference or a conference that they expect to be part of a series of conferences, held at two or three yearly intervals in EMBC Member States. EMBO Conferences and EMBO Conference Series are expected to be stand-alone and not satellite meetings. They can take place in EMBC Member States and in cooperating partner countries, although organizers can be based anywhere. If you wish to apply for an EMBO Conference held in a country that does not yet have a cooperation agreement, you should first contact the programme manager.
The conferences should cover different and evolving aspects of a relatively broad subject area of major importance to the scientific community worldwide. They may alternate with corresponding meetings held outside of Europe, facilitating interactions between scientists based in Europe and beyond. EMBO Conferences will normally have at least 150 participants.
Annual application deadlines: 1 March and 1 August for conferences planned for the following year.
Both the 1 March and 1 August application deadlines are for funding of conferences taking place in the following year. However, organizers are encouraged to apply at least twelve months before the conference takes place, to ensure enough time for the proper advertising and promotion of the conference, in the case of acceptance.
They can take place in EMBC Member States and in cooperating partner countries, although organizers can be based anywhere. If you wish to apply for an EMBO Conference held in a country that does not yet have a cooperation agreement, you should first contact the programme manager. EMBO aims to support a diverse range of conference series topics, thus overlapping topics are discouraged.
Organizers must apply for funding to support each conference within the conference series. Thus a new application is required for each individual conference within the series and funding of each conference within the series will be evaluated competitively. Follow-on applications are generally successful in obtaining funding, provided reviews of the previous conference are positive, and significant efforts are made to improve any areas that were considered suboptimal.
For all conferences in the series, organizers are strongly urged to:
- provide a convincing scientific justification that the conference serves an active and evolving community;
- rotate the organizing committee, with no one scientific organizer involved with organizing three consecutive conferences in a series;
- ensure diversity and gender balance in the list of speakers;
- ensure that no more than 50% of the speakers have spoken at the previous conference in the series;
- include talks by both early-stage and established investigators/group leaders;
Each application is reviewed in depth by at least two members of the EMBO Course Committee. The final decision is made by the entire committee. Applicants are informed of the decision within twelve weeks of the application deadline.
All applications are treated in confidence and only publicized following acceptance of the funding conditions by the organizer.
Applying for follow-up conferences within a series
Subject to financial constraints, EMBO would like to encourage a dynamic continuation of successful EMBO conference Series by funding follow-up conferences in the series. To have an optimal chance of success, it is strongly advised that organizers base their application on the successful applications for previous events in the series, taking into account any feedback from previous rounds of review and attendee feedback. The EMBO Courses & Workshops office will be pleased to discuss the process and provide examples of successful applications if desired.
EMBO requests that organizers include an open discussion about their research field and the series at each conference. The format of the discussion is left at the discretion of the organizers, but the following subjects must be discussed:
- whether a continuation is desirable, and if so, which adjustments should be made in order for the series to continue at the forefront as the science evolves;
- whether there are major groups of scientists in related fields who should be involved in future conferences;
- venue(s) and format of the next event(s);
- if a continuation is desirable, election of the people who are put in charge of submitting the next proposal to EMBO (i.e. chair and co-chairs). This selection must include proposals suggested by those present. The chair must be different from that of the previous meetings. In addition, not more than a third of previous organizers can be carried over from the previous three conferences in the series.
EMBO further requests that organizers provide an accurate summary of the plenum discussion in their report of the conference, and that participants fill in the section of the questionnaire in which they will be asked to assess the conference series, and express their opinion about its continuation.
Organizers should indicate a provisional timetable, session titles with brief explanations of the subjects covered and how they fit together, confirmed speakers for each session and the reason for their selection.
The EMBO Course Committee considers very seriously the efforts made to optimize the benefits for early-stage researchers. These include, but are not limited to:
- ensuring that at least 50% of the speakers are different to those who spoke at the previous EMBO Conference (if applicable);
- ensuring that the number of talks is not excessive, so that there will be time for participants to discuss informally;
- inclusion of presentation slots for early-stage researchers;
- including poster sessions and ensuring that poster sessions are not solely relegated to late night slots;
- including joint meals to encourage interaction between early-stage and established researchers (EMBO Conferences should not include a separate "speakers' dinner");
- making efforts to accommodate all participants and speakers in the same location/limited number of locations;
- making other conscious attempts to promote interactions amongst attendees.
When planning poster sessions, organizers should ensure that:
- these are in close proximity to where lectures are being held;
- the display room is spacious and bright enough;
- these sessions are not held solely at the end of the day or at the end of the meeting;
- sufficient and dedicated time is provided for poster viewing;
- a brief oral presentation is given by selected participants (where possible).
- may be charged up to a maximum of €450 per academic participant (excluding accommodation);
- may be charged up to €600 for industry participants (excluding accommodation);
- should be paid directly to the organizer (or the organizer's nominee) and included as income in the final financial statement;
- must be waived for one EMBO editor wishing to attend the conference;
- may be waived for editorial staff from other scientific journals who attend the EMBO Conference and publish a report in their journal.
When selecting participants, organizers are requested to ensure a wide geographical representation and gender balance. At least two-thirds of the participants should be based in EMBC Member States with no more than 15% of participants residing in the country where the conference is being held. In the case of conferences held in cooperating partner countries, a greater representation of scientists based in the respective continent is encouraged. Participants should not be restricted to pre-defined participants (whether this be an EU-network or other defined group).
When selecting speakers, organizers are requested to ensure a wide geographical representation without bias towards the host country. Organizers are strongly encouraged to aim for a minimum of 30% female representation when selecting speakers (justification for a lower proportion must be provided). Applications with an excessive gender imbalance are generally not successful.
Both established and early-stage group leaders/investigators (researchers with not more than 7 years of experience since completion of their PhD) should be included in the speaker list and clearly indicated in the application form.
EMBO Young Investigator Lectures
The EMBO Young Investigator Programme offers conference organizers the opportunity to apply for support of a lecture to be given by one of the EMBO Young Investigators.
Eligibility: Only current EMBO Young Investigators are eligible. A list can be found on the EMBO website.
Maximum funding: €800 (within Europe) and €1,200 (outside Europe).
EMBO Science Policy Lectures
The EMBO Science Policy Programme offers conference organizers the opportunity to include a non-scientific talk from a scientist, sociologist, ethicist or journalist.
Eligibility: The lecturer must hold a presentation on 'Science Policy' issues.
Maximum funding: €1,000 (within Europe) and €2,000 (outside Europe).
EMBO Women in Science Lectures
EMBO offers conference organizers the opportunity to include a talk from a scientist to address issues related to women in science.
Eligibility: The lecturer must hold a presentation on 'Women in Science' issues.
Maximum funding: €800 (within Europe) and €1,200 (outside Europe).
Further advice is available on the advice for organizers page.
The maximum funding available for an EMBO Conference is €30,000. The maximum amount of funding available for EMBO Conferences in non-EMBC/non-cooperation countries is €20,000. Decisions on the amount of funding are made on a case-by-case basis. Organizers are therefore required to justify all major costs in the budget section of the application form. It is expected that participants (other than the speakers) will pay for their travel, accommodation, subsistence and registration fee. EMBO funds must not be used to cover per diem expenses, gifts, poster prizes or dinners organized exclusively for speakers.
EMBO funds can be used to cover:
- economy travel, accommodation and subsistence costs of the speakers and to subsidise the subsistence costs for participants;
- reasonable administration costs - a maximum €4,000 of the EMBO funding and registration fee income can be used to cover secretarial/administration costs, including printing costs (to reduce environmental impact, organizers are encouraged to consider distributing the abstract book in electronic format via the conference website and to print only a minimum number of hardcopies, if necessary);
- room hire, audiovisual and IT facilities essential for the conference;
- grants to aid participants from countries in need of scientific strengthening.
Payment of the grant
50% of the total funding will be transferred to organizers approximately four months prior to the start of the conference. EMBO must be notified of any significant changes to the conference budget and/or scientific programme after it is initially approved.
Once the final documentation has been approved by EMBO, the remaining funds (up to 50% of the allocated funding) will be transferred. The final documentation has to be submitted to EMBO within six months following the end date of the conference. Failure to do so will result in the final payment being forfeited.
- Short report (1-2 pages) about the conference, including a short scientific overview, participants' reaction to the location and organization, and any other relevant comments.
- Final financial statement, which should include all income and expenditure for the conference. (Please note that the organizer must retain receipts for ten years after the conference, for possible auditing).
- Statistics: total number of applicants, and the number, gender, nationality and/or country of residence of academia & industry participants, and of instructors and speakers.
- Programme and/or abstract book (preferably electronic).
- Participants' questionnaires: participants submit their feedback using the online EMBO questionnaire. Results will subsequently be shared anonymously with organizers.
- If applicable: List of travel grant and registration fee waiver awardees, including name, institute, country of residence and amount awarded to travel grants. Receipts from the travel grant awardees must also be submitted.
Advertising & co-funding
The conference must be entitled "EMBO Conference" or "EMBO Conference Series". All materials must include the EMBO logo prominently. The website and poster must also include the EMBO Conference stamp. Co-sponsors can be acknowledged (e.g. "EMBO Conference on XYZ, with co-sponsorship from ABC") on the conference website, but cannot be mentioned in the title of the event on the EMBO Calendar of Events.
EMBO does not consider co-funding conferences when the other funder insists on the proceedings being published (although publications can arise from EMBO Conferences, provided that all contributions are solicited voluntarily).
All EMBO Conferences and EMBO Conference Series are advertised on the EMBO poster, EMBO website and social media channels and through selected other print and online media.
Additional advertising is left at the organizer's discretion. It is a strict condition of EMBO support that any additional publicity, as well as the programme and abstract book, should clearly indicate that the meeting is an EMBO Conference or EMBO Conference Series, without subtitles relating to previous similar meetings.
Poster and website assistance
EMBO will create a website (including online registration), design a poster and abstract book cover at no additional charge. Full details will be supplied to organizers shortly after funding has been confirmed.
1 March and 1 August for conferences planned for the following year.
T. + 49 6221 8891 104
T. + 49 6221 8891 562
T. + 49 6221 8891 105
Digital Communications Officer
T. + 49 6221 8891 103
Aditya Kusuma Jati
Web & Graphic Designer
T. + 49 6221 8891 131