The EMBO Long-Term Fellowships are awarded for a period of up to two years and support post-doctoral research visits to laboratories throughout Europe and the world*. International exchange is a key feature in the application process.
*This may be up to three years if the receiving institute is in Singapore.
Main eligibility criteria:
- Applicants must hold a doctorate degree or equivalent at the start of the fellowship.
- Applicants who already hold a PhD degree at the time of application are eligible to apply only if they passed their PhD exam in the two years prior to the respective application deadline
- Applicants must have at least one first author publication accepted in press or published in an international peer reviewed journal at the time of application.
- All applications must involve movement between countries (detailed information about mobility requirements is listed in guidelines).
- Applications to go to the country in which the PhD was obtained will not be considered.
- Applications for a Long-Term Fellowship to be held in the laboratory, institute or department in which the candidate worked to obtain his or her PhD, or to work again with the candidate's PhD supervisor, no matter where the latter is located, will not be considered.
- Candidates can only submit one application for one project at one host laboratory at each round of selection.
- Reapplication is permissible only once.
For detailed eligibility criteria applicants should read the Long-Term Fellowships guidelines.
Applications and supporting documentation (two references, receiving institute acceptance) are only accepted via the online application system. (Opens 6 weeks prior to the application deadline; 1 July for the 15 August deadline and 1 January for the 13 February deadline.)
All applications must be started before Monday, 9 February 2015, 14:00 Central European Time. No new applications can be started after that.
The deadline for submission of complete applications (including references and receiving institute acceptance) is Friday, 13 February 2015, 14:00 Central European Time.
All applications are examined at the EMBO Fellowships Office to ensure that they are complete and eligible.
All eligible applications are then sent to the Fellowship Committee for pre-screening and twice the number of available fellowships is selected for an interview.
An interviewer, who is an expert in the area of the application, will be selected from among the EMBO Members and EMBO Young Investigators. When it is not possible to arrange a personal or video interview, the candidate's application is sent for written evaluation.
All applications are then evaluated by the EMBO Fellowship Committee based on:
- Previous scientific achievements of the applicant
- Novelty and biological significance of proposed research
- Appropriateness of the host laboratory for the proposed research and training of the applicant.
The Fellowship Committee then meets to take the final funding decisions. Typically the outcome of the selection is known between 14-16 weeks after the closing date and is provided on the EMBO website shortly after the committee meeting.
Note the following when submitting your EMBO Long-Term Fellowship application:
Interviews normally take place within 6-10 weeks of the closing date for applications. The interview may take place outside the applicant's country of residence; therefore, applicants must have a valid passport. Candidates may be requested to give a seminar as part of the interview procedure. The interview should take place at the interviewer's convenience and the applicant is responsible for contacting the interviewer.
Interview travel expenses will be reimbursed by EMBO. A claim form will be issued and together with receipts has to be returned to the EMBO Fellowship office.
Candidates are expected to travel by second-class rail for journeys of up to 8 hours. Otherwise or in case this is less expensive, travel by economy class air will be refunded. Subsistence and accommodation expenses are refunded up to the EMBO standard daily rate.
Duration of support
Fellowships may be awarded for a period of up to 24 months*, depending on a positive interim request from the host supervisor.
It is possible to apply when the applicant has already started at the receiving institute. However, the maximum time for a combination of previous support and EMBO funding is 36 months in case the laboratory is within an EMBC Member state and 24 months if in a non EMBC Member state. (Please note that the minimum fellowship duration that can be requested is 12 months and that about five months are required to process the application.) E.g. if an applicant has already been at the receiving institute for 12 months at the start of the EMBO Fellowship the applicant will only be eligible for a further 12 months funding in a non-member state (24 months in total) and 24 months in a member state (36 months in total).
Fellowships must be started within one calendar year from the relevant closing date for applications.
*With the exception of the host laboratory being in Singapore in which case the maximum duration is 36 months.
The stipend is a subsistence allowance and is intended to cover the cost of living in the host country. The value of the stipend depends on the country being visited.
Dependent child allowance
EMBO fellows are entitled to receive an additional allowance for dependent children under the age of 18. The value of the allowance depends on the country being visited.
Child care allowance
For children under the age of six, fellows can claim support for incurred child-care costs up to the amount of €2.500 per year and per child.
Fellows awarded in 2015 under the COFUND grant PCOFUND-GA-2013-609409 will receive a subsidy towards health care costs of €600 annually.
The travel allowance is intended to cover travel costs up to the amount of €5.000 for the fellow and his/her family to and from the receiving institute. The travel allowance further includes half a month's stipend to contribute to relocation costs.
- If the applicant is already at the receiving institute at the time of application or has been working at the receiving institute/host laboratory for more than 6 months at the start of the fellowship, the travel allowance will not be paid.
- In the event of early termination of the fellowship, any payments made after the date of termination will have to be repaid.
- If the fellowship is terminated within 6 months the entire travel allowance will have to be returned.
- If the fellowship is terminated between 6 and 12 months half of the travel allowance will have to be repaid.
Fellows are entitled to 3 months paid parental leave during their fellowship. Fellows who take parental leave during the fellowship may request an extension of their fellowship for a period of up to 3 months. This extension has to be requested by the host supervisor at the end of the fellowship. Parental leave has to be taken within 6 months of the birth of a child. Fellows should inform the Fellowship Office of their intention to take parental leave.
For child-care reasons it is possible to work part-time during the fellowship.
Please note: The maximum fellowship duration (full-time plus part-time) must not exceed 36 months.
EMBO Private Pension Scheme
Participation in the scheme is open to all EMBO Long-Term Fellows. The scheme is administered by MLP and pension funds are managed by Allianz. The plan offers a benefit package that optimally suits the needs of highly mobile scientists.
During the fellowship period EMBO functions as the policyholder and the fellows' contributions are directly deducted from the stipend. EMBO matches the fellows' contributions up to 100 euros per month. After the fellowship ends the policy is transferred to the fellow.
In case a fellow already voluntarily contributes to another pension scheme, the EMBO might be able to contribute towards the existing scheme.
All fellows can join the EMBO fellows' network. The fellowsNet is the web-based portal where the fellows, scientists who have benefited from funding and support for post-doctoral research from EMBO Long-Term Fellowships, can stay connected with the EMBO community.
At the end of the fellowship, fellows are invited to the Fellows' Meeting. This annual event brings fellows together in a friendly atmosphere to present their research, share experiences, establish new collaborations and contacts. It is also an opportunity to meet the EMBO staff and give feedback and suggestions on the programme.
Laboratory Management Courses
EMBO Long-Term Fellows are entitled to attend a Laboratory Management Course for postdocs free of charge at the end of their fellowship. This course fee waiver is subject to a minimum fellowship duration of six months and the laboratory management course has to be taken within five years of being awarded the fellowship.
I have a medical degree (M.D.). Am I eligible to apply?
Can I apply without having a PhD?
Yes, but you need a PhD degree at the time you start your EMBO Fellowship. Please note that if awarded you have to start your fellowship within one calendar year of the application deadline.
I had my PhD exam over two years ago but graduated only one year ago, can I apply?
No, applications from candidates who passed their PhD exam more than two years before the respective application deadline cannot be considered.
I received my PhD degree officially from Spain but spent the entirety of my PhD working in Germany. May I apply to go to a lab in Spain?
Yes, if you can clearly show that you spent the full duration working in Germany then you are eligible to apply to go to Spain.
I received my PhD degree officially from Spain but spent the entirety of my PhD working in Germany. May I apply to go to a lab in Germany?
No. Germany would be considered as the country you normally work in and therefore continuing to work in Germany would violate the mobility requirement.
I have performed my PhD in more than one country. I worked in both France and Belgium during my PhD, am I eligible to apply for an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship in France or Belgium?
Are there any age restrictions?
There are no age restrictions.
Which are the EMBC Member States?
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom.
My nationality is from a non-EMBC Member State, can I apply for an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship?
Yes, but only if you apply to go to a host lab in one of the EMBC Member States.
My nationality is from a non-EMBC Member State but I had my PhD from an EMBC Member State, can I apply for an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship in a non-member state?
No, non-EMBC nationals with a PhD from an EMBC Member State are not eligible for a fellowship in a non-member state. An exception is possible only if the host laboratory is in Singapore.
My nationality/one of my nationalities is from an EMBC Member State but I have studied and did my PhD in a non-EMBC Member State, can I apply for an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship in another non-member state?
Technically you might be eligible to apply but please note that applicants need to demonstrate a strong connection to the EMBC Member States. Therefore, if your education and PhD were outside the member states, your application will likely receive low priority.
I have already started working in the host laboratory. Can I still apply?
Yes, but only if you have been there for less than 7 months at the relevant closing date for application.
Can I move from one laboratory to another within the same country?
I am already working in a country different from where I obtained my PhD but I am not carrying out research currently. Can I apply to work in a laboratory in this country?
Only in case you have not been working in the host country for more than 3 months prior to joining the host laboratory.
I worked in the host country for 14 months after my PhD, then for 2 months in another country. Can I apply for the fellowship to go back to the host country to a different laboratory?
No, your application will not be considered.
Can I apply more than once for an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship?
Reapplication is allowed once irrespective of a change of project or host laboratory. You can apply two times in total, provided that all eligibility criteria are met each time. A submission is counted as an application once receipt has been acknowledged and a reference number (ALTF number) has been assigned.
Can I apply for other fellowships at the same time as I apply for the EMBO Long-Term Fellowship?
I have collaborated with the host supervisor before and we have co-published. Am I eligible to apply?
Can I apply with a project that involves collaboration between several labs?
In the application you can only have one official host lab and one official host supervisor. You can apply with a research proposal that requires collaboration with other laboratories but you have to choose one main supervisor. You should describe the planned collaboration(s) within the research proposal.
Is it possible to add figures or tables in my application?
No, neither figures nor any special formatting is possible in the application system.
My application has been rejected at the pre-screening stage. Can I receive feedback?
At the prescreening stage we do not have comments from the committee and therefore can not provide individual feedback.
By which criteria are applications evaluated?
Each application is evaluated based on the applicant's past achievements, the quality and biological significance of the research proposal, and the quality of the host laboratory.
Are journal impact factors or journal name taken into account when evaluating applications?
Journal impact factors are not used in the evaluation and selection of applications. EMBO encourages evaluation of the quality of the scientific work and its impact on the field, rather than the journal in which it was published.
What are my chances of success?
We receive on average 800 applications per deadline. The success rate has been 15% in the last selection round.
Do I have to pay tax on my fellowship?
The EMBO fellowship is a research stipend and in principal, should be tax exempt in most countries. However, we cannot advise on respective national tax regulations and we recommend (prospective) fellows to contact the relevant authorities in the host country.
Does the EMBO Long-Term fellowship cover bench fees, overheads, funds for consumables or any other financial benefits to the host supervisor/the receiving institute?
The EMBO Long-Term Fellowship does not provide any of the above.
Does the EMBO Long-Term fellowship provide travel allowances to its fellows to attend meetings, conferences or workshops?
EMBO does not offer any travel grants for fellowship holders.
Can I contact current EMBO Fellows or alumni?
Due to data protection issues we cannot give out contact details of EMBO Fellows. Successful applicants are listed in the annual EMBO Facts & Figures which is available on our website at:
13 February 2015 & 14 August 2015
T. + 49 6221 8891 122
Long-Term Fellowships Administrator
T. + 49 6221 8891 561
Short-Term Fellowships Administrator
T. + 49 6221 8891 115
Finance & Fellowships Administrator
T. + 49 6221 8891 107