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Apply to be a Global Investigator



Funds are available for EMBO Global Investigators for:

  • Visiting other research institutions to give a scientific seminar or to plan/continue a collaboration
  • Training in research leadership and management skills through EMBO Lab Leadership Courses
  • Inviting researchers to give a scientific lecture at their institute
  • Sending members of their research group to another laboratory to carry out experiments or learn a technique
  • Organising joint group meetings with other laboratories
  • Attending or organising regional or international scientific meetings
  • Attending the biennial EMBO Global Investigator Network meeting
  • A lab retreat
  • Covering fees for publications in EMBO Press journals
  • Childcare support when attending conferences


Global Investigators are members of the EMBO Young Investigator Network, which also includes Young Investigators and Installation Grantees. Global Investigators are constantly provided with opportunities to meet and interact with their European counterparts.


Applicants must:

  • Have been group leaders of a laboratory for at least one year and for less than six years on 1 January in the year of the application.*
  • Have an excellent track record.
  • Perform life science research in an EMBC Associate Member State (currently India and Singapore) or in a country or territory covered by a cooperation agreement with EMBC (currently Chile and Taiwan).
  • Have published at least one last author research paper in an international peer-reviewed journal from independent work carried out in their laboratory.
  • Have obtained sufficient funding to run their laboratory.
  • Be able to attend an interview in Heidelberg, Germany, on 18 November 2020.

*Extended eligibility period for candidates with children or under exceptional circumstances may apply. For detailed information on the eligibility criteria, please consult the application guidelines.


Applications to the EMBO Global Investigator Network are accepted annually via an online system. The application includes an online form and an offline form.

Application process 2020

  • The application deadline is 3 June, 14:00 CEST. After this, the Global Activities office confirms candidates that their application has been successfully received.
  • Applications of eligible candidates are sent to the EMBO Global Investigator Network Committee for pre-screening.
  • Following pre-screening, approximately 20 applicants are invited by email to a panel interview conducted by the EMBO Global Investigator Network Committee in Heidelberg on 18 November 2020.
  • A final decision is made at the EMBO Global Investigator Network Committee meeting and candidates are informed of the outcome of their application by email.

Required documentation

The application for the Global Investigator Network consists of:

  • CV
  • Short summary of ongoing research
  • Details of home institute and funding available to the laboratory
  • List of publications and details of applicant's three best papers
  • List of lab members
  • Description of the applicant's research vision
  • Three letters of reference

For detailed information on the application process, key dates and required documentation, please consult the application guidelines.


Selection criteria

Although a geographically balanced set of selected network members is desirable, the primary selection criterion is scientific excellence. Additional aspects considered by the EMBO Global Investigator Network Committee are:

  • Proposed research
  • Group and research environment 
  • Financial and intellectual independence

For a detailed list of selection criteria, download our application guidelines.


Selection process

The selection process involves the following steps:

  • The application stage: The committee selects a group of applicants for an interview in Heidelberg. The invited applications are sent to an EMBO Member with expertise in the candidate's area of research for a confidential review.
  • Interview: Candidates attend a panel interview with a subset of the Global Investigator Network Committee, where they deliver a presentation summarizing their current results, projects and future directions, followed by discussion.
  • Committe meeting: Following the interviews, the committee meets to make a final decision, and all candidates are informed by email of the outcome of their application.

Due to the high number of applications, it is not possible to give any individual feedback. Reasons for the rejection will not be communicated.

Research Integrity

EMBO expects responsible conduct of research from its awardees. All research activities shall be carried out in compliance with fundamental ethical and research integrity principles. In line with our commitment with these initiatives, we require all members of the EMBO Global Investigator Network to complete an online course on research integrity.