Young Investigator Programme

Supporting young group leaders in Europe and beyond

Application deadline: 1 April


  • Applicants must have been an independent group leader for at least one year and for less than four years at the pre-application deadline (i.e having started no earlier than 1 April 2020 and no later than 1 April 2023), for the application round 2024.
  • They must have an excellent track record.
  • They must carry out research in the life sciences (please see EMBO Subject Areas)  in an EMBC Member State, an EMBC Associate Member State (currently India and Singapore) or in countries or territories covered by a co-operation agreement (currently Taiwan and Chile).
  • For the application round 2024, current PIs or Co-PIs (as of 21st of February 2024) of the following programmes of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) are eligible to apply: ASPIRE, FOREST (in Japanese known as “創発的研究支援事業”), PRESTO (in Japanese known as “さきがけ”), ACT-X.
  • They must have sufficient funding to run their laboratory.
  • They must have published at least one senior author research paper* in an international peer-reviewed journal from independent work carried out in their own laboratory.
  • For female candidates with children, the limit of four years since independence is automatically extended by one year per child of any age.
  • For male applicants with children, the limit can be extended by the actual time taken off as paternity leave or – if their partner is working at least 80% FTE (full-time equivalent) – three months per child, whichever is longer.
  • Illness and other care responsibilities are considered as exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Special provisions may also be made for clinical scientists. If you feel your circumstances warrant an extension of the eligibility period, please contact the EMBO Young Investigator Programme Office () for advice before applying.
  • Applicants must be able to attend an online interview on 12 or 13 November 2024.

* At the pre-application stage (by 1 April), EMBO will consider papers with status in submission, and/or published on preprint servers, but the
last author publication in an international peer-reviewed journal with “accepted” status by the
day of your interview is still an eligibility requirement.

A last author preprint with public in-depth peer reviews is accepted at the pre-application stage provided the following conditions are met:
     o the preprint is posted on a recognized community preprint server such as Arxiv, bioRxiv, medRxiv, Zenodo;
     o the peer reviews must be publicly available online;
     o the peer reviews were verifiably obtained from an independent preprint peer review;
     o service such as “Peer Community In”, “eLife” or “Review Commons”;
     o the reviews provide an in-depth expert analysis of the rigor and validity of the research and its contribution to the field.