1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer

Women in Science


Just as many women as men start out on life science careers. But many more men go on to senior academic positions. The reasons why are complex. In the interest of science it is important that the best scientists have the opportunity to pursue a career, and that it is not gender (or any other secondary characteristic) that determines the chances of success.


At EMBO, we are committed to monitoring gender balance in all our activities, developing initiatives to counteract imbalances and to raising awareness of issues facing women scientists as their careers advance.


Recent activities

ESOF session Are Quotas the Right Answer? Manchster, UK, 27 July 2016


Exploring Quotas in Academia – A policy report on the effects of gender quotas to increase the participation of women in leadership positions in academic science in Europe.

This report summarises the findings of a project done in collaboration with and funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. It provides a series of options for the use of quotas for decision makers (heads of research institutions, research administrators, politicians, and funders, among others), and an analysis of the consequences of each evaluated option. September 2015

Download report (pdf)

Article in AWIS, December 2015


FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award

  • An award highlighting excellent achievements of female scientists

Women in Life Science database

  • Database featuring female life scientists in Europe


  • EMBO supports AcademiaNet, a database of leading female European scientists

Policies at EMBO

EMBO continually monitors its programmes to ensure gender balance and the fair treatment of women, and researchers with family obligations. Annual statistics are published in EMBO Facts & Figures. A report exploring differences in success rates between genders in EMBO programmes was published in 2007.


EMBO offers:


EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • Dependent’s allowance (for children under the age of 18)
  • Three months parental leave
  • Option to work part-time
  • Crèche support for Fellows with children under the age of six.

EMBO Young Investigators

  • Extension of the eligibility period by one year per child for female candidates.
  • Extension of programme membership for female Young Investigators by one year for each child born during current tenure.

EMBO Courses & Workshops

EMBO Laboratory Management courses for female leaders


  • A course for female group leaders that helps participants build self-confidence, establish authority, deal with rejection, improve the ability to network and build negotiation skills.




This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Gerlind WallonGerlind Wallon
Deputy Director
Programme Manager
T. + 49 6221 8891 112