Annual Report 2021

A year of exceptional life science research, training, service, industry collaboration, and integration of European life science research.

Operations during a pandemic

EMBL navigates a pandemic, finding creative ways to address operational challenges.

Credit: Rayne Zaayman-Gallant/EMBL

Whether it was supporting staff to adjust to remote work, onboarding new staff virtually, or ensuring continued progress in ongoing operational issues, EMBL took charge during the uncertain times the COVID-19 pandemic continued to present in 2021.

Throughout 2021, crisis teams were still in place with representatives from all sites tracking the impact of the pandemic. Additionally, COVID-19 testing was available across all sites and the EMBL Ombudsperson, Human Resources, Health and Safety, and the Staff Association collated a range of useful information providing guidance for the now more typical ‘work from home’ conditions that staff faced in 2021.

Human Resources looked for creative ways to continue effective recruitment, as well as onboarding. On site, where labs continued to operate, the Health and Safety team worked with leadership to ensure a safe, healthy work environment for staff and visitors.

Institution-wide guidance was shared for a wide range of issues with concern for both mental and physical health, but also so that employees would find a comfortable work-life balance in the now-more-commonplace home office.  This included: stress reduction tips, suggestions for successful work habits at home that included setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-Bound (SMART) work objectives, and advice for leading successful virtual meetings and webinars.

Throughout the pandemic in 2021, EMBL’s priority was to ensure that EMBL staff were safe, healthy, supported, and connected. 

“Naturally, these past two years, EMBL had to find special ways to provide safe work environments for staff so EMBL’s activities could continue. The Health and Safety team’s good spirit and established relationships across EMBL were critical to getting through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

– Corinna Gorny, Head of EMBL Health and Safety office