Infection Biology

Characterising pathogen interactions with the host at an atomic, molecular, and tissue level to tackle infection and antimicrobial resistance

Amplifying Funds in Infection Biology

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is establishing a new funding initiative to foster interdisciplinary and collaborative research in infection biology across Europe through collaborative research projects co-funded by esteemed institutions.


Infectious diseases are a prevalent cause of human illness and death in the world. The vast diversity of pathogens, together with their ability to cross species boundaries and develop resistance to available treatments, creates alarming possibilities for future epidemics and pandemics that impact human and planetary health.

The Amplifying Funds in Infection Biology aims to support collaborative projects in any area of infection biology between group leaders at EMBL and collaborating institutions. Selected projects will explore vital aspects of infection biology, such as pathogen-specific protein machines, host-pathogen interactions at various scales, human genetics influencing infection susceptibility, and innovative approaches to combat antimicrobial resistance. This call also welcomes projects related to the human microbiome, or other microbiomes, linked to infection, as this initiative is also supported by the Microbial Ecosystems transversal theme.

EMBL offers access to cutting-edge technologies in computational biology, systems-based approaches, engineered tissue and organoid systems, imaging, and structural biology to study pathogens and their interactions with hosts across scales. The four collaborating institutions bring their world-leading expertise in infectious disease research, pathogen biology and genomics, immunology, anti-infective research, and microbiology.


The following research institutions support this initiative:

Infection Biology Transversal Theme
Microbial Ecosystems Transversal Theme

Institut Pasteur

The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS)

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)

Wellcome Sanger Institute

Complete list of researchers available as collaborators.


We will fund up to seven two-year projects. The funding follows a “distributed common pot” approach. Each participating institution will cover its researchers’ costs, with no transfer of funds between institutions. Additional in-kind contributions are welcome. The total cost of each project will be the combined contribution from all hosting institutions and in-kind contributions.

Eligible costs may include core facility access, consumables, small equipment purchases, and salaries for the research staff involved, excluding the PIs. Each collaborating institution will apply its own financial rules regarding eligible costs. Therefore, researchers must consult their institutional representatives for budget approval. Overheads are not an eligible cost.

Funding contribution of each participating institution.

Funds per Project (€)100,000100,000100,00050,00050,000
Total Funds Available (€)700,000500,000300,000100,000100,000


  • Projects should have a clear focus on infection biology, including microbiome-related projects connected to infection biology.
  • Applications must involve at least two PIs from two institutions (one being EMBL); multi-institution collaborations are encouraged.
  • The project must include at least one PI from EMBL’s Infection Biology or Microbial Ecosystems Transversal Theme.
  • The project must include at least one PI from any of the four collaborating institutions (Pasteur, MIMS, HZI, and Sanger).
  • There is no limit to the number of PIs per institution in a project. At least one PI per institute has to be employed for the project’s duration.
  • Funding is only available for PIs within the five collaborating institutes, PIs from other institutes can be involved only with in-kind contributions. 
  • PIs can apply to multiple projects if they involve different partners and topics.
  • EMBL PIs are expected to attend the annual retreat of EMBL’s Infection Biology Transversal Theme to report on the project’s progress.
  • PIs are expected to present at relevant events organized by collaborating institutions.


1. Use the application template available in this webpage.

2. Complete all relevant details in the application following the instructions herein.

3. Please submit your application by the advertised deadline as a single PDF document emailed to borja.esteve@embl.de.

4. If you have questions about the funding scheme, or encounter problems during the application preparation, please contact the Infection Biology Transversal Theme co-chairs at ib-chairs@embl.org.

5. Check with your institutional contact to confirm elegibility before applying.

Selection process

The evaluation process will be coordinated by EMBL’s Infection Biology Transversal Theme. An expert panel, comprising representatives from all collaborating institutions and external experts, will evaluate all submitted projects and rank them based solely on scientific excellence. Most outstanding projects will be selected for funding following their ranking, but only if all institutions involved in a given project have sufficient remaining funds to cover their respective portions of that project’s budget. This ensures that no institution overcommits its allocated funding contribution.

Important dates

Call opens: 1 July 2024

Application deadline: 25 October 2024

Results announcement: December 2024

Planned start of projects: First trimester of 2025