Postdoctoral Programme

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Programme overview

EIPOD4 fellows complete a well-balanced training programme focused on transferable skills and public engagement. They receive tailored mentoring and are supported in their career development via the EMBL Fellows Career service.


Transferable skills training

The interdisciplinary research training fellows receive in the lab is complemented by a rich portfolio of transferable skills courses.  Workshops include open science initiatives (e.g. open access publishing, the principles of FAIR, management/repository of big data),  career development, gender and diversity, research integrity/ethics, intellectual property and entrepreneurship.

EIPODs complete 2 additional trainings of their choice based upon individual needs and interests. The electives may come from suggestions put forward from the EIPOD programme, EMBL’s Professional Training and Development programme and the EMBL Scientific Skills training programme.

Public Engagement

The Natural History Museum (NHM) is internationally recognized as a leading expert in the presentation of the natural world to the general public through exhibitions and outreach.

The NHM is the public engagement partner for the EIPOD4 programme. Fellows participate in a public engagement workshop led by the museum’s  public engagement staff and take part in an outreach activity at the museum. They complete one additional outreach activity of their choice.

Career development support

A strong focus of the EIPOD4 programme is to provide EIPODs with professional career development support. This includes access to the EMBL Fellows Career Service and active career planning through the use of personalized career development plans. Fellows participate in a mentoring scheme (EIPODs Inspire; see below) and may take part in a career secondment scheme (described below). Conference funding to support participation in a conference is also available.

EIPODs Inspire scheme:

EIPOD fellows are paired with Master students from across Europe identified via a merit-based application procedure. The pairs participate in a mentoring workshop and then interact regularly during a mentoring period of 1.5 years.  

Career Secondment Scheme:

EIPODs interested in scientific positions outside of academia can explore opportunities at the end of their fellowships via internships of their choice (max. 2 months). To be eligible, fellows must have completed the mandatory training programme and their outreach activities.

Benefits and contract conditions

EIPOD4 fellows receive 3 year contracts including generous salary based on the EMBL site at which they are based. The 2021 Postdoctoral Fellowship rates (net) are available here. The EMBL HR pages provide an overview of the Laboratory’s conditions of employment. Positions come with:

  • Social securities including health insurance, unemployment insurance and pension scheme
  • Travel and accommodation support to visit partner labs (EMBL and external if relevant)
  • Allowances: family allowance for fellows in a union and children’s allowance if relevant
  • Mandatory and optional training offers
  • Public engagement activities
  • Dedicated career development service including a career secondment programme
  • Mentoring opportunities
  • Conference funds

The programme supports equal opportunities in the broadest possible sense. Some of EMBL’s sites have onsite child care and the others have arrangements with local providers. Part-time is a possibility for fellows returning from parental leave. EMBL also makes work place modifications for researchers with special needs.


Successful projects are screened by an Ethics Committee for ethical considerations based on the EC’s guidelines and EMBL’s own internal policies. Projects requiring ethical approvals must have these in place prior to a fellow beginning their project.

This programme received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (Grant agreement number 847543).

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