Scientific Visitor Programme

Enabling external scientists and students to benefit from new collaborations, technologies and state-of-the-art equipment

EMBL-UNESCO Residency in Infection Biology Research

Application form

Learn more about:

Scope of the programme

EMBL is among the world’s highest ranked scientific research organisations aimed to explore the secrets of life. EMBL integrates 27 member states and employs close to 1800 people across its six research sites in Heidelberg, Barcelona, Grenoble, Hamburg, Cambridge (Hinxton) and Rome. Its headquarters is located in Heidelberg (Germany) and integrate both research groups and core facilities. The IB-TT research groups, spread across all 6 sites, are focused on characterising pathogen (viruses, bacteria, parasites) interactions with the host at an atomic, molecular, tissue and ecosystems level to better understand infection and antimicrobial resistance – a major health challenge facing the world today.

UNESCO is the main agency within the United Nations that aims to promote global peace and security, through the promotion of international cooperation in education, sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO works with science organisations to share ideas and establish standards, promote dialogue between scientists and policy makers, and enable the development of deeper international cooperation in science.

This initiative follows the recent MoU signed between EMBL and UNESCO to promote greater collaboration in the areas of open science, capacity building in developing countries, the sharing of key resources and the promotion of greater gender equality in science.  

The current opportunity targets advanced PhD fellows, postdoctoral scholars, and tenure-track group leaders holding a primary affiliation with a research group based in Africa. Applications are especially welcomed from eligible candidates among the fellows of the UNESCO’s Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), and the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women In Science (FWIS) awardees, who have demonstrated research excellence, and intend to use this placement opportunity to simultaneously expand their research program and contribute to capacity building in their home institution/region/country.

The successful candidate(s) will be hosted by one or more group leaders within the Infection Biology Transversal Theme, spread across EMBL’s six sites in Europe – who will mentor and co-develop the project proposed by the candidate, in line with the group’s research focus. The candidate(s) will have the opportunity to benefit from EMBL’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and its vibrant scientific community and build an international scientific network beyond borders.
EMBL will provide financial and logistic support to the successful candidates through the Scientific Visitor Programme Office, covering the costs for visa, travel and accommodation for the duration of their stay. Further funding may be made available on a case-by-case basis, taking into account information provided in the application form.

Participating groups

image of Guy Cochrane

Guy Cochrane

Team Leader, Data Coordination and Archiving

Data Coordination and Archiving


image of Andrew Leach

Andrew Leach

Head of Chemical Biology and Head of Industry Partnerships

Chemical Biology Services



  • This call is open to female researchers working in the area of Infection Biology.
  • Scientists having a primary affiliation with an African institution.
  • Advanced PhD researchers.
  • Postdoctoral fellows.
  • Tenure-track group leaders in the first five years.

How to apply

Candidates are invited to apply for this opportunity via EMBL’s e-recruitment system Talentlink (see here)

To apply: 

1. Download and fill the pdf application form available at the top of this webpage. Please take care to review the guide for filling in the form provided at the end of the application form. 

2. Please provide a concise curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages) with all publications listed in your ORCID profile, as requested in the application form.

3. Please provide on official letterhead with contact information – a letter of support from your group leader (for PhD/postdoc applicants), or Department/Institution Head (for early career group leader applicants) supporting your three month stay in EMBL.

4. Please review our data protection policy.

5. On EMBL’s online jobs portal calling for these fellowships, create a profile, attach and upload the completely filled application form, curriculum vitae, letter of support.

Applications submitted in any other way or format will not be considered for this opportunity. 

Important dates

11 February 2023: Call announcement

01 March 2023: Open for applications 

15 April 2023 (23:59 CET): Deadline for submission of applications.

Mid-May 2023: Interviews with shortlisted candidates

Late May/early June 2023: Results announcement

September 2023: Start of placements

Selection procedure

The application will be considered by the Infection Biology Transversal theme group leaders, and the most promising projects will be selected for an interview via video-conference, where the projects will be co-developed into achievable work packages. Following a final internal review, the successful candidates will be notified with enough time to arrange the visit to EMBL. Special attention will also be given during the interview to the candidate’s potential to translate their experience at EMBL into a positive contribution to capacity building projects in their home country.


Should you have any questions, please get in touch with the Scientific Visitor Programme Office.
Email: vp@embl.org

Credits: Krisztina Arató, Jia Le Lim/EMBL, Creative Team/EMBL, Adobe Stock images