EMBL welcomes undergraduate students of all disciplines in the natural sciences extending from biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to medicine, informatics and engineering.

EIPODs inspire

EIPODs Inspire enables young researchers to expand their scientific network and explore cutting-edge life science research.

It offers the opportunity to:

  • receive 18 months’ informal mentorship from an EMBL Interdisciplinary Postdoc,
  • and attend the EMBL PhD Symposium (7-9 December 2022).

The scheme is open to students studying for a scientific master’s degree in an EMBL member or prospect member state eligible for EU Widening Actions under Horizon 2020. These are:

Croatia | Czech Republic | Estonia | Hungary | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Montenegro | Poland | Portugal | Slovakia

How to apply

Applicants should first check that they meet the eligibility criteria in the ‘Who can apply’ section below.

Eligible candidates should submit a CV and motivation letter in English as a single file (word or PDF format) by email to EIPODs_inspire@embl.org by 11 October 2022 23:59.

The CV should include:

  • Education to date: including start and (expected) end date (month + year), subject/title of the course (e.g. Bachelor of Science, Molecular Biology), the university / institution who awarded (or will award) the degree/certificate, and (if available) overall grade.
  • Research experience (if applicable).
  • Other relevant skills, experience and qualifications.
  • Please do not include personal information (e.g. date of birth) or a photo in the CV or cover letter.

The motivation letter should describe:

  • your interest in the life sciences – for example, what biological processes fascinate you, and/or what motivated you to pursue your master’s,
  • what you hope to gain from mentorship from a postdoc and from attending the symposium.

Applicants will be informed about the outcome of their application by email.

What selected candidates can expect

From informal mentoring:

  • You will meet your mentor during a mentoring workshop on the 6th of December 2022.
  • You will then interact for 18 months. Mentoring will mainly take place by video calls. The focus of mentoring, and how often to meet, will be mutually decided by you and your mentor. We expect that most mentorship pairs will have 2 to 5 calls during the 18 month period; mentoring topics might include:
    • deciding if a PhD is the right choice for you, and how to choose a lab / programme
    • exploring cutting-edge life science research – trends / hot topics / possible resources for exploration
    •  what skills / knowledge to develop for a life science career & ideas how to develop these skills

From the EMBL PhD Symposium:

  • the EMBL PhD Symposium, “The Spectra of Life”, is a scientific conference organized by EMBL PhD students. It offers a programme of talks that provide glimpses into a range of life science research, as well as opportunities to network with PhD students and more established scientists.

Who can apply

  • Applicants must be registered for a scientific master’s programme in an EMBL member or prospect member state eligible for EU Widening Actions under Horzion 2020. These are: Croatia | Czech Republic | Estonia | Hungary | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Montenegro | Poland | Portugal | Slovakia
  • Applicants can be from any scientific field, but should be interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD in the life sciences, or to continue their career in life science-related professions.
  • Applicants must be available to attend a workshop on 6 December and the EMBL PhD Symposium on 7-9 December 2022, in-person in Heidelberg, Germany*.
    • *If it is possible to travel and meet safely, participants are expected to attend in person. If it is not safe to travel or to have in-person meetings with groups (i.e. due to a coronavirus wave) we will offer the activities (workshop + symposium attendance) fully online or in a hybrid format.
    • The registration fee for the symposium, as well as reasonable travel and visa costs will be paid for or reimbursed for students who are selected for the programme. Accommodation from the 6th December for four nights (check-out 10th December) will also be provided free of charge.

How applications will be evaluated

  • Evaluators (participating EIPOD postdocs, plus the EIPOD programme manager and EIPOD career advisor) will select candidates based on the motivation letter and CV, focussing on potential and what the candidate will gain from the experience.
  • Additionally, the following factors may also be taken into consideration to maximise the impact of the programme: time remaining in master’s programme (applicants at the start of their master’s programme preferred), overlapping interests between participating mentors and potential mentees, and distribution of mentees across the eligible member states.

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

EIPODs inspire logo (EIPODs inspire + circles)


EIPODs inspire

EMBL Heidelberg
Meyerhofstraße 1
69117 Heidelberg

Tel: +49 6221 387-8891
Email: eipods_inspire@embl.org