European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences

Our inspiring educational experiences share the scientific discoveries of EMBL with young learners aged 10-19 years and teachers in Europe and beyond.

On-site LearningLAB  

The molecule of life, March 2018


The European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS) and ExploHeidelberg Teaching Lab invite European secondary school science teachers to apply for the ELLS LearningLAB “The molecule of life: decoding the message of DNA”, taking place in Heidelberg, Germany between 25 and 27 March 2018. The course is in English and is free of charge.

The 2.5-day professional training course for secondary school science teachers will consist of a mix of seminars by EMBL scientists, hands-on activities, lab experiments, visits to state-of-the-art research facilities at EMBL and presentations of teaching resources. The course will focus on cutting-edge sequencing technologies and illustrate how topics of DNA sequencing and DNA biology may be transferred to the classroom.

The course will:

  • Introduce you to current topics in gene and genome sequencing
  • Provide practical and hands-on insights into some of the newest sequencing technologies available
  • Update your knowledge on current biological research and get you in touch with research scientists
  • Illustrate a range of classroom activities and experiments, and equip you to use the presented resources to support your teaching of biology
  • Include guided visits to research facilities at EMBL Heidelberg
  • Provide a platform to network and share your experiences with colleagues from all over Europe

Location/ Travel


The first course day (25 March) will take place at the seminar room of the Hotel ISG in Heidelberg-Boxberg; the second day (26 March) at ExploHeidelberg Teaching Lab and the third day (27 March) at EMBL Heidelberg.


Shuttle bus
For those staying in the hotel (see “Accommodation”), a shuttle bus will transfer participants between hotel and Explo/EMBL. Please note that there will be no shuttle service for getting from Heidelberg city centre to the Hotel ISG on the 25th March (first day) where the course starts. Participants are kindly asked to make their own way up to the Hotel ISG for the start of the course at 16:00 (see below).

Getting to Hotel ISG on 25th March
Instructions on how to reach the Hotel ISG can be found here: Travel to Hotel ISG

Getting to Explo on 26th March
General instructions on how to reach Explo can be found here: Travel to ExploHeidelberg Teaching Lab

Getting to EMBL on 27th March
General instructions on how to reach EMBL can be found here: Travel to EMBL Heidelberg  If you travel by car, please use the free car parking lot “P1” on the left hand side as you arrive in Meyerhofstraße. You will find the ATC building at the top of the footpath leading up the hill.

Leaving EMBL on 27th March
There will be a shuttle service taking participants from EMBL Heidelberg to the Heidelberg main train station after the end of the course.


Participants who do not reside in Heidelberg will be provided with single-room accommodation free of charge for 2 nights (25th and 26th March, i.e. Sunday to Tuesday) at the Hotel ISG in Heidelberg-Boxberg. If you require accommodation, please indicate this in the application form. Please note that we cannot book accommodation for you if you have not indicated this when you apply.

If you require accommodation for additional nights, please arrange this directly with the hotel at your own cost.

Hotel contact details:
Hotel ISG Heidelberg
Im Eichwald 19, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany
Tel: +49 6221 38610
E-mail: isg@embl.de
Website: www.isg-hotel.de


Travel expenses to and from the course location in Heidelberg, Germany need to be covered by the LearningLAB participants.

We have a small number of ELLS travel bursaries sponsored by Sartorius AG available to cover part of an individual’s travel expenses. These bursaries are aimed at participants who would have difficulties attending the course without financial aid.
If you would like to apply for a bursary, please fill in the bursary section in the course application form.

Eligibility requirements for ELLS travel bursary sponsored by Sartorius AG

  • All applicants must be active in teaching biology to 16-19 year old students.
  • Candidates of any nationality may apply but must be resident and work in the EU and associated member states.
  • Bursary recipients will receive partial support for their incurred travel costs upon completion of the course.
  • Only complete bursary applications received via the application form will be considered for review.

Bursaries will be awarded on the basis of:

  • Justification of use of the funds to support your attendance of the LearningLAB.
  • Demonstration of involvement with national (and possibly international) teaching networks and a commitment to sharing course materials through these.

After attending the course, bursary recipients are asked to provide a short statement describing the reasons for having applied for teacher training course and travel bursary, the benefits of attending the course and the impact the course had on their work in the classroom.


To apply, please fill in the following application form: Application Form

Please ensure that you have read all course information and are confident that you can attend if your application is successful.

Following your course application, you will receive an email between 12 and 19 December notifying you whether your application has been successful. You will then be asked to confirm your attendance by completing our registration process within a couple of days, so please ensure you will have access to email between these dates.

Application deadline: 10 December 2017
Acceptance notification date: 12-19 December 2017
Maximum number of course participants: 24
Minimum number of course participants: 14
Registration fee: none

Attendance and Cancellations

As we anticipate the ELLS LearningLAB to be very popular, we ask participants to only apply if they are certain that they can attend for the whole duration of the course. In case you need to cancel your attendance after having confirmed your participation, please notify us as soon as possible by  email, so we can give your place to somebody on our waiting list.

Please note that cancellations and non-attendance might jeopardise the viability of the course for other participants, and we may charge a cancellation fee.

Course programme

The preliminary programme may be downloaded here: 

Date: 25 - 27 March 2018

Topic area:  Genome biology

Format: Face-to-face

Location: Germany

Contact: ELLS Team

Organiser: ELLS & ExploHeidelberg