Science Education

Formerly known as 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. We belong to EMBL’s Science Education and Public Engagement office.

On-site LearningLAB  

New ways of teaching ecology

Train-the-trainer course


The EMBL Science Education and Public Engagement team in collaboration with Merck invite European teacher trainers, secondary school science teachers, and informal educators to apply for  “New ways of teaching ecology: a train-the-trainer course”, taking place at EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany between 27 and 29 September 2023. The course is free of charge and is held in English.

The 2.5-day train-the-trainer course is the first of its kind, training trainers and formal and informal educators to deliver professional development courses for fellow educators on the topic of “teaching ecosystems”. The course consists of a mix of seminars by EMBL scientists, visits to research facilities and training on using “Nexus Island”, a game-based educational resource developed by EMBL to teach the topic of ecosystems in an innovative way. The scientific and educational content of the train-the-trainer course is based on the content presented during the virtual LearningLAB “Exploring ecosystems”, which took place this Spring. Therefore, the course participants are provided with the tools and materials needed for delivering courses on the topic of exploring ecosystems. By joining this course, the participants become EMBL Teacher Ambassadors who are enabled to promote the EMBL teacher training programme and deliver EMBLconnect courses on the topic of ecosystems in their local language for their community of teachers and informal educators in their home countries.

The train-the-trainer course will:

  • Familiarise you with EMBL research on ecosystems, get you in touch with research scientists and take you on visits to EMBL’s scientific facilities
  • Introduce you to the EMBL Teacher Ambassador Programme and the EMBLconnect scheme
  • Prepare you to deliver courses for teachers and informal educators on the topic of ecosystems as part of the EMBLconnect scheme
  • Provide you with access to materials to deliver the scientific and educational elements of EMBLconnect courses on the topic of ecosystems
  • Familiarise you with “Nexus Island”, a game-based teaching resource on ecosystem exploration suitable for classroom use 
  •  Provide a platform to network and share your experiences with teacher training colleagues from across Europe

Course organisers

Science Education and Public Engagement
EMBL’s Science Education and Public Engagement office shares the scientific discoveries of EMBL with young people, teachers and the diverse public in Europe and beyond. Our education programmes convey complex, cutting-edge topics in life science research in an exciting and insightful way, fostering the discovery of current research trends, the scientific method, and scientific career paths. Our teacher training courses empower educators to bring modern life sciences into the classroom. Visit our website for further information about our activities.

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare and electronics. More than 64,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From providing products and services that accelerate drug development and manufacturing as well as discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2022, Merck generated sales of € 22.2 billion in 66 countries.

Ambassador programme

EMBLconnect scheme

The EMBLconnect scheme allows teachers, teacher trainers and informal educators (so-called EMBL Teacher Ambassadors) to run professional development training courses based on the successful EMBL LearningLAB model in their home country. These so-called EMBLconnect LearningLAB courses are part of EMBL’s portfolio of teacher training courses that complement those offerings directly run by the EMBL Science Education and Public Engagement office. The EMBLconnect LearningLABs provide teachers from EMBL member states with access to high-quality professional development training in the field of life sciences tailored to the needs of their school system and in their local language, allowing a wider community of teachers to benefit from the EMBL teacher training. 

EMBL Teacher Ambassadors work in close collaboration with the EMBL Science Education and Public Engagement office during the preparation of the EMBLconnect course. The Ambassadors are responsible for the course implementation. EMBL provides professional support to the Ambassadors in developing the agenda of the training and provides teaching and learning materials to cover the scientific and educational aspects of the course as well as feedback templates for course evaluation. These materials may be complemented with additional content provided by the Ambassador. EMBL supports the promotion of the course to the EMBL teacher network. There is a small budget available to cover some costs of the EMBLconnect course which can be used for expenses such as printing or basic catering.

EMBL Teacher Ambassador Programme

The EMBL Teacher Ambassadors act as the gateway to EMBL professional teacher training for teachers in their home country.

The EMBL Teacher Ambassador programme supports teacher trainers, teachers, and informal educators in running a professional development course for teachers in an EMBL member state and enables them to disseminate information about all teacher training opportunities offered by EMBL. 

EMBL Teacher Ambassadors are trained by EMBL through a dedicated train-the-trainer course that gives them access to training resources that allow them to run teacher training courses termed EMBLconnect LearningLABs which are based on the successful EMBL LearningLAB model. After attending the train-the-trainer course, participants receive an Ambassador certificate. Additional certification for running any EMBLconnect courses would be issued accordingly. The Ambassadors receive guidance from EMBL’s Science Education and Public Engagement office on setting up and running an EMBLconnect LearningLAB. In addition to training and course support, EMBL keeps Ambassadors up to date with the institute’s activities for teachers and young learners. Ambassadors distribute relevant events and educational resources to their teaching and learning communities in their home country.

Benefits for EMBL Teacher Ambassadors

  • Getting first-hand insights into EMBL’s latest research and education actions
  • Receiving high-quality professional development training in the field of life sciences as part of an established and recognised scheme
  • Developing as a professional by gaining first experience as a trainer for teacher professional development or building on your existing experience 
  • Benefitting from utilising an established framework of a teacher training scheme linked to the cutting-edge life science research of EMBL
  • Making a meaningful contribution to the professional development of teachers in your home country
  • Expanding your professional network and becoming part of a dedicated, international community of EMBL Teacher Ambassadors
  • Receiving certificates as EMBL Teacher Ambassador and trainer at EMBLconnect LearningLAB

Please contact us if you have further questions about the EMBLconnect scheme or the EMBL Teacher Ambassador Programme.

Acommodation and travel


The course will take place on the EMBL campus in Heidelberg, Germany.


Participants who do not reside in Heidelberg or the region will be provided with single-room accommodation free of charge for 2 nights, 27 to 29 September (i.e. Wednesday to Friday) at The Heidelberg Exzellenz Hotel in downtown Heidelberg. If you require accommodation, please indicate this in the application form. Please note that we can only book accommodation for you if you indicate this at the time of application.

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

Hotel contact details:
The Heidelberg Exzellenz Hotel
Rohrbacher Straße 29, 69115 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 6221 9150 
E-mail: info@the-heidelberg.de
Website: https://www.the-heidelberg.de


Participants are responsible to organise their own travel to and from Heidelberg.

Getting to The Heidelberg Exzellenz Hotel on 27 September

From Heidelberg main station (Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof), you have several options to reach the hotel by public transport:

  • Bus line 32, direction “Universitätsplatz” – get off at “Seegarten” bus stop
  • Tram line 5, direction “Schriesheim” – get off at “Seegarten” bus stop

You may also consider walking to the hotel: it is a 1.2km distance and it will take you around 16-18 minutes.

Getting to EMBL 27-29 September by shuttle bus
For those staying in the hotel, a shuttle bus will transfer participants between the hotel and EMBL. There will also be a shuttle transfer taking participants from EMBL Heidelberg to the Heidelberg main train station at the end of the course on 29 September.

Car travel
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 “Advanced Training Centre” (ATC building) at the top of the footpath leading up the hill.


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

We have a limited number of travel bursaries 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.

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.

Eligibility requirements for a travel bursary

  • All applicants must be either active in training secondary school teachers or teaching biology to 14-19-year-old students.
  • All applicants must be willing to run at least one EMBLconnect course in their home country within 18 months of attending the train-the-trainer course.
  • Candidates of any nationality may apply but must be residents of and work in an EMBL member state.

Bursaries will be awarded on the basis of:

  • Justification of the use of the funds to support your attendance of the train-the-trainer course
  • Demonstration of involvement with national teacher/educator networks and a commitment to sharing course materials through these networks
  • Commitment to running at least one EMBLconnect course within 18 months of attending the train-the-trainer course.


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

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

Application deadline: Friday, 4 August 2023, 23:00 CEST

You will be notified of the success of your application via email shortly after the application deadline. If your application is successful and you have been invited to the train-the-trainer course, we will ask you to confirm your attendance by completing our registration form. Please make sure you have access to the internet and email during this time period.

Maximum number of participants: 20; minimum number of participants: 15

Attendance and Cancellations

We ask participants to only apply if they are certain that they can attend 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.

Cancellation fees

Please note that cancellations and non-attendance might jeopardise the viability of the course for other participants, and we may charge a course cancellation fee. If you indicated your requirement for accommodation, we will have booked a place for you in the course hotel. In case of a course cancellation less than 3 weeks before the course dates, the hotel will charge you for the first night of your stay.


The preliminary course programme may be downloaded here.

Date: 27 - 29 September 2023

Application deadline: 4 Aug 2023

Topic area:  Environmental biology

Format: Face-to-face

Location: Germany

Fee: Free

Contact: SEPE team

Organiser: SEPE team