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  

Grenoble: Structural biology, February 2015


ELLS LearningLAB Grenoble 2015The European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS), in collaboration with La Casemate Grenoble, invites European secondary school science teachers to apply for the ELLS LearningLAB “Structural biology – shining light onto the fabric of life”. The course will provide an interactive introduction to the field of structural biology. The professional training course for secondary school science teachers will consist of a mix of seminars by EMBL scientists, hands-on activities and visits to world-class research facilities on the European Photon & Neutron Science Campus. The programme will cover a wide range of topics and highlight the use of high-energy X-ray sources and protein crystallography to study virus structures on the atomic scale.

During the 2-day course, a combination of seminars, discussions and hands-on activities will:

  • Introduce you to X-ray crystallography and its great potential to gain insights into the structure and function of viral proteins and antiviral drug design;
  • 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 visits to world-class research facilities at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory Grenoble and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF);
  • Give you the opportunity to develop your own scientific quiz and make it available to your students;
  • Allow you to network and share your experiences with teachers colleagues.
EMBL Grenoble on the European Photon & Neutron Science Campus
Açade De La Casemate À Grenoble

Location/ Travel

The experimental hall and storage ring building of the ESRF


The 2-day course (9 – 10 February 2015) will take place on the spectacular European Photon & Neutron Science Campus (epn Science Campus) in Grenoble.

Single-room accommodation for participants will be provided at the guest houses on the epn Science Campus in Grenoble.


The course will take place at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL Grenoble), based on the European Photon & Neutron Science Campus, Grenoble.



To apply for the ELLS LearningLAB, please click here to enter registration page. Registration is now closed

Following your course application, you will receive an email in due course notifying you whether your application has been successful.

Application deadline: 15 December 2014 (10:00 am CET) – early registrations are welcome and are more likely to be successful.

Acceptance notification date: 17 December 2014 (latest)

Maximum number of course participants: 24

Minimum number of course participants: 15

Registration fee: none


We are pleased to offer three bursaries to assist with travel costs.  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.

Bursaries will be awarded on the basis of:

  • explanation of the relevance of this course to your teaching;
  • justification of use of the funds to support your attendance in the LearningLAB;
  • demonstration of involvement with national (and possibly international) teaching networks and a commitment to sharing course materials through these.

How to apply for a bursary?
Once you have been selected to participate in the course, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to submit your application for a bursary.

If you are accepted for a bursary, you will receive partial support for your incurred travel costs upon completion of the course.

Course programme

  • Scientific presentations by EMBL scientists
  • The seminars and hands-on activities will focus on important steps in the classic protein crystallisation work-flow, such as protein purification and crystallisation, freezing the crystals, working on the beamlines, processing of diffraction images and computer-aided 3D-model visualisation. Participants will also get  insights in high-throughput crystallisation technology and on drug design.
  • Guided visits to the impressive beamlines of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)
  • Perform experiments and discover teaching resources for the classroom
    • experimental protein crystallisation kit
    • educational games
    • classroom activities
  • Visit to the FabLab at La Casemate Grenoble – print your own 3D-model of a protein
  • Platform to network and share your experiences with teachers colleagues.
Course poster

Date: 9 - 10 February 2015

Topic area:  Structural & Computational biology

Format: Face-to-face

Location: France

Contact: ELLS Team

Organiser: ELLS & EMBL Grenoble & CCSTI de Grenoble