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.

Virtual LearningLAB  

The cellular basis of life, October 2022


Elucidating the fundamental rules that govern cell organisation and function helps us understand how living systems are built and work. EMBL’s Science Education and Public Engagement (SEPE) team invites secondary school science teachers to explore this exciting area of biological research in a virtual training course entitled “The cellular basis of life: current insights and tools for teaching” this autumn. The course runs over two weeks, from 24 October to 6 November 2022. The course is free of charge, and the workload is estimated to be 9 hours and is designed to fit around a busy teacher’s schedule. The course working language is English. 

Application deadline: 10 October 2022

This professional training course for secondary school science teachers provides insights into how bioimaging revolutionises research in cell biology and discusses the most exciting recent findings in the field and how to teach the topic in the classroom.

The two-week course consists of a mix of individual learning and interactive live sessions. The workload across the course is estimated to be 9 hours, covering 4-5 hours each week. An extra week for assignments’ submission is granted. 

In week 1, participants will learn about key technological developments that allow researchers to see and explore the structure and function of cells with great precision. Join EMBL scientists in discussing what we can see inside a cell using modern technology and what remains to be discovered.  

Week 2 will provide insights and inspiration for teaching the topic of cell biology in class. Participants will explore a selection of resources to help secondary school students dive into the topic, including brand-new learning materials developed by EMBL’s science education team. EMBL resources will cover aspects related to the structure and function of cells as well as teaching the scientific method using an example from cell biology research. In the latter resource, students are put in the shoes of researchers and are using actual scientific data to evaluate the effects of a viral infection on the cellular level.

By the end of the course, participants will:

  • deepen & expand their understanding of cell biology
  • appreciate the impact of current imaging technologies on our understanding of the cellular basis of life 
  • become familiar with brand new hands-on resources which can be directly applied in the classroom

Moreover, the course gives participants the opportunity to

  • connect to active researchers in the field
  • expand their sources of materials for teaching cell biology in secondary school
  • expand their network of international teachers and science educators


This training course is organised by EMBL’s Science Education and Public Engagement (SEPE) office (formerly European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences).

Science Education and Public Engagement (SEPE)

EMBL’s science education activities aim to bridge the gap between research and schools. Multifaceted training activities and programmes allow European teachers and secondary school students to experience modern life sciences. They gain access to cutting-edge scientific research and get to know the people inside the laboratories. Visit our website for further information about our activities.

Learning formats & assignment

The course will take place online and will be taught through e-lectures, live Q&A sessions, reading material and online exercises.

The course is mainly designed to be self-paced. However, the course features several live sessions where attendees meet researchers, course organisers and other participants. Recordings of some of the live sessions will be made available to all participants after the session for the course duration.

The workload for completing the compulsory learning content is between 4-5 hours per week. The content in each week comprises compulsory and additional content that is optional. To be eligible for a certificate of attendance, participants must have submitted the required compulsory assignments by Sunday of the week following the course (10 November 2022).

Requirements & certificate

Please note that we recommend a minimum English language level of B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to complete the course successfully. Please consult this self-assessment chart if you are unsure about your language skills.

The course will take place on a Moodle-based e-learning platform (eCampus) and the Zoom meeting tool. To access the course, participants should have access to a computer with an internet connection. To take part in the interactive live sessions on Zoom, participants should have an audio connection as well as a camera.


Participants receive a certificate of attendance upon completion of the course. To be eligible for the certificate, participants must have submitted the required compulsory assignments by Sunday of the week following the course.

Cancellation fees

As we anticipate the virtual LearningLAB to be very popular, we ask participants only to apply if they are certain that they can attend the course. In case you find yourself unable to attend after having received our confirmation email, please notify us as soon as possible by email but no later than 14 days before the start of the course so that we can give your place to somebody on the waiting list.

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.


Terms and conditions

Please make yourself familiar with the terms and conditions for participating in our courses and on data protection. Your agreement to these terms and conditions is required before you can continue applying for the course.


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

You will need to submit a short motivational statement (max. 300 words) in the application form. To apply, please fill in the following application form.

Draft Schedule

Date: 24 October - 6 November 2022

Application deadline: 10 Oct 2022

Topic area:  Cell biology

Format: Virtual

Location: Online

Fee: None

Contact: SEPE Team

Organiser: SEPE