}}"> Head of Developmental Biology Unit | Jobs | EMBL

Head of Developmental Biology Unit


Key information

  • Location: EMBL Heidelberg
  • Staff category: Staff Member
  • Job type: Science Faculty
  • Contract duration: 5 years
  • Grading: 12
  • Closing date: 14 March 2021
  • Reference number: HD01890

Continue reading for more information about this position, or apply now




About this position

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is a world leader in biological research and at the forefront in the development of cutting-edge technologies for the biological sciences. The scientific programme of EMBL emphasizes experimental analysis at multiple levels of biological organisation, from the molecule to the organism, as well as computational biology, bioinformatics and systems biology. EMBL’s next programme (2022-2026) “Molecules to Ecosystems” will explore the molecular basis of life in context. Building on our current strengths, new themes will include: planetary biology, human ecosystems, infection biology, microbial ecosystems and theory.

EMBL is an international research organisation publicly funded by more than 25 member states, operating across six sites, in Heidelberg (HQ), Barcelona, Hinxton near Cambridge, Hamburg, Grenoble and Rome.

EMBL is seeking to recruit a visionary leader as Head of the Developmental Biology (DB) Unit at EMBL Heidelberg.

The DB Unit, a department currently comprising 9 independent groups, aims to establish novel approaches to elucidate the principles and mechanisms underlying the emergence of a dynamic organization in developing organisms. The development of multicellular organisms from single cells to adult animals requires the dynamic interplay of many cellular processes, coordinated in space and time. Members of the unit combine the power of genetic model organisms with quantitative imaging and –omics technologies, synthetic biology, reduced (in vitro) systems and theoretical modelling, to create a cross-cutting approach to modern developmental biology.

You will have a decisive role in developing the overall strategy of the unit in line with the vision of EMBL’s scientific programme and to realise its full potential and deliver excellence, including the hiring and mentoring of research group leaders. As an active scientist and member of EMBL Faculty, you will also maintain scientific and technical contacts internationally at the highest level. You will contribute greatly to the success of EMBL as a whole, through participation in EMBL’s collegial leadership structure.

This is an exciting opportunity to lead and shape the Developmental Biology (DB) Unit in the context of EMBL’s next scientific programme, with the goal to establish the molecular basis of life in its natural context. The central goal of this bold vision is to gain molecular and mechanistic insights to understand how organisms respond to changing environments, and how they influence their environment.

Your role

You will:

  • be responsible for establishing and developing programmatic priorities and resource planning;
  • advance your own research group;
  • recruit, supervise and mentor faculty members;
  • ensure the maintenance of world-class standards of research;
  • guide the preparation for regular programme reviews;
  • identify and pursue opportunities for further development within the unit, at EMBL
    Heidelberg and with other EMBL sites;
  • work in collaboration with scientific and government partners to develop joint
    programmes;
  • provide regular information and status reports to the Director of EMBL Heidelberg
    (Scientific Activities) and the EMBL Director General;
  • provide reports as required by EMBL Council and other external committees;
  • interact with the wider scientific community via conferences and special events;
  • participate in senior scientific, strategic and administrative leadership of EMBL.

The tasks are not limited to the above and a flexible approach and ability to adapt to evolving situations in a dynamic organization is required.

You have

  • As an ideal candidate, you are an enthusiastic and entrepreneurial scientist with an
    outstanding track record in a field of developmental biology. Besides bringing
    scientific vision, you are motivated to work in an open, collaborative environment.
  • Essential requirements for the position include a PhD in the life sciences and at least
    10 years' experience in international scientific collaboration.
  • A proven record of substantial personnel management and leadership experience
    within a scientific organisation, preferably international, is required.
  • You have proven experience with administration management and as well as
    excellent interpersonal, communication and organisational skills.
  • A high level of proficiency in English is essential.
  • A good working knowledge of German and/or French would be desirable.
    Key competencies are:
  • The ability to think strategically, to take effective decisions and provide leadership.
  • The capacity to understand the perspective of key decision-makers and partners – to think through their needs and interests to identify their agenda.
  • The ability to build strong and effective links within and outside the organisation.
  • The ability to actively build collaborations with external partners and other scientific organisations, nationally and internationally.
  • Initiative, pro-activeness and very good negotiation skills.

Why join us

We are Europe’s flagship research laboratory for the life sciences – an intergovernmental organisation performing scientific research in disciplines including molecular biology, physics, chemistry and computer science. We are an international, innovative and interdisciplinary laboratory with more than 1700 employees from more than 80 countries.

Our mission is to offer vital services to scientists in the member states and the world, to train scientists, students and visitors at all levels, to actively engage in technology transfer, technology development, transfer and industry relations and to coordinate and integrate European life science research.

EMBL offers a highly collaborative, uniquely international culture. It fosters top quality, interdisciplinary research by promoting a vibrant environment consisting of young independent research groups with access to outstanding graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and core facilities. EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation with a very collegial and family friendly working environment. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical, educational and other social benefits.

EMBL is committed to internationality, diversity and equality, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities.

What else you need to know

Interviews are planned to take place on Tuesday 13 April and/or Monday 10 May 2021.

Questions concerning the role should be sent to Peer Bork, Director of EMBL Heidelberg (Scientific Activities) at peer.bork[at]embl.org, and Edith Heard, EMBL Director General, at dg-office[at]embl.org.

All queries regarding the terms and conditions should be sent to the Head of Human Resources, Roland Block, at roland.block[at]embl.org.

For more detailed information and to apply, please go to www.embl.org/jobs.

Please note that this is a tenure-eligible appointment.

Apply now

For questions or issues with the application process, please contact recruitment@embl.org

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The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is a single organisation spread across six European sites. Each site hosts its own research units, services, and facilities.