ARISE Application process

Between 2020 and 2025, ARISE will award 62 three-year fellowships to talented technology experts to develop new technologies for the life sciences that can be included in the service offers of worldwide research infrastructures operating in the fields of imaging, bioinformatics, structural biology, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and (bio)chemical engineering.

ARISE Call 2

Applications for ARISE Fellowships will be open from 1 September and run until 31 October 2021. Further information will be provided during summer. Please read the Guide for applicants for general information about application procedure and program details.


The ARISE programme is open to experienced STEM professionals from around the world, who have at least four years of experience in technology development in academia or industry, with initial experience in technology development for the purpose of service provision.

The following eligibility criteria apply.

Formal eligibility criteria

  1. A PhD degree itself is not required, but applicants must have at least four years of research experience with a high level of skills (postdoctoral standard), or must have expertise in a specialisation in which doctoral degrees are not usually awarded. Their degree and scientific experience should be in STEM fields, either in the academic or non-academic sectors, relevant to the research fields of EMBL research infrastructures and services. Years spent on a PhD count towards the required four years of experience.

  2. Researchers from all countries are eligible for the ARISE programme. However, it is not permitted for applicants to have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) at any of the EMBL sites for more than 12 months in the three years immediately preceding the call deadline (MSCA mobility rule)*. Applicants cannot already be permanently employed by EMBL.

* Exceptions might be considered related to covid-19. If you need further explanations about mobility rule requirements and related exceptions due to covid-19 outbreak, please contact ARISE management team at

  1. Applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English (comparable to the C level/Proficient English user).

  2. There is no age limit for applying to the fellowship programme. However, candidates’ achievements should align with their stage of education or work experience.

Academic eligibility criteria

  1. Applicants should independently prepare and submit an original research proposal (up to four pages) relevant to the field of work of the groups or teams they are interested in joining. The proposal should aim to develop new methods or technologies or to improve existing ones, which can then be applied to answer various scientific questions from life science researchers as part of a service, and which can be integrated into research infrastructures (see programme overview). The proposed project should not be of local interest only, but should have sufficient potential for international transfer. The proposal must follow European Commission ethical guidance. Applicants are required to contact the groups or teams of their choice before preparing their proposal, to get an overview of their field of work and of current activities in these groups or teams.
  2. Applicants should demonstrate initial experience in technology development related to service provision.
  3. Applicants should prove their scientific potential with at least one of the following types of evidence:
    • Scientific publications.
    • Scientific software, unique or problematic datasets, technical documentation, etc., that they have produced.
    • Contributions to patents.
    • Management of technology development projects.
    • Detailed descriptions of any other innovative research they have performed, and their achievements.
    • Other activities that demonstrate experience relevant to technology development and scientific services.
  1. Applicants should select one or more EMBL group or team leaders who are participating in ARISE, whose group or team they would be interested in joining.

Application and evaluation procedure

Calls for fellowships will be announced once a year, in 2020, 2021, and 2022. We expect to offer around 20 fellowships each year.


Applications should be submitted through the online application portal.

When completing the application form, applicants will need the following information and documents:

  • Statement of interest.
  • Statement of expertise in service provision and technology development.
  • List of EMBL groups or teams that are of interest to the applicant.
  • Names of one or more ARISE partner organisations where the applicant proposes to complete their long secondment. If applicants wish to propose additional organisations, they must contact the potential partner organisation in advance to ensure that this organisation has the capacity to host a secondment and can work in accordance with the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (the ARISE Programme Manager will provide all necessary forms and documents that should be - completed by the new organisation).
  • CV including the full list of publications and awards.
  • Other proofs of academic excellence.
  • Contact details of three referees.
  • Certificates (e.g. PhD certificate, MSc, BSc, or other relevant certificates).
  • Project Proposal including the ethics self-assessment (questionnaire provided in the project proposal template).

To prepare the project proposal, applicants should get in touch with the EMBL group or team leader whose group or team they would like to join.

Selection of fellows is based purely on merit. The evaluation and selection procedure consists of the following steps:

  1. Basic checks: eligibility check, feasibility of the research proposal, ethics check.
  2. Independent peer review and ranking of the submitted applications and corresponding research proposals by the Evaluation Board (international experts).
  3. Personal interviews for the top-ranked candidates with EMBL and other international experts, followed by interviews with the groups or teams in which the candidates have expressed interest.

Based on the overall ranking of the applicants, the ARISE Executive Committee represented by the Programme Director and Manager will offer fellowships to the top-ranked candidates.

1. Collection of applications

  • Call publication (programme manager)
  • Application submission
  • Open consultation (ARISE Group and Team Leaders and applicants)

2. Checks

  • Eligibility check (programme manager)
  • Feasibility check (ARISE Group and Team Leaders)
  • Ethics check (BIAC)

3. Evaluation and selection

  • Evaluation of written applications (evaluation board)
  • Interview of top candidates (Panel and ARISE Group and Team Leaders)

4. Decision and offers

  • Ranking based on evaluation results
  • Offer of fellowships (executive committee, human resources, programme manager)

Expected timeline for the application process in 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the expected timeline has been modified:

  • Collection of applications and first contact with EMBL group or team leaders: 1 December 2020 – 31 January 2021
  • Eligibility, feasibility and ethics checks of submitted applications: February 2021
  • Independent evaluation of submitted applications: March 2021
  • Interviews, decisions and offers: April 2021 (indicative date: week 12 – 16 April 2021)
  • Start of the fellowship: May 2021 or later if required.

For researchers at risk, who have been displaced by conflict or whose situation makes it difficult for them to pursue their careers, the Programme Manager can provide special support on a case-by-case basis (e.g. application by post where online application is not possible, or revision of eligibility criteria to take into consideration time when applicants had to suspend their research activities while seeking refugee status or applying for asylum.

Redress procedure

Applicants can appeal after any of three cut-off points: eligibility check, evaluation of their written application by the Evaluation Board, and personal interviews.

A dedicated email address,, is available for official complaints or formal appeals. This will be accessible only by the Advisory Committee, which is bound by strict confidentiality.

The ARISE Advisory Committee will investigate the validity and significance of the allegations. If significant irregularities in the procedures are found, the Advisory Committee will devise a corrective measure for the current application (e.g. re-evaluation) and future selection rounds. In general, however, the decisions of the Evaluation Board, the interview panel, and the interviewers from the ARISE groups will not be overruled.

Learn more

Further information on the programme can be found in the following sections.


An introduction to the ARISE Programme.

Programme overview

Develop skills uniquely required by Research Infrastructure Scientists.


Who to contact and how to get in touch.

ARISE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 945405.

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