ARISE Programme Overview

The ARISE fellowship programme offers fellowships for experienced professionals with a background in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) who wish to advance technology development in the life sciences and receive training to operate life science research infrastructures, which provide novel technologies as a service for life scientists.

Research Infrastructures in Life Sciences

Research infrastructures are facilities, resources, and related services that are used by the scientific community to conduct high-level research.

They host advanced technologies and support life scientists in using these technologies. Research infrastructures are operated by research infrastructure scientists who know how to use and improve existing technologies and how to develop new ones to meet the needs of life scientists.

Classic examples of research infrastructures are core facilities located at research institutes (e.g. EMBL core facilities), which host advanced instruments and provide access to both internal and external researchers; major scientific facilities (e.g. synchrotrons) that exist in only small numbers around the world; data infrastructures promoting data sharing and use (e.g. collections, archives of scientific data, computing systems, and communication networks), and large pan-European research infrastructures that bring together services provided by smaller research infrastructures distributed across Europe (e.g. ESFRI research infrastructures like Euro-BioImaging, ELIXIR, Instruct, or EMBRC).

Technology development, especially with the purpose of enriching service provision in the life sciences, is currently one of EMBL’s main strategic focuses. EMBL groups are developing technologies in imaging, chemical biology, computational modelling, microfluidics, robotics, X-ray optics, high-precision mechanics, data acquisition, automation, bioinformatics and software development, and integrated structural biology.

Each ARISE fellow will be hosted by one EMBL group or team at one of EMBL's six sites (Barcelona, Grenoble, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Hinxton, or Rome). Their group and team leaders all have a track record in developing new methods and technologies, providing these as a service, and applying them to answer novel scientific questions.

Training of ARISE Fellows

The ARISE programme is designed to help fellows develop skills that are uniquely required by research infrastructure scientists.

The Program will provide training in:

  • Technology development.
  • Management and operation of research infrastructures and scientific services.
  • A broad understanding of the life sciences.
  • Data management technologies and FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) data policies.

The programme will also provide broad professional networking opportunities, which will keep research infrastructure scientists up to date with technology and science developments, and aware of the needs of their user community.

Training will be provided through practical work on a research project (technology development), through secondments, courses, conferences, supervision, and mentoring.


All fellows will complete four secondments

  • two at partner organisations (one long and one short; at least one of them must be intersectoral),
  • one interdisciplinary secondment at EMBL, and
  • one secondment shadowing a user of similar technology.

When applying for the fellowship, applicants must indicate where they would propose to complete their long secondment (2–6 months). The final decision on where fellows will go for their secondments will be made during the fellowship by the fellow and their supervisor.

Training modules

Career support

  • Supervision and mentoring
  • Career advising
  • Personal Career Development Plan
  • Annual progress reports
  • Half-yearly progress meetings

Research training

  • Research project
  • Scientific courses
  • Conferences
  • Inter-discipilinary secondment at EMBL
  • Long secondments at Partner organisations
  • Shadowing of users

Professional training

  • ARISE school
  • Courses, expert webinars
  • Use case webinars
  • Research project
  • Mini secondment at Partner organisation
  • Shadowing the user

Transferable skills and outreach

  • Courses
  • Participation in outreach activities
  • Inter-sectoral secondment

Research training

For all ARISE fellows, the main part of the three-year fellowship will be carrying out research work on a technology development project of their choice. Technologies developed by ARISE fellows should improve services in any of a wide range of life science fields, including imaging, bioinformatics, structural biology, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and (bio)chemical engineering. Fellows will start planning their own research project during the application phase.

The project should reflect their interests and align with the expertise of the EMBL group or team that the fellow wishes to join, and align with the research focus of the ARISE partner organisation in which the fellow wishes to complete their long secondment. Fellows will further develop their research skills by participating in scientific courses and conferences and secondments at ARISE partner organisations as well as within EMBL.

Professional development training

In addition to research skills training, ARISE fellows benefit from unique training in professional skills. Through courses, secondments, and their daily work at EMBL, fellows will learn:

  • How to provide various technologies as a service.
  • How to optimise service provision.
  • How to apply technologies to study diverse scientific questions.
  • How to operate and manage research infrastructures, including budgeting, reporting, costing, impact assessment, technology transfer, leadership, and other professional skills uniquely required by research infrastructure scientists.

The training programme is further enhanced with:

  • Transferable skills training.
  • Outreach and communications experience.
Timeline of ARISE Fellowship
Timeline of ARISE Fellowship

Career guidance


Each fellow will have one supervisor at EMBL (selected from the ARISE group and team leaders), and will perform research in their supervisor’s group or team. Fellows will choose their supervisor during the application and selection process. Supervisors will provide scientific, professional, and career guidance to fellows and can be approached on a daily basis. Supervisors will also introduce fellows to the scientific network, ensure that they integrate well into the existing group or team, and ensure that they benefit from the expertise, knowledge, and tools present in the lab and at EMBL.


Each fellow will also choose a mentor from the other ARISE group and team leaders, who can bring in additional skills and knowledge. The mentor will participate in annual progress reviews of the fellow and will provide professional and career guidance.

Career development plan

Each fellow will develop a professional career development plan, with the support of an external career advisor and the fellow’s supervisor. This will identify the fellow’s training needs, and mechanisms to support development of the required skills.

Employment aspects

Fellows will be employed for three years by EMBL as EMBL Research Fellows.

Fellows will receive a contract that comes with:

EMBL will provide every assistance in obtaining the required visas or work permits for all its fellows. Further information about visas for your stay at EMBL can be found here.

EMBL runs its own kindergarten in Heidelberg and cooperates with local kindergartens at other EMBL sites. The EMBL Kindergarten offers all-day childcare for children aged from three months to six years.

EMBL provides housing support and strives to assist employees in smoothly relocating to begin their working life at EMBL. Initial accommodation can be provided in the EMBL guesthouses or – in Heidelberg – at the ISG Hotel. EMBL also provides a housing service to assist with finding long-term accommodation.

Special support

EMBL and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) pay particular attention to providing equal opportunities for all researchers.

EMBL can apply to the European Commission’s Research Executive Agency for additional financial support for the costs required to support fellows with disabilities. These dedicated grants cover the additional costs that researchers with disabilities face. They can be used, for example, to adapt the working environment for fellows with disabilities, or ensure someone to assist them where necessary. The grants cannot be used to cover costs already covered by another source, such as social security or health insurance. More information about these grants is available from the ARISE Programme Manager.

Open Access and Intellectual Property

Open science and open access to scientific publications and data are important principles for both EMBL and the Horizon 2020 programme.

ARISE fellows will receive training on open science and FAIR data management. All peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to the results of ARISE fellows should be made openly accessible. Datasets produced by ARISE Fellows are valuable for users of the technologies provided and should be shared in open access format and uploaded to appropriate public databases (e.g. those held by EMBL-EBI or by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the US).

However, not all data can be open. Open access requirements do not imply an obligation to publish results and open access policy does not affect the decision to exploit research results commercially, e.g. through patenting. EMBL owns the technology transfer partner organisation EMBLEM, which is responsible for identifying, protecting, and commercialising intellectual property and associated technologies and materials developed in the EMBL world, and which is supporting EMBL researchers with all aspects of technology transfer and collaboration with industry.

Ethical issues

All research activities at EMBL should be conducted in a scientifically and socially responsible and ethical manner. Ethical issues are likely to be particularly relevant for the research projects of the ARISE fellows (e.g. use of biological materials such as human or animal cell lines or models), and also apply to issues of scientific conduct and data protection.

At the time of applying for the fellowship, all applicants will need to perform an ethics self-check (the self-evaluation form will be provided to applicants). Applications will be evaluated by the ARISE programme management and – as needed – by the EMBL Bioethics Internal Advisory Committee. For the duration of the fellowship, fellows will annually repeat ethics self-checks for their current and planned activities.

Learn more

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


An introduction to the ARISE Programme.

How to apply

The ARISE Programme is open to experienced STEM professionals from the whole world.


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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