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Established in 1983, the EMBL International PhD Programme provides students with the best starting platform for a successful career in science. Characterised by first-class training, internationality, dedicated mentoring and early independence in research, it is among the world's most competitive PhD training schemes. All of EMBL's five sites participate in the programme.
EMBL-EBI provides a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary environment in which research and service provision are closely allied. We are a world leader in bioinformatics research and service provision, as we are at the centre of global efforts to collect and disseminate biological data. We share a campus with the Wellcome Trust's Sanger Institute, 12 miles south of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and hold an Open Day every year in the autumn. You can read our Our Research at a Glance brochure to learn about current research at EMBL.
EMBL PhD students at EMBL-EBI are members of the University of Cambridge and one of its colleges. They receive their degree from Cambridge University; the programme is coordinated in Heidelberg with local support at EBI.
EMBL PhD students receive theoretical and practical training, and conduct a research project under the supervision of an EMBL faculty member, monitored by a Thesis Advisory Committee. The duration of PhD studies is normally 3.5 to 4 years.
|Year 1||All new PhD students will attend the EMBL Predoctoral Core Course in Molecular Biology in Heidelberg|
|Primers for predocs for EBI PhD students only|
|Nomination of a Thesis Advisory Committee to monitor student progress|
|Submit and defend a Project Proposal ['Qualifying Assessment']|
|Year 2||Second annual report to the Thesis Advisory Committee|
|Year 3||Third annual report submitted to the Thesis Advisory Committee.|
|Year 3/4||Write and submit thesis; PhD awarded following committee approval and successful completion of an oral examination.|
- Select an area of interest.
- Register for the online application system. Applicants MUST register – application is via online submission only.
- Apply for a PhD position starting in October of the year you are applying. Make sure you have your references in by the deadline!
- Interviews at EMBL Heidelberg, Germany and Hinxton (Cambridge), UK take place in January (Spring round) or July (Summer round).
- The first assessment is carried out by a faculty member who is familiar with the applicant's national education system.
- The application is then reviewed by the faculty members of the EMBL Scientific Programme at EMBL-EBI.
- The EMBL Graduate Committee short-lists the candidates who will be invited to interview.
- Short-listed applicants are invited to attend an Initial Admission Assessment (IAA) interview, conducted by a panel of EMBL faculty members at EMBL-EBI. This 20-minute pass/fail interview is the prerequisite for eligibility. During the interview, you may be questioned on any aspect of molecular biology and your previous training.
- The days following the IAA are filled with panel and one-to-one interviews with Group Leaders as well as group visits.
- Successful candidates are then awarded entry into the EMBL International PhD Programme by the Graduate Committee.