What does Brexit mean for EMBL-EBI staff?

EMBL-EBI and Brexit

EMBL is a European intergovernmental organisation and is not formally linked to the European Union. 

We recruit staff and scientists from all over the world and we strongly believe science is fundamentally international.

EMBL is funded by over 20 member states and associate member states, including the United Kingdom. The UK’s participation in EMBL will not change as a result of Brexit. 

Who can work at EMBL-EBI?

We hire talented people from all over the world, regardless of their country of origin or nationality. EMBL-EBI employees benefit, and will continue to benefit from exemption from visa restrictions due to our intergovernmental status. The spouses and legal partners of EMBL-EBI employees are not restricted from living and working in the UK*.

Can I bring my family?

The EMBL-EBI visa exemption also applies to the spouses/legal partners and children of our staff*. We offer a wide range of family-related benefits to help you set up your new life in the UK. These may include support for education fees, language courses, private health insurance, a relocation allowance and other family-related allowances.

Will EMBL-EBI move out of the UK?

EMBL-EBI will not move out of the UK in the foreseeable future. We benefit from the continuous support of the UK Government and are an essential part of the Cambridge biotech cluster, which is driving life science research.

Will EMBL-EBI funding be affected?

EMBL is funded directly by our member states, but we also benefit from a wide range of European Commission (EC) grants. Brexit does not affect EMBL’s relationship with the EC, so EMBL-EBI staff will continue to be eligible for EC funding. 

Will EMBL-EBI scientific collaborations be affected?

EMBL was founded on the principle of international collaboration, and our success over the years is built on that. Our researchers collaborate intensively with scientists around the world and the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not change this.

What is life in Cambridgeshire like?

Cambridge is a small city that is home to an international community. It is a vibrant place with many cultural and professional opportunities, a hugely diverse population and a large student community. There are many chances to socialise and meet people with similar interests. It is a supportive and safe environment with easy access to London, the rest of the UK and Europe.

What is EMBL’s status?

EMBL is a European intergovernmental organisation and is not formally linked to the European Union. The UK’s membership of EMBL is independent of its membership of the EU. EMBL was established by international treaty between its member states, not all of which are members of the EU. The UK was a founding member of EMBL and we look forward to developing our constructive relationship with the UK long into the future.

*some exceptions may apply


If you have any questions about working with us please get in touch.


Get in touch if you have any questions about EMBL-EBI and Brexit.

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Our benefits

Generous annual leave allowance


Competitive salary and allowances

Private health insurance

UK visa exemptions

Child sick leave days, on-site nursery

Free commuter bus

Exceptional technical infrastructure

Supportive, flexible working environment

Science Without Borders

We are an interdisciplinary, intergovernmental organisation, and employ talented people from all over the world.

We are proud to be an equal-opportunity employer, and offer exemption from UK immigration restrictions to those applying for jobs from outside the European Economic Area.

Read more about EMBL's internationality

Learn more about EMBL-EBI and the UK referendum

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