EMBL International PhD Programme

About the programme

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.  Please visit the EMBL International PhD Programme pages to learn about how to apply.


When to apply

The Call for Spring 2018 PhD recruitment round is now closed. The next call for Summer recruitment will open in February 2018 with interviews taking place in July.

PhD project timeline

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.