PhD Programme: how to apply

Applying to our programme

Admission to the EMBL International PhD Programme at EMBL-EBI is very competitive. We evaluate all applications solely on the basis of qualification and scientific potential.

There are two important deadlines to keep in mind: the first is registration in our online application system, and the second is completing your application.

Application opens 02 August 2017
Registration Deadline 16 October 2017, 23:59 CET (GMT+1), via the online application form
Application Deadline 23 October 2017, 23:59 CET (GMT+1)
Reference Deadline 25 October 2017, 23:59 CET (GMT+1)


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The application process

  1. Select an area of interest.
  2. Register for the online application system. Applicants MUST register – application is via online submission only.
  3. Apply for a PhD position starting in October of the year you are applying. Make sure you have your references in by the deadline!
  4. Interviews at EMBL Heidelberg, Germany and Hinxton (Cambridge), UK take place in January (Spring round) or July (Summer round).
  5. The first assessment is carried out by a faculty member who is familiar with the applicant's national education system.
  6. The application is then reviewed by the faculty members of the EMBL Scientific Programme at EMBL-EBI.
  7. The EMBL Graduate Committee short-lists the candidates who will be invited to interview.
  8. 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.
  9. The days following the IAA are filled with panel and one-to-one interviews with Group Leaders as well as group visits.
  10. Successful candidates are then awarded entry into the EMBL International PhD Programme by the Graduate Committee.

If you have questions about the programme or admission process, you may wish to email the EMBL Graduate Office: or the Research Office at EMBL-EBI: 

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EMBL-EBI also has strong links with other local PhD programmes, including: