Virtual course

Bioinformatics for principal investigators

Welcome to the new EMBL-EBI Training site. Please tell us what you think!

This course has been designed to provide Principal Investigators (PI's) working in the life sciences with an introduction to the challenges of working with biological data as a research leader.

Starting with a look at where bioinformatics and data science fits into their research teams, the course will enable PI’s to take a strategic look at the requirements for undertaking such work and how bioinformatics capacity can be developed from personnel through to computational needs.  It will additionally provide guidance on strategies for managing data and the importance of data sharing; how to work with computational collaborators and what resources are available across the life sciences to support such work.

During this course we will not be teaching hands-on bioinformatics analysis, but we will be signposting appropriate training resources to upskill you and your team.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at both new and established investigators who lead a research team which currently uses bioinformatics, or where bioinformatics will be a component in future research. No prior knowledge of bioinformatics, or experience of analysis is required for this course. Applications are invited from investigators working in all settings, including academic, clinical and industrial organisations.

What will I learn?

Learning outcomes

After this course you should be able to:

  • Define the potential and pitfalls of bioinformatics use in your research
  • Identify your team needs in terms of bioinformatics use and support
  • Develop appropriate plans for the management and sharing of data
  • Support the development of bioinformatics skills within your team
Course content

Participants will learn via a mix of live interactive presentations, small group work and trainer Q&A sessions. Live sessions will be delivered using Zoom with additional support and communication via Slack

Participants will need to be available between the hours of 09:30-17:30 BST each day of the course.


Lee Larcombe
Sarah Morgan
Alex Bateman
Melanie Courtot
Connie Clare
Patricia Carvajal Lopez
Anna Swan
Alexandra Holiski
Eirini Zormpa
Sam Holt
Henriette Harmse
Claire Rye
Mark Blaxter
Wellcome Sanger Institute,


Times in BST (British Summer Time)




Day 1 – Tuesday 15th June 2021

9:30 – 10:30

Course introduction and participant introductions

Patricia Carvajal-López, EMBL-EBI

10:30 – 11:30

What is a bioinformatician?

Lee Larcombe, AMPHIMATIC

11:30 – 11:45

Coffee break


11:45 – 12:45

Using bioinformatics in research - what to do and what not to do

Alex Bateman, EMBL-EBI

12:45 – 13:40

Lunch Break


13:40 – 14:20

Resources, resources, resources

EMBL-EBI Training Team

14:20 – 15:20

Participants perspectives - challenges and expectations

Sarah Morgan, EMBL-EBI

15:20 – 15:30

Coffee break


15:30 – 16:30

Initiatives to support life science data

EMBL-EBI Training Team


End of day


Day 2 – Wednesday 16th June 2021

9:30 – 9:40

Morning chat


9:40 – 11:00

The importance of managing data quality and content – ensuring reproducibility

Anna Swan, Alexandra Holinski, Sam Holt, EMBL-EBI

11:00 – 11:10

Coffee break


11:10 – 12:30

Describing your data – standards and ontologies

Melanie Courtot, Henriette Harmse, Claire Rye, EMBL-EBI

12:30 – 13:30



13:30 – 15:00

Planning your data management

Connie Clare & Eirini Zormpa, 4TU.ResearchData

15:00 – 15:20


Connie Clare & Eirini Zormpa, 4TU.ResearchData

15:20 – 16:20

Planning your data management (Cotd.)

Connie Clare & Eirini Zormpa, 4TU.ResearchData

16:20 – 16:30



16:30 – 17:30

Keynote lecture: The Tree of Life Project

Mark Blaxter, Wellcome Sanger Institute


End of day


Day 3 – Thursday 17th June 2021

9:30 – 11:30

Building your team competencies – what do you need and how do you gain them?

Sarah Morgan, EMBL-EBI & Lee Larcombe, AMPHIMATIC

11:30 – 11:40

Coffee break


11:40 – 13:00

What computational resources do you need to access, and how?

Patricia Carvajal-López, EMBL-EBI

13:00 – 14:00



14:00 – 14:45

Collaborative team working  

Lee Larcombe, AMPHIMATIC

14:45 – 15:00



15:00 – 16:00

Collaboration and networking workshop


16:00 – 17:00

Course wrap-up and feedback

Sarah Morgan, EMBL-EBI


Course end


Please read our page on application advice before starting your application. In order to be considered for a place on this course, you must do the following:

  • Complete the online application form.
  • Ensure you add relevant information to the "application submission" section where you are asked to provide three 100-word paragraphs that cover your:
    • scientific biography
    • work history
    • current research interests
  • Upload a letter of support from your supervisor or a senior colleague detailing reasons why you should be selected for the course

Please submit all documents during the application process by midnight on Friday 26 March 2021.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

All applicants will be informed of the status of their application (successful, waiting list, rejected) by Friday 9 April 2021. If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact Jane Reynolds 

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This course has ended

15 - 17 June 2021
Jane Reynolds

  • Lee Larcombe
  • Sarah Morgan
  • Patricia Carvajal Lopez

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