Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: European molecular biology laboratory

The aim of this programme is to support fundamental research across the spectrum of molecular biology. European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is a non-profit organisation funded by public research organisations in 27 member states.

UK’s contribution to EMBL is paid through the Medical Research Council (MRC)
Partners involved:
Medical Research Council

The scope and what we're doing

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is one of the world’s leading research institutions, and Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences.

EMBL’s mission

The cornerstones of EMBL’s mission are to:

  • perform basic research in molecular biology
  • train scientists, students and visitors at all levels
  • offer vital services to scientists in the member states
  • develop new instruments and methods
  • actively engage in technology transfer
  • integrate European life science research.

EMBL areas of research

Research at EMBL focuses on a central strategic goal: the fundamental understanding of basic biological processes in model organisms.

EMBL places emphasis on experimental analysis at multiple levels of biological organisation, from the molecule to the organism, as well as computational biology, bioinformatics and systems biology.

Research is conducted by approximately 85 independent groups covering the spectrum of molecular biology. Its 1,600 employees from 60 nations represent scientific disciplines including biology, physics, chemistry and computer science.

EMBL locations

EMBL operates from sites across Europe:

Scientific services

Scientific services provided by EMBL include:

  • core biomolecular databases and bioinformatics tools, particularly at EMBL-EBI
  • the provision of beamlines, instrumentation and high-throughput technology for structural biology at the Hamburg and Grenoble outstations
  • core facilities, which provide cost-effective and efficient access to methods and technologies that are expensive to set up or maintain, or that require considerable expense.

Opportunities, support and resources available

Training opportunities

Training is available at EMBL for PhD students, postdocs and visiting scientists. The laboratory has established a number of highly successful training activities, which include:

A few postdoctoral fellowships may be listed as specified positions on the EMBL job page.

Who to contact

MRC and European Molecular Biology Laboratory


Governance, management and panels

EMBL is an intergovernmental molecular biology institution specialising in basic research in the life sciences, funded by public research monies from more than 20 member states, including much of Europe and Israel, and two associate members, Argentina and Australia. Established in 1974, EMBL is a non-profit organisation.

Find out about the EMBL structure and leadership.

MRC plays a role in EMBL management through representation on the EMBL council.

Last updated: 17 October 2022

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