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EMBL fellowships give you skills to bring home

Australian postdoc Joel Selkrig got a warm welcome as an interdisciplinary postdoctoral fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. He tells Gerd Winter about his experience at Europe’s premier research organisation for life sciences.

Based in close proximity in the historic German university town of Heidelberg, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) are separate bodies whose history and function are intertwined through a common purpose, which began by driving European capacity in molecular biology.

EMBO came about when, in 1963, a group of leading researchers met in Italy to address a growing concern: Europe’s brain drain to the new mecca of research, the United States, especially in the emerging field of molecular biology. The group initiated a new intergovernmental body to provide scientists working across European countries with fellowships and courses in cutting-edge technologies to scientists working across European countries. By the end of the decade, 14 countries had joined the not-for-profit organisation. Then, in 1974, the group realised the second part of its vision, EMBL, a supranational research centre jointly funded by European member states.

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