Now in its ninth year, the programme annually identifies the brightest and most promising European young researchers at a critical stage of their scientific careers.
Young group leaders receive a range of benefits designed to smooth the transition during the start up of their first independent research laboratories and as they develop reputations in the scientific community. EMBO Members - themselves recognised for their excellence in research - select the group leaders to join the programme each year.
The title, EMBO Young Investigator, is highly sought by young researchers due to the programme's worldwide reputation for excellence. The programme received 116 applications this year and successful recipients have established research groups in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Switzerland.
"EMBO Young Investigators gain financial, academic and practical support to advance their careers," explains Gerlind Wallon, EMBO Deputy Director and manager of the Young Investigator Programme. "The programme helps to endorse and promote these young scientists as active and recognised contributors to European research."
Over the course of three years, EMBO Young Investigators will enjoy benefits not readily available to early-career scientists. Lab management and non-scientific skills training as well as PhD courses offer the young group leaders and their students the chance to develop professional skills. Networking events introduce them to recognised leaders in science like EMBO Members and other experts in their respective fields.
The 12 young group leaders honoured this year participate in the EMBO Young Investigator network - a vibrant group of more than 200 scientists. "The increasing number of participants each year makes the benefits of networking more tangible and concrete," adds Gerlind Wallon.
The network has now reached a critical mass that enables the organisation of specialised meetings in diverse fields of molecular biology. Meetings - such as those for young investigators in the neurobiology field - provide a platform to start new collaborations or exchange PhD students between labs.
EMBO Young Investigators receive 15,000 euro per year directly from the member state where their laboratories are located. Additional support is provided by EMBO for networking activities and small research projects in their laboratories. The distinction as an EMBO Young Investigator often assists young group leaders to attract additional sources of funding for their research.
The next application deadline for the EMBO Young Investigator Programme is 1 April 2009. More information can be found at: http://www.embo.org/yip/index.html.
2008 EMBO Young InvestigatorsÓscar Fernández-Capetillo, Spain
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