EMBL in Norway: Information day held at University of Oslo

Event designed to inform Norwegian researchers about the opportunities for studying, training and working at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). 

Photo from EMBL in Norway event

Some of the EMBL in Norway attendees. Photo: Mehrnoosh Rayner, EMBL Alumni Relations

The first ‘EMBL in Norway’ event took place at Georg Sverdrups Hus, University of Oslo, on Friday 29 September. Over 100 guests attended to learn more about the EMBL and the opportunities it offers to researchers.

Many Norwegian researchers in the life sciences will have heard of the EMBL, but many are also unaware of the training and education opportunities that the organisation offers. As an EMBL member state, researchers from Norway can access the organisation’s facilities, training and education, both at the headquarters in Heidelberg, and the EMBL outstations in Hinxton, UK (EMBL-EBI), Grenoble, Hamburg, Rome and Barcelona. 

Opportunities for Norwegian researchers

To help encourage more Norwegian researchers to consider the EMBL as a place to train or study and to raise awareness of the opportunities available, the ‘EMBL in Norway’ event was organised by the EMBL Alumni Relations team, and by two former EMBL staff from UiO’s Department of Biosciences; Head of Department Professor Rein Aasland and Professor Gareth Griffiths.

The programme featured a number of talks that introduced the opportunities and facilities available at the EMBL, alongside presentations that considered how important the EMBL is when it comes to Norwegian science policy. A detailed overview of the EMBL, and what it can offer Norway, was given by EMBL Director, Matthias Hentze.

"EMBL Core Facilities are one of the key aspects of  why young people at EMBL have a very high chance of being successful. It has trained personnel, no user fees: it empowers individual groups to make the most of technologies." Matthias Hentze. Director of EMBL.

NCMM Director, Professor Kjetil Taskèn, also gave an overview of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine and how NCMM and the other associated centres benefit from the links and association to the EMBL.

Memories and experiences from past and present EMBL alumni and staff

A number of EMBL alumni also shared their fond memories of their time as PhD students and postdocs in Heidelberg, including former EMBL predoc and current Group Leader at Oslo University Hospital, Tor Erik Rusten.

"At EMBL you make friends forever, you make a network for life. You learn from the best and therefore you will become one of the best.” Tor Erik Rusten, Former EMBL PhD student and current Group Leader at OUH. 

Professor Harald Stenmark, Director for the Centre for Cancer Biomedicine and Head of the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at the Radium Hospital in Oslo, also shared his experiences as a Norwegian postdoc at the EMBL and how his time and training there have helped to shape the career he has today.

The audience also heard from two Norwegian researchers who are currently PhD students at the EMBL headquarters, who described their research and how, thanks to Rein Aasland and Gareth Griffiths' encouragement, they applied for the PhD programme at the EMBL. 

A current EMBL Group Leader, Alba Diz-Munoz also shared her experience of applying for, and becoming, a Group Leader at the EMBL in Heidelberg. 

Other major funding bodies that benefit Norway

The audience also had the opportunity to learn about two other funding organisations, HFSP (Human Frontier Science Programme) and EMBO (The European Molecular Biology Organisation), which are funding bodies with grants available to help support Norwegian researchers.

Read the full programme, with details of all speakers involved.

Find out more about the EMBL at: https://www.embl.de

By Annabel Darby
Published Oct. 2, 2017 4:27 PM - Last modified Oct. 2, 2017 5:51 PM