EMBL Reviews

Updated August 22, 2014
Updated August 22, 2014
17 Reviews

2.9
17 Reviews
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  1.  

    Lot of possibilities, working with really smart people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PhD Student  in  Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)

    I have been working at EMBL full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You can network with the leading scientists in the world. The funding is very generous, so you can attend a lot of workshops and conferences. The atmosphere is very international and the people there are generally smart.

    Cons

    Your supervisor decides what can you do. The working hours are crazy as a scientist.

    Recommends
  2.  

    Beautiful place for research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow  in  Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)

    I have been working at EMBL as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Large resources easily accessible
    - Diversity of research topics
    - Significant support for life/work balance

    Cons

    - Quality and outcome of employment period overly dependent on "N+1"
    - Limited career development for researchers
    - Poor integration in local research community

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase scrutiny of the principal investigators' performance as team leaders and personnel managers. Think forward about modernising the work culture of biology researchers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place for a PhD student to increase your academic skills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PhD Student  in  Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I have been working at EMBL full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Broad range of research topics. Expertise for many fields available. Well connected to other research institutes/universities. Predoc course at the beginning give opportunity to meet all PhD students from your year from all outstations, which gives a great academic network.

    Cons

    They aim big, so many students leave without a single publication.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on improving publication record of students

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Great experience, highly recommend Peer Borks lab for good science.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow  in  Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)

    I worked at EMBL full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Strong science, positive atmosphere, good renumeration. It probably varies between groups, but I had a very good experience from Peer Bork in structural computing.

    Cons

    A bit isolated in the Heidelberg forest, and some group leaders may push their staff and students excessively hard.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at EMBL full-time

    Pros

    Terrible experience in developmental biology unit. It was worst years of my entire life. arrogant group leaders with low scientific abilities and too much politics involved.

    Cons

    there are good labs but very few. other than that, embl is very dynamic area.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    OK

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at EMBL full-time

    Pros

    really nice atmosphere among students, lots of clubs to have fun for a couple of years.
    very good health insurance that pays most of the bills. heidelberg is beautiful town.

    Cons

    it is not easy to integrate into heidelberg german society without knowing german. embl is like a bubble. not a cultural city thoguh.
    I belive that main requirement to hire PIs at EMBL is how extravert they are and good in presentation skills. but because of lack of experience and training they get here, most end up in lower levels of scienctific community in their further career. there are no money shortage in most groups thus no pressure on the group leaders and only on PhD and postocs.

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bad for postdocs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at EMBL full-time

    Pros

    Very good facilities. Well paid. High degree of internationality.

    Cons

    The groups are young and they spend all of their time establishing themselves in the community, hence no one helps postdocs to get introduced to the market.
    Also some regulations are discriminating against postdocs as male postdocs cannot have 3 months paternity leave even if their external fellowship pays them 3 months extra and extends their contract.
    Only internal postdoc programme is EIPOD but many group leaders force postdocs to only work on their project and do not work interdisciplinary.
    SAC reviews of units is not really practically helping group leaders to push for more publications.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bad teachers

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at EMBL full-time

    Pros

    The most important thing is it's name, which is known by all europe. But less in USA. Also the health care is quite good somehow much better than normal german system, although in germany quality of life is generallly not so bad after all.

    Cons

    I just want to point out that the teachers are really bad, they don't think if their students fail, they fail. Drop in quality of research compared to past 10 years.
    after working in developmental biology unit, I can say the publication record could have been much higher than what it is now. The research is not continueous each lab publishes one good journal every 5 years with multiple authorships, although every lab gets 2 phd students paid and the budget is quite good. Problem in desiging the experiments and projects. Just check when the lab joined and when the first research publication came out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If your students fail, you fail. Try to be supportive.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    decrease in quality

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow  in  Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)

    I have been working at EMBL full-time

    Pros

    Hello
    I am happy that I could come from another continent so easily visa is regulated very well. The institute is located in a nice and quiet place. It's international and many clubs.

    Cons

    My mentor is very young and we don't come along very well. I am treated without respect and I think this might be because EMBL tends to hire very very young group leaders who have no management experience (just my opinion). It is very challenging to publish if the data are not good enough to be sent to high impact factor journals.
    All in all, I do not recommend this place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    stressful work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PhD Student  in  Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)
    Former Employee - PhD Student in Heidelberg, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany)

    I worked at EMBL full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I was very well paid and the institute is full of foreigners so everybody speaks english and all are nice. heidelberg is pretty

    Cons

    the group leaders have most of the power and are very unfair. you have to be lucky to get the chance of changing the group within the institute. EMBL is very hierarchical and group leaders are very young and not experienced with managing groups.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    take management courses and do not treat students like slaves

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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