Sunday, May 29, 2005

EMBL selection process

Before going to EMBL, I somehow managed to find a post about the 2004 EMBL predoc selection, as I was curious how the EMBL selection week would work and what I could expect. In case someone is in the same position next year, here’s what I experienced at both EBI and EMBL:

At first, there are presentations by each group leader about their work. Most likely you’ll find that many of them aren’t a good match for you. You’ll also find out only then who is actually offering a position. Afterwards you see each group leader. The one-to-one interviews with the group leaders were mostly informal, and you have the chance to ask them questions. Some have prepared questions to you, many don’t. The questions asked on the panel interview varied a lot. I got away with four or five fairly easy questions, while others had to answer more and tougher questions. This might be because I’ve studied computer science, so they might expect more from a biologist…

The time in Cambridge and Heidelberg was fun. You have a lot of waiting, at EMBL more than at EBI. It depends how lucky you are with your schedule. I had one day off completely in Heidelberg, because I only applied to one program.

Also, the dress code is pretty informal. Don’t bring a suit. I did, but never used it.