This pilot “visitor programme” is aimed at tenure-track group leaders and PhD and postdoctoral students whose primary affiliation is with an African-based research group.
A call for applications for visitor programme was released by UNESCO and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory on February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, inviting young female scientists working on infection biology in Africa to conduct a short-term research project there this year.
The application period is March 1 through April 15, 2023. This pilot “visitor programme” is aimed at tenure-track group leaders and PhD and postdoctoral students whose primary affiliation is with an African-based research group.
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s Scientific Visitor Programme Office will provide funding for selected candidates under the Infection Biology Transversal Theme.
At one of the six European Molecular Biology Laboratory locations in Europe—Barcelona (Spain), Cambridge (UK), Hinxton (UK), Grenoble (France), Hamburg and Heidelberg (Germany), and Rome—the successful candidates will be hosted by one or more group leaders for this theme (Italy).
These research teams are primarily concerned with characterizing pathogen (viruses, bacteria, and parasites) interactions with the host at the atomic, molecular, tissue, and ecosystem levels in order to better comprehend infection and antimicrobial resistance.
In accordance with the group’s research focus, the group leader will mentor and co-develop the project proposed by the chosen candidate.
Applications are especially encouraged from qualified individuals who have previously won the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Award, from women who are part of the network of researchers working on the organisation’s “Women in Science” initiative, and from individuals who are active in the work of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, a UNESCO programme unit.
The call comes after UNESCO and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory signed a memorandum of understanding in September last year.
The two partners agree to support the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendations on Open Science adopted in November 2021, Science and Scientific Researchers adopted in November 2017, and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory Programme from Molecules to Ecosystems that runs from 2022 to 2026 in order to advance equality, diversity, and inclusiveness in science.
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s Director General, Prof. Edith Heard, recalled that “openness and data sharing were cornerstones of the laboratory’s operations” at the signing of the agreement.
She mentioned that the laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute ‘curates the world’s largest collection of molecular data, derived from over 50 years of life science experimentation, which it annotates and makes publicly available, free of charge, on an open access platform’.
She said it was coordinated with the USA and Asia, even though the European Molecular Biology Laboratory took the lead.
According to UNESCO Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, the partnership would benefit from increasing these institutions’ “awareness of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s data-sharing platforms and its accessible research,” adding that “UNESCO can assist the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in enhancing its collaboration with scientists and scientific institutions in primarily developing countries.”