As in its other activities, EMBL strives to be a model for scientific administration. In order to achieve this, EMBL’s Administration pursues the following goal:

Excel in providing non-bureaucratic, timely and efficient administrative services through unobtrusive, flexible and effective processes and systems, in support of an international, progressive and nurturing working environment with highest quality staff.  

The four pillars on which EMBL bases its administrative strategy are:


A complex and rapidly changing environment like EMBL requires an integrative organisational structure, which is both adaptable and proactive. In order to achieve this we take a ‘plug and play’ approach that relies on deploying a limited workforce and infrastructure to address a broad range of administrative tasks with a large degree of flexibility.


Ideally, administrative processes at EMBL are results oriented. They address desired quality targets with a minimum of resources, their validity is frequently re-evaluated and they are flexibly readjusted towards changing objectives. An integral part of these processes and their coordination is EMBL’s operational system – SAP – which also addresses informational needs and actively supports all decision making.


Being based on a system of continuous turnover, recruitment and retention of highly qualified staff are a key priority. Marketing and competitive conditions of employment are key factors in attracting suitable candidates. We aim to supplement these with comprehensive programmes aimed at raising the professional profile of EMBL staff during their employment.


Underpinning all of the above are efficient operational networks. These range from internal communication and collaboration with local and national authorities to active engagement with other international organisations in matters of governance, infrastructure and know-how.