Silke Schumacher

Director International Relations

EMBL's International Relations Unit assists and advises the Director General in all matters linked to international relations and is responsible for shaping and implementing the external relations strategy for the organisation. As an international organisation, EMBL is engaged in relations with numerous institutions in its member states and beyond.

International relations are fostered and maintained at a political and scientific level in Europe and worldwide. Besides close cooperation with our regular, prospect and associate member states, we also maintain close relations with the European Union. In March 2011 the EMBL and the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding on closer cooperation to further develop the European Research Area.

Also, we are closely involved in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) process. ESFRI is the European platform to explore new initiatives for the development of European research infrastructures. EMBL currently coordinates two research infrastructure projects, i.e. ELIXIR and Euro-BioImaging and is involved in five other ESFRI projects in the life sciences.

The International Relations Unit is responsible for  the implementation of EMBL’s Partnership Programme. EMBL’s institutional partnerships are close cooperative affiliations between EMBL and external research organisations in EMBL member states. The EMBL Partnership Programme creates an interlinked system of excellent institutions that will enhance the development of the molecular life sciences in Europe and the world. Also, the International Relations Unit fosters collaborations with non-member states and international organisations through the conclusion and implementation of cooperation agreements. 

Finally, the International Relations Unit coordinates EMBL's participation in EIROforum, which is a partnership of European world-class research infrastructures in their scientific fields and which cooperates in fields of common interest such as International Affairs. EMBL is one of the founding members of EIROforum, wich was established in 2002 by seven major European research organisations CERN, EFDA-JET (now EUROfusion), EMBL, ESA, ESO, ESRF and ILL. In November 2010 the European XFEL joined EIROforum as the eighth member.


Dilyana Spasova
Personal Assistant to the Director International Relations

Tel: +49 6221 387-8550
Fax: +49 6221 387-8211