News Release

EMBO launches new award for sustainability in the lab

The EMBO Lab Sustainability Award will recognize a pioneer of environmental sustainability in life science research and provide opportunities for dissemination and expansion of the winning initiative

Grant and Award Announcement


EMBO launches a new award for laboratory sustainability: The EMBO Lab Sustainability Award will recognize new and significant contributions to the development of sustainable wet and dry labs with a focus on their environmental impact. The award will be presented to an individual representing the initiative or project. Applications can be submitted between 15 January and 15 March 2024. 

The award winner will have the opportunity to present their initiative or project at scientific events and publish a commentary in EMBO Reports. In addition, the winning project will be supported with a grant of 10,000 euros. The award is one of the programmes to support life scientists in Europe and beyond that EMBO is launching in its sixtieth year to expand its portfolio of activities to promote excellence in the life sciences. 

"As scientists we want to obtain new and ground-breaking research results. However, these results must not be achieved at any cost. Modern laboratory research must recognize its impact on the environment and develop and implement effective measures to make laboratories sustainable. The EMBO Lab Sustainability Award will highlight and recognize such efforts," says Fiona Watt, EMBO Director. 

Applications are open to individuals working in or associated with the life sciences in any of the 35 EMBC Member States, Associate Member States and countries or territories with a co-operation agreement with EMBC and EMBO. Applicants may work at a university, research institution or other non-profit organisation. The call for applications is open to individuals at various career stages and in a variety of roles. 


Applications for the award will be judged on the contribution to environmental sustainability in life science research - in line with the UN 2030 Agenda* - using the following criteria: 

  • Direct and indirect longitudinal impact of the project on the environment, institutional culture and community, including opportunities for expansion and scale-up in Europe and beyond  

  • Diversity of stakeholder groups involved in or affected by the project  

  • Creative and visionary thinking that offers new perspectives with a particular sensitivity to the systemic aspects of the topic 

The award will be decided by an eight-member jury consisting of: David Baulcombe, University of Cambridge, UK; Talia Caplan, Wellcome Trust, UK; André Estevez-Torres, CNRS, France; Karim Labib, University of Dundee, UK; Brendan Rouse, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany; Gabrielle Samuel, King’s College London, UK; Christa Schleper, University of Vienna, Austria; Gisou van der Goot, EPFL, Switzerland. 

Applications can be submitted between 15 January and 15 March 2024 at The winner will be announced in July 2024. 


* United Nations, Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 


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