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EMBO Practical Course

Solution scattering from biological macromolecules

25 October – 03 November 2021 | Hamburg, Germany

  • Virtual event icon
    Virtual event

  • Registration Deadline
  • 15 July 2021
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 15 August 2021
  • Payment Deadline
  • 15 September 2021
  • Sample Measurements
  • from 15 October 2021

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About the Practical Course

The EMBO Practical Course is aimed at young scientists working in the field of structural biology including biochemists, biophysicists, bioinformaticians, and those specializing in macromolecular crystallography, electron microscopy, or NMR. Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) allows one to study native particles and complexes and to monitor structural changes in response to variations in external conditions (temperature, pH, salinity, ligands). Novel data analysis methods and a broader accessibility to high brilliance instruments on large scale facilities significantly enhanced resolution and reliability of structural models provided by SAXS. Emerging automation of the experiment, data processing, and interpretation made solution SAXS a streamlined tool for large-scale structural studies in molecular biology. The method provides low-resolution macromolecular shapes ab initio and is readily combined with other structural, biochemical, and computational techniques in hybrid approaches. The extremely broad range of molecular sizes accessible by SAXS, from kDa to GDa, allows one to monitor the interactions in hierarchical systems at different levels of structural organization.

The EMBO Practical Course has been shifted to a virtual format. The workshop will include live interactive sessions (total: 17 hours) with additional live practical sessions (total: 5 hours). Furthermore, a number of resources for self-study will be provided allowing the students to further dive into the world of SAXS. Self-testing quizzes will be available for students to control their understanding of the course curriculum.

The EMBO Practical Course participants are encouraged to send their own samples to perform synchrotron solution scattering experiments in advance (by EMBL staff) The results will be used for practical tutorials and discussed during the course.

Embedded into the schedule is the virtual P12 User Meeting with expected attendance by all students. This will allow students to network and connect to the scientific community. Topics like standards in the field and troubleshooting will be addressed and discussed. In addition, students will be given the chance to approach the speakers of the User Meeting in a dedicated Q&A session.

Image credits: Christiana Franke

About EMBO Courses and Workshops

EMBO Courses and Workshops are selected for their excellent scientific quality and timelines, provision of good networking activities for all participants and speaker gender diversity (at least 40% of speakers must be from the underrepresented gender).

Organisers are encouraged to implement measures to make the meeting environmentally more sustainable.





Participants will be required to view the pre-recorded talks: 3 h prior to the main start of course (Monday 25 October) as well as additional 8 hours prior or during the course. During the indicated live sessions and practical courses, full-time attendance is required.

Participation during the On-Boarding event on Tuesday 19 October is mandatory.

All times in the programme below are shown as the time in Europe (Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris). (Note, Germany will switch from summer time to winter time (-1 hour) during the Course on Sunday, October 31).



  • Registration Deadline
  • 15 July 2021
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 15 August 2021
  • Payment Deadline
  • 15 September 2021
  • Sample Measurements
  • from 15 October 2021




Payments will be accepted via bank transfer only. The details will be sent to accepted participants by e-mail.

Selection criteria

The course is limited to 20 participants. For selection purposes, please note that your application will not be considered without a statement of motivation.

Preference will be given to applicants active in structural biology, mostly PhD students and early postdocs. However, more senior scientists, depending on circumstances could also participate. We will also consider applicants from industry.

Registration Fee Waivers

In lieu of travel grants, a number of fee waivers will be available for participants. Applicants do not need to apply separately for fee waivers for this event but should indicate on the registration form if they wish to be considered for a fee waiver. Selection of awardees is handled directly by the organizer who will notify all eligible participants. More information is available at EMBO Travel Grants' page.

Specific fee waivers are available for participants of any nationality working in laboratories in Chile, India, Singapore and Taiwan. To apply, please send an email directly to the meeting organisers justifying your request.

Sample Shipment Grants

Sample shipment grant (limited number of shipping grants are available for financial support of shipping samples for measurement at P12). Selection of awardees is handled directly by the organizer who will notify all eligible participants.

Child care grants

EMBO Courses and Workshops offers grants to offset additional child care costs incurred by participants or speakers when participating at any EMBO Courses and Workshop funded meeting. Eligible costs include fees for a caregiver or child-care facility etc. Please indicate on the registration form whether you would like to be considered for the grant. Please also describe how you intend to use the child care grant and specify the sum that you will need.

Additional Information

The course content will be hosted on the eCAMPUS platform allowing exchange between the tutors and participants throughout the course (embedded Chat, Forum, and dedicated Zoom Rooms.). Information and access to this digital platform will be provided shortly before the start of the event.

At the mandatory On-Boarding event on Tuesday, October 19, the functionality and content will be further explained.



Melissa Graewert



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