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Chromatin and the environment

8 – 14 August 2016 | Spetses, Greece

Application deadline

30 April 2016

Abstract submission deadline

30 April 2016

Selected participants will be notified by

10 May 2016

Payment deadline

30 June 2016

Apply now!

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About the course

This EMBO/FEBS Lecture Course offers five intensive summer days of lectures, research talks, tutorials and poster sessions, in a beautiful location. Our Summer School is an excellent chance for grad students and early postdocs to learn recent insights about how epigenetics affects metabolic disorders, cognitive function, and trans-generational inheritance. We aim to create the perfect environment for productive discussion and collaboration, and offer exclusive networking opportunities – including small dinner groups – with leaders in your field.
Topics include:

  • Transcription and gene silencing mechanisms
  • Chromatin structure & function and epigenetic control
  • Metabolic control of gene regulation
  • Epigenetics in CNS function and trans-generational inheritance
  • Epigenetics in health & disease

Course outline:

  • Morning lectures (30 minutes each)
  • Afternoon tutorials and discussions
  • Evening research seminars (30 minutes each)
  • “Dine with the PI” small dinner groups
  • Poster sessions
  • Short talks selected from abstracts
  • Special sessions: keynote addresses, and EMBO lectures on Science Policy, Women & Science, Young Investigator, and EMBO Keynote

Extended Application Deadline!



Katrin Chua, Or Gozani and Paolo Sassone-Corsi regret to advise they cannot attend.




programme diagram
click to view enlarged image


Application deadline

30 April 2016

Abstract submission deadline

30 April 2016

Selected participants will be notified by

10 May 2016

Payment deadline

30 June 2016












This button takes you to our registration system, where you have two options: You can apply and submit an abstract in one step (first option), or you can begin the application now, and come back to add an abstract later (second option). Student/Postdoc applications will not be considered complete until you include an abstract. All applications and abstracts can be modified until the application deadline.

Registration includes:

  • Attendance at all sessions.
  • Accommodation at Anargyrios & Korgialenios School, Spetses. Arrival on 8th August and departure on 14th August.
  • Breakfasts at AKSS 9th – 14th August.
  • Lunches 9th – 13th August.
  • Tea/coffee breaks during course.
  • 8th August 17:30 - Light Buffet Dinner.
  • 13th August 20:00 - Farewell Dinner.
  • Boat excursion on 11th August.
  • Airport shuttles (bus and boat combo) on arrival (8th August, afternoon) and departure (14th August, morning). Participants not travelling at those times must make their own arrangements.

In particular please note that dinners 9th – 12th are not included and must be paid for by the participants themselves. Smaller restaurants and eateries will sometimes not accept cards so EURO cash must be used. Money machines are easily found in Spetses town and at Athens airport.



Payment is not required at initial registration. After registration deadline, we will consider all applicants. Successful applicants will be contacted with online payment instructions following selection.

Selection Criteria

The course is limited to 100 participants. It is designed for PhD students and early postdocs, but is open to all. In order to participate, you must first apply, which is free of charge. After successful applicants are notified, you will need to pay the registration fee.

At application time, you must provide an abstract of your current research project, and a short statement of your motivation to attend the course. Applicants will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of research topic to the scope of the course
  • Sufficient minimum level of background knowledge
  • Excellence of the stated research project, relative to the career stage
  • Demonstrable motivation of the participant to attend the course

Abstract Guidelines

Please describe your current research project, which you intend to present as a poster at the summer school. These abstracts will be printed in the summer school’s abstract book. We will also select some outstanding abstracts, and invite the author to give a short talk. When composing your abstract, please remember:

  • Keep your abstract concise, and less than 200 words. 150 is better. 
  • Include yourself as presenting author, and add co-authors as necessary.

Poster Specifications

All participants should prepare and bring a poster of their current research project, which will then be displayed throughout the Summer School. There are dedicated poster sessions when you will be required to stand beside your poster and discuss it with interested people. The recommended poster size is B1: 707 x 1000 mm. However, we can accommodate larger posters, including A0. The posters will be hung with pins or tape to boards or walls, so there may be some slight damage to the poster, especially if it is not laminated. Some points to consider are:

  • Do not write a paper! A poster is a brief visual presentation of your data and ideas, not a full reproducible account of experiments.
  • Adopt a visual layout. Limit the total text, and break it up into smaller sections. Consider separate boxes or panels to hold different parts of the work.
  • Include all required information. Check what your institution or supervisor requires you to include, such as logos and acknowledgments.
  • Make graphics easily understood. Label the graph / figure directly , and use titles rather than captions / legends (where possible).
  • The poster needs a talk. Plan and practice what you will say to those who are interested in your work.

FEBS Youth Travel Fund (YTF)

FEBS offers a small number of awards to support the costs of young PhD students and early-career postdocs. You need to be a member of a FEBS Constituent or IUBMB-related society (or join one) to be eligible.


Recipients of the award will have their registration costs waived and may also receive a small contribution to travel expenses. Awards will be made under two schemes: within FEBS area (YTF), and outside FEBS area (Transcontinental YTF). Please see the eligibility criteria for both schemes.


If you would like to apply for an award, please first apply for the course, then email the organisers the following documents before the course application deadline:

  • A letter of recommendation from your current supervisor (or previous supervisor, if applicable).
  • Evidence that you are a registered PhD student or a postdoc within 5 years of completing your PhD.
  • Evidence that you are a member of either a FEBS Constituent Society or an IUBMB-related society.


Corey Laverty

Phone: +49 89 2180 77096



Anton Eberharter

Phone: +49 89 2180 77096



venue map


Anargyrios & Korgialenios School of Spetses,

GR-180 50 Spetses Island,



The historic Anargyrios & Korgialenios School is a former boarding school, now an attractive venue for meetings and events.

The complex contains meeting rooms, accommodation, and dining facilities. The beach is right outside the School, and the town is just a short walk away.


Participants will be sharing rooms, usually 2 people per room but sometimes 3 or 4. Bathrooms are shared between several rooms. Males and Females will be accommodated on separate floors. The School provides bed linen, bath and face towels, but not beach towels, which you must bring. Internet is available, and wireless, but is slow and sometimes difficult to connect.



There are 3 easy options to get to the Summer School:

  1. Take a public fast ferry or hydrofoil from Athens’ port of Piraeus
  2. Take a short slow ferry from Porto Heli, or a fast water taxi from Costa, which are costal towns in the Peloponnese very close to Spetses.
  3. Use our free transfers from Athens airport on the 8th (afternoon) and 14th (morning)

Plan 1) Cost: 45 – 100 euro. Time: 4 – 6 hours.
Make your way through Athens by bus / metro / taxi to Piraeus Harbour, then take a public Ferry to Spetses. This is the cheap and very scenic route, and the best if you plan to be staying in Athens before the course. A taxi from the airport to the harbor will cost at least 50 euro, and we recommend that you pre-book with an established company.

From the airport to Piraeus by Metro (8 euro, 1.5 hours):
Follow the signs at the airport to find the metro station. Take the metro line 3 (“blue line”) towards Egaleo/ΑΙΓΑΛΕΩ. At the Monastiraki/ΜΟΝΑΣΤΗΡΑΚΙ station, you must change trains to line 1 (the "green line"). to Pireas/ΠΕΙΡΑΙΑΣ. The Metro runs every day, 06:30 to 23:30, and tickets cost 8 euro (single) or 14 euro (return). There might also be a student ticket for 4 euro. You can buy a ticket from a machine at the station. You must invalidate the ticket with a time stamp at the gate to the platform, before you board the train.

From the airport to Piraeus by Bus (5 euro, 2 hours):
The X96 Airport Express bus leaves directly outside the arrivals area of the airport (between doors 4 and 5). Take this bus nearly to the end of the line, at Piraeus harbour. The exact stop name is "ΠΛ.ΚΑΡΑΙΣΚΑΚΗ" (Karaiskaki Square). Then it is a short walk (towards the water) to find a large iron gate where you enter the harbour area. Look for a Hellenic Seaways ticket booth, and ask them where to find your boat. The bus runs 24 hours, every 20 or 30 minutes. Tickets cost 5 euro (2.50 for student) for a one-way trip, and can be bought from the driver or the small blue information kiosk by the bus stop (outside) at the airport.

From Piraeus to Spetses by Ferry:
The official ferry schedules will probably only be available in early 2016, but there will likely be 4 or 5 daily options, by fast catamaran or “flying dolphin” hydrofoils. You should arrive at Piraeus 30 minutes before the departure time, to allow time to purchase or pick up your ticket, and find the boat! You can buy your ticket at Piraeus, or pre-book it online, and pick it up at the Harbour. The office is called "Hellenic Seaways Maritime S.A." and can be found very near where the ferry leaves, at Astiggos 6, Karaiskaki Sq., 185 31, Piraeus. It seems you can also pick up these tickets at the (many) sales booths on the harbour itself, and at some automated "e-ticket" collection machines.
Piraeus to Spetses costs 38.50 Euro (economy) each way (correct as at Nov 2015). On the bigger "Flying Cat" boat, business class tickets of about 48.50 Euro may be available.
The ferry leaves from gate "E8" - ARGOSARONIC. Sometimes the ferries (especially the "flying dolphin" hydrofoils) are docked between gate E8 and E9. Ask at a Hellenic booth to confirm where your boat is.

Plan 2) Cost: 250 - 300 euro. Time: 3 - 4 hours.
First, travel to the town of Costa (by car, taxi, or bus). Costa is about 150 km from Athens, on the Argolis peninsula of the Peloponnese. It is the closest point on the mainland to Spetses island. Head in the direction of Corinth, then take the exit for Epidavros. Head for Kranidi, Porto Heli, and finally Costa. A taxi should cost around 250 euro and take about 2 or 2.5 hours. A bus might cost 20 Euro, and usually requires a change in Nafplio.

From Costa (or Porto Heli), take a water taxi to the island of Spetses. A water taxi is a small boat that holds up to 8 people. They run on demand, 24 hours per day. The fare can be a little higher between midnight and 6 am.

The price is per trip, not per person. That is, two (or more) people in the boat can share the cost. In practice this means the trips are very cheap. Kosta to Spetses should be around 30 euro, and Porto Heli to Spetses around 50 euro, each way

Plan 3) Cost: none. Time 4 – 5 hours.
We will provide (free) "School Bus" transfers between the Airport and the School on August the 8th and 14th. The bus will leave directly from Athens Airport and drive for 3 - 4 hours to Costa, followed by a short 15-minute boat-trip to Spetses island, where you will land within walking distance of the school. The bus will not stop in central Athens nor at Piraeus port, but will likely make one rest stop en route.


About the Area

Spetses is a small Greek island, with a population of around 4,000. It can only be reached by sea, but is easily accessible from mainland Greece. There are no private cars allowed on Spetses, but you can get around most areas by walking, and further afield by taxi, rented bicycle, water taxi, or horse and carriage. The island is popular with tourists in the summer, and there are many shops, restaurants, cafes, and facilities. Meal times can seem late compared to Northern Europe, with most people lunching 13:00 – 15:00 and dining 20:00 – 24:00. On hot August days, the temperature can be 30 – 35 degrees in the middle of the day, and humid. This is why our more intensive lectures and research talks are held in the cooler mornings and evenings.