Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Open Lab

Open Lap
What is it?
  • We at EMD Serono believe in a close interaction of academic and corporate researchers
  • Therefore we offer you the unique chance to work on your own research project in our laboratories in Darmstadt, Germany as a guest scientist
  • Guest scientists bring their own research grant and work in our laboratories side-by-side with our researchers
What’s your benefit?
  • Learn from and interact with our Researchers
  • Get access to our key assets (e.g. screening tools, protein engineering technologies etc.)
  • Acquire industry experience, expand your network and make great things happen!
Register here to send your application and to find out more about the terms and conditions


Which facilities and technologies are available for guest scientists?
State of the art medicinal chemistry and molecular design capabilities to e.g. optimize novel small molecules to identify high quality drug candidates.
Facilities to explore the molecular interactions and biophysics to investigate protein/ligand interactions that are critical to the design of the next generation of pharmaceutical agents. Applied techniques are e.g. x-ray crystallography, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) imaging, isothermal calorimetry (ITC), and computational design.
In vitro pharmacology labs to develop and use molecular and cellular pharmacology assays to generate data on compound potencies, efficacies and specificities across all stages from hit identification to the definition of a clinical development candidate. Special focus is also on High Content Screening (HCS) and Phenotypic Drug Discovery e.g. in the combination with high-resolution microscopy with high-throughput drug screening capabilities. Other activities are 2D- and 3-dimensional (spheroid) cell culture models and profiling of decisive cellular parameters.
Facilities for the discovery of monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic proteins and antibody drug conjugates. Profound protein engineering know how, expression and purification techniques including in vitro compound characterization by state of the art technologies. Strong protein and cell sciences know how for the generation of manufacturing cell lines & scalable processes.
What should be provided in the application:
Please send your CV with a description of your research topic. Please provide a brief declaration how your research project is funded. Please note that only non-confidential information should be provided. Please indicate in your description if any particular data can only be provided under a Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA). In this case Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany may contact you to enter into a CDA.
How long can I stay in the open Laboratories?
You are able to stay for the entire duration of the respective research project agreed on.
What kind of Insurance do I need?
Depending on the type of your research you should have an adequate insurance (e.g.: a commercial general liability insurance / contractual liability), however we will be glad to assist you in solving this requirement.
How are the details ensuring that I will be the IP owner of the results?
IP rights remain with you. Specific conditions apply to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, research materials and to the in-licensing of results. You will find details in the terms and conditions once you completed the registration.
How can I do academic networking in Darmstadt?
Darmstadt is a city of Science
You can find e.g. the Technical University of Darmstadt  and the University of Applied Science.
Furthermore there is eg. the Fraunhofer institute for computer graphics research
Or the:
GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Some other academic hot spots are in close distance to Darmstadt e.g.
Heidelberg, Frankfurt or Mainz by train in approx. 30 – 40 minutes.
In Heidelberg you find e.g. the Heidelberg University, the German Cancer Research Institute or the EMBL.
In Frankfurt you find e.g. the Goethe-University of Frankfurt or the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysics or Brain research.
In Mainz you find e.g. the Johannes-Gutenberg University Mainz.
Where is a good place to live during my stay in the Open Innovation Laboratory?
You may want to live close to the company, this would be possible in Darmstadt city, however if you prefer to live in a bigger city you may prefer to live in Frankfurt. There are several colleagues coming from Frankfurt to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, by e.g. using the train every day.
What are the costs for living in Germany?
p>You may find a room to rent for approx. 500 Eur / month, for a small apartment you may calculate with approx. 800 Eur / month or more. 
Having a standard meal in a Restaurant will cost you approx. 10 Eur.
Buying food for a standard meal, which you prepare by yourself is possible with  e.g. approx. 3-8 Eur.
Is there any training I can participate?
There are frequent scientific presentations e.g. in our  Innovation Seminar, furthermore there is a catalogue of trainings which may help you to understand the pre-clinical and clinical drug discovery, e.g. GLP and GCP training modules.