The Outreach team is the main contact point for Ensembl Genomes users. We respond to queries by email, ensure that problems identified are resolved by liaising with the Ensembl Genomes team, and we give workshops, demos and presentations on the use of Ensembl Genomes worldwide.

Browser workshop

Our standard one-day browser workshop offers participants the possibility of gaining considerable hands-on experience in the use of the Ensembl Genomes browser coupled with the necessary background information. The workshop is primarily targeted at wet lab researchers and individuals with an interest in bioinformatics and genomics.

The workshop consists of a series of modules, listed below. Most modules consist of a presentation, followed by interactive examples and exercises. Module content can be tailored to the research interest of the participants, just state the main species of interest.

A typical one-day workshop will consist of the first three modules, plus two other modules of your choice:

  • Introduction to Ensembl Genomes: How the project extends Ensembl across the taxonomic space
  • Worked example: Guided tour demonstrating the main features of the Ensembl Genomes browser
  • Data mining with BioMart: Retrieving datasets using the data mining tool BioMart
  • Comparative genomics: Homologies, genome alignments, syntenic regions, phylogenetic trees and pan-compara
  • Variation: SNPs and indels
  • Annotating genomes (Ensembl Bacteria and Protists only): Understanding how gene models are generated

Participants are encouraged to bring problems/questions about their research and we will try to tackle these during the workshop using Ensembl Genomes.The only prerequisite for the browser workshop is general knowledge of molecular biology / genomics and a familiarity with web browsers.

In addition to Ensembl Genomes browser workshops, the Outreach team regularly organises workshops on the use of the Ensembl Application Programming Interfaces (Perl API and REST service). These normally are two or three-day long workshops.

If you are interested in hosting a workshop or want more information, please contact Emily Perry. For a preview of our workshops, see our filmed browser and API courses.

photo collage of workshops

For academic institutions our courses are free of charge. However we request that travel, accommodation and subsistence costs of the instructor(s) are reimbursed by the host.


  • Computer room with a PC (or Mac) for each participant
  • Each computer should have a (reasonably fast) internet connection and an internet browser installed (preferably Chrome, Firefox and Safari, although Internet Explorer should also work)
  • A computer for the instructor, connected to a projector, with an internet connection and MS PowerPoint installed


We don't usually make and give out certificates of attendance to participants; however if the host wishes to do this, this is fine by us and we will be happy to sign them!

Working with Developers

Whilst our browser and API workshops are ideal for researchers who make occasional use of our data, we can also provide help for users who wish to set up their own Ensembl/EnsemblGenomes installation, customise an Ensembl-based site and develop their own display pages. These workshops are held approximately once a year. Developers can also post questions to the whole Ensembl team by signing up to our developers' mailing list.

For a more immersive experience, the "Geek for a Week" scheme allows developers and researchers to work alongside Ensembl Genomes team members for a short intensive collaborative project. Please email us for more details.