How countries join and establish a Node

The steps below describe how a country becomes a member of ELIXIR and establishes a Node. If you would like to discuss your country becoming a member of ELIXIR, please contact andrew.smith [at]

  • A country makes an application to the ELIXIR Board to become a member. It is the government of the country that makes the application, not the country's scientific community.
  • Once the application has been approved, the country ratifies the ELIXIR Consortium Agreement (ECA). At that point, it formally becomes a member.
  • The scientific community of that country then develops and submits a Node application. This lists the institutions in that country that will constitute the Node and what services they will provide.
  • The ELIXIR Board and the ELIXIR Scientific Advisory Board review the Node application.
  • Once the Node application is approved, the lead institution of the Node then develops and signs a Collaboration Agreement with the ELIXIR Hub. This allows the Hub to transfer the budget to the Node so that it can carry out technical activities such as Commissioned Services (e.g. Implementation Studies).
  • During the above process, the Node also prepares a Service Delivery Plan (SDP). This lists all the services they will provide as part of ELIXIR. See the Services page for the current list of services.
  • Each Node adopts its own process for selecting their nominated services. The ELIXIR Hub monitors the status of these services.
  • Nodes are expected to comply with the ELIXIR Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Policy.

See also Governance FAQs.

Principles for assessing membership applications for countries which are not members of ESFRI

The following criteria will be applied by the ELIXIR Board when reviewing membership applications from countries that are not Members of ESFRI, including those countries that are Associated to ESFRI:

  • The level of expertise in bioinformatics service provision of that country.
  • The maturity and coordination of its national bioinformatics community.
  • The current level of collaboration between that country and ELIXIR.
  • That country's ability to sustain an ELIXIR Node.
  • Its requirements for capacity building and Node development support.
  • Its financial contribution to the Hub should it become a Member.
  • Its potential for contributing to and implementing ELIXIR’s scientific programme.
  • The contribution of that country to the effective governance of ELIXIR and the Board.

ELIXIR Member States are committed to human rights, democracy and the rule of law as described in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. ELIXIR Member States will therefore take into consideration the respect and cooperation towards peace and international dialogue of the applying country, as well as considerations around the proposed use of their data infrastructure for positive and scientific purposes.