ESC8: Basic and advanced protocols in biological calorimetry (BioCal)

Dates: Monday 8th – Wednesday 10th July 2024

Location: Institute BIFI, Zaragoza, Spain (BIFI-LACRIMA)

Full address: Institute BIFI, Edificio I+D, C/ Mariano Esquillor s/n, 50018, Zaragoza, Spain

Number of participants: 10

Deadline for submission of an application: 1st May 2024.

Description of the course:

The course focuses on calorimetric techniques applied mainly to biological macromolecules (e.g., proteins, nucleic acids, lipid vesicles). These techniques are very common in experimental laboratories and are frequently used to study the stability of proteins (DSC) and their interactions (ITC), which will be the focus of this course.

During the course the participants will learn about the fundamental background and operational procedures of the techniques and hands-on practice with the instruments will be performed. Attention will be given to sample preparation, set-up operation, data gathering and data analysis.

Outline of the course:

The course will start on the morning of Monday 8th of July and end in the afternoon of the Wednesday 10th of July, and will combine both theoretical and practical content.

The course will provide time slots for exchange between trainers and trainees, as well as between students. At the end of the course, students are expected to have acquired the skills needed to apply the techniques at their institution in full autonomy.

The course will provide theoretical lectures and practical tutorials on protein stability and interactions assessment and experimental design.
Hands-on practical classes will be conducted in groups (5 participants each) during the second day.

Day 1

Welcome and lunch

Lecture 1: DSC: basic and advanced protocols
Lecture 2: ITC: basic and advanced protocols

Day 2

Hands-on practical session 1. DSC: Experimental design, preparation of samples, setting up the instrument, performing the experiment.
Hands-on practical session 2. ITC: Experimental design, preparation of samples, setting up the instrument, performing the experiment.


Practical sessions will continue during the afternoon

Day 3

Troubleshooting, data analysis, questions


Other details:

The course is aimed at researchers with some experience in protein biophysics who wish to acquire or reinforce new scientific and technical skills: graduate and PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, early career scientists, technicians, and core facility staff.

The course will be open to 10 selected participants that should come from places where such training is not available locally or in close proximity. In the application form, the applicants should show that the outcome of the course will be used directly in their projects and activities.

Registration to the course will be free of charge.

Participants will receive partial financial support to attend the course, including economy travel, lunches, and 2 nights of accommodation with breakfast (accommodation will be booked by the organizers). 10 travel bursaries of a maximum 300 € each will be offered to cover economy travel costs. Successful applicants will be informed of the eligible expenses when they receive a formal acceptance letter.

Download a pdf version of a flyer for this course via the link below:



Application to take part in the course

The course is limited to 10 participants and therefore any interested parties will need to submit an application for consideration to take part.

Who is eligible to apply:

Anyone with a workplace/host institution in one of the EU member or associated states may apply to attend this course (this includes people from the UK). Applicants from industry are also welcome. It is expected that applicants have at least a basic knowledge of protein biophysics and that the topic of the course is applicable to their area of research/work. Applications from scientists in the early-stage of their career are particularly encouraged and we will strive to obtain a gender balance of the participants in the course.

How to apply:

The application consists of:

  • submission of a completed course application form which includes:
    • motivation for attendance
    • a short scientific CV
  • if you are a student or postdoc, a reference letter.

Once the application period is closed, all submissions will be reviewed and the applicants will be informed of the outcome.

Download the application form using the link below


When to apply:

It is now possible to apply for this course. Completed application forms, along with any supporting documentation should be sent to

Application deadline:

The deadline for submission of an application to participate in this course was the: 1st May 2024.