Structure, content and objectives of the training program

In view of the predicted climate changes and the consequences on the sustainability of food production the need of highly educated scientists with broad experiences in the fields of modern plant biology and crop breeding becomes an important challenge for the education of young researchers on the graduate and early postdoctoral level. The training objective of SPOT-ITN is to train young scientists in modern techniques and interdisciplinary cutting edge research in an international acting consortium, which will enable them to take over leading positions in the European research efforts and to join public and commercial research interests to socio-economic benefits. The aim is to qualify ESRs and ERs at scientific and personal level to become professional researchers in leading positions in the academic, public or private research area. Thereby, SPOT-ITN will strive to increase the number of women remaining in this field after completion of the PhD projects as this has been identified to be the critical step in their career. The training program is well coordinated with the needs of the interdisciplinary research proposed and provides the ESRs and ERs with a broad knowledge of plant research performed in the public and private sector. The scientific training program is accompanied by a program on complementary skills. Besides the direct involvement of ESRs/ERs into the research programs conducted by participants from the industrial sector (GXP, MAB), the network-wide training is given by experts from both, the academic and the private field with equal contribution of the associated partner (NUN) as well.

The SPOT-ITN will provide education defined by different training elements. The training program includes the individualized training in excellent research projects, project oriented secondments within the SPOT-ITN or international activities, tailor-made network-wide training elements and personalized education in generic skills. For the individual ESRs and ERs a personal training and supervision is aimed for optimizing the training opportunities to maximize the educational impact for members of SPOT-ITN.

All partners of the SPOT-ITN, irrespective whether they belong to public or private institutions, will participate equally in the network-wide training program. The advisory board will control the training activities. By this program the PhD-projects for the ESRs are designed for the three years funded and should be completed within this period and PhD thesis should at least finalized after maximal three 1/2 years.