CEPLAS Graduate School

The CEPLAS Graduate School

The CEPLAS Graduate School offers a structured 3-year doctoral programme that is jointly organised by the Universities of Düsseldorf and Cologne, the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research and the Forschungszentrum Jülich, all located in the Cologne/Düsseldorf area. Ph.D. students admitted to the programme work in one (or sometimes two) of the CEPLAS member laboratories on a topic related to the CEPLAS research plan (list of currently offered projects). Because CEPLAS research projects are highly collaborative, Ph.D. students will benefit from the combined expertise of molecular biologists, biochemists and theoretical biologists. Hence, after completion of the programme, doctoral students will have acquired the skills necessary to excel in their future careers in and outside of academia.

The CEPLAS Graduate School Curriculum

The goal of the CEPLAS Graduate School is to prepare our Ph.D. candidates for a future career in the field of plant sciences in academia as well as in industry.

For that reason our structured programme includes three major areas:

  • The doctoral research project is the foundation of the Ph.D. study and spans through its complete duration. It aims to qualify CEPLAS doctoral researchers for independent and professional scientific work and is supported by a thesis committee.
  • A scientific training programme includes scientific courses as well as symposia and seminars that allow doctoral researchers to broaden their scientific knowledge and to apply the acquired skills in a professional setting.
  • A career training programme includes career-relevant transferable skills to further train doctoral researchers for their future career. Excursions to partners from industry, the annual CEPLAS Career Day and the possibility to participate in a mentoring programme further support doctoral researchers in planning their future post-Ph.D. career.

Additional benefits are provided through the CEPLAS mobility fund which supports the option to work in a laboratory abroad for 3 months and the participation at expensive but important workshops, summer schools, etc. To receive this funding, doctoral researchers submit a short proposal that needs to be approved by his/her PI, the respective RA Coordinator and the CEPLAS Training Committee.



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