The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)



The main purpose of the training program is to guarantee a high scientific level of the PhD candidates’ work, by providing a variety of courses, seminars, workshops and symposia that increase their in-depth knowledge of specific research topics or broadens their scientific horizons. Additional general skill training activities are available to enable PhD candidates  to continue their career inside academia or to explore alternative career paths outside of academia.

To facilitate the development into an independent scientist, EPS requires a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) for every PhD candidate. The training part of the TSP is a plan of the educational activities throughout the whole PhD project, which is agreed upon by the supervisor(s) and the PhD candidate at the start of the project. It should be emphasized that the proposed plan for the educational activities can always be adapted later on.

During the PhD project, usually full-time for four years, an individual budget (varying for the seven universities involved) is available for each candidate to finance the educational activities within the TSP. Furthermore, PhD candidates are permitted to follow the regular education of the university. Additional expenses must be financed via the project’s funding, department funds or other sources. Please be aware that EPS offers reduced course fees to EPS PhD candidates that have an approved TSP.

If you, as an EPS PhD candidate with an approved TSP, would like to participate in a course organized at one of the affiliated universities or institutes, but there is a difference in fee for PhD candidates from that particular university/institute (internal fee) and PhD candidates from outside that particular university/institute (external fee), please consider asking EPS for compensation for this difference. You can send your request for compensation together with 1) documentation about the course content, 2) documentation about the differences in the fees, and 3) your motivation for participating in this particular course to the Education Coordinator, Juliane Teapal. Please note that there is no guarantee that your request for compensation will be fulfilled.

To supply the appropriate and desired educational format and content, the graduate school highly values the PhD candidate’s opinion on the training activities that EPS offers. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact the Education Coordinator, the PhD Council, or the Postdoc Council, or write your comments or suggestions down in the Annual Progress Report in your TSP.

On request a Certificate and an Education Statement of the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences will be presented at the PhD candidate’s graduation, if all requirements for the training have been fulfilled.

At their graduation EPS PhD candidates are:

  1. Able to function as independent scientists.
  2. Able to integrate their work in the theoretical framework of their discipline(s).
  3. Are able to place their research aims and results in a societal context.
  4. Competent in identifying priority areas of research and in formulating questions and experimental hypotheses pertinent to this research.
  5. Able to integrate their own work into a broader area of research.
  6. Competent in communicating and discussing the objectives, results and implications of their research in scientific journals, posters, and in conferences, seminars and other meetings with colleagues.
  7. Familiar with current research in the field of experimental plant sciences.