Qualification Program

The IRTG 2172 provides a unique and appealing program on plant defense mechanisms against microbes and insects. The program is designed to prepare doctoral researchers for addressing their own research questions in an independent and professional way and to be qualified for leading positions in academic institutions and enterprises. The IRTG offers a specific study program, which will consist of mandatory elements (seminars, methodology courses, soft skill courses) that can be combined with individual optional elements (key skills and methods, courses for females, excursions, outreach activities, visiting researchers program)


The PhD programme is a three-year curriculum which consist of the individual research projects in one of the different research groups and of participation in the qualification program. The doctoral researchers have to obtain 20 ECTS-credits within the modules of the qualification program according to the standing orders of GGNB.


+ Introductory module:

To be prepared for their further work on plant pathogen interactions doctoral researchers will start their PhD thesis with the introductory module. This module will be held together for all doctoral researchers of the University of Goettingen and of the UBC in Vancouver. The module starts with a 3-week team-taught course which covers basic principles of the plant im­mune system and standard experimental strategies to approach open questions. In the fourth week soft skill courses like good scientific practice and statistical methods will be offered. After this part doctoral researchers of the University of Goettingen will spend two months in the collaborating partner lab in Vancouver.

+ Seminars

+ Methodology workshops

+ Teaching and presenting science

+ Soft skill courses

+ Excursions

Exchange programme with the partner institution

All projects within the program will be carried out in a collaborative manner between Vancouver and Goettingen. Doctoral researchers of the University of Goettingen will work for at least six months within the Canadian partner laboratories. Two months directly after the introductory course in order to get to know the team as well as the complementary methods available at the partner institution. The second visit of about 4 months will be realized during the second year of the thesis when the individual projects have been established.

Thesis Committee

Each doctoral researcher will be supervised by a thesis committee, which consists of the supervisor, an additional faculty member from the host institution and a third faculty member from the partner institution in Vancouver. The doctoral researchers will meet the thesis committee at least annually.