Summer Plant Biology Research at Top-Notch German Research Cluster

Plant Science Students

Funded by a $300,000 award from the National Science Foundation’s International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) initiative, WSU will develop cohorts of carefully selected, diverse IRES scholars as globally educated students for international leadership in Plant Biology research that emphasizes solutions to the huge challenges of sustainable food production.

A yearly cohort of WSU students from the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) will participate in a summer 10-week research program in Germany at CEPLAS — the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences, which integrates the resources of the Universities of Cologne and Düsseldorf, the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, and the Forschungszentrum Jülich research institute. CEPLAS is a world-leading research cluster in plant biology. View the program flyer for details. Access the application portal to apply today.

The three-year program will involve 24 WSU students, each of whom will receive a $9,000 fellowship for study in Cologne and Düsseldorf. Participating students will collaborate with 16 WSU professors and an equal number of CEPLAS researchers; projects will be jointly supervised by WSU and CEPLAS scientists. Students will also take part in English-taught workshops and cultural events, gaining familiarity with the culture and language of that European Union country.

Using advanced technologies and performing experiments in CEPLAS’ world-class laboratories, students will develop system-scale models of plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses, perform gene co-expression analyses, investigate metabolic reactions, and employ advanced biochemical and biophysical techniques. Knowledge gained by this fundamental research could pave the way for new crop plants that are more productive and robust against environmental challenges, leading to sustainable, efficient cultivation of crops for food, fodder, and energy.

To learn more, or become a part of the program, contact Prof. Helmut Kirchhoff (CAHNRS) at or Prof. Mechthild Tegeder (CAS) at, view the program flyer, or send questions through the following question field. Thank you.


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