Complementary Courses

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PLANT FELLOWS offers 5 newly developed courses. These complementary courses are coupled to the annual meetings. Fellows need to finish 4 from 5 of the courses in a two-year fellowship period (= 6 course days).

Training Courses offered by PLANT FELLOWS Training Programme at a glance:

During the First Annual Meeting PLANT FELLOWS offers postdoctoral training in:

Career Management for Postdoctoral Fellows (course 4) 

Scientific careers, special for already advance scientist, are built on much more than the expertise.  Despite the conviction that the scientific recognition is the main force for an academic career, the personal development of a scientist meeting the expectations and covering the requirement for the target position are as important. During the course we will discuss well know and explore less-familiar career elements and will gather ideas to direct personal development towards the future goal.

Training in Advanced Funding Strategies (course 2b)

The course gives an overview of the most important public national and international funding instruments and offers an introduction in research funding.

Participants learn more about the individual funding schemes and their specific requirements. Within the course research projects will be structured, project outlines drafted and rejected proposals improved.

Exercises and examples serve not only to write successful proposals but also to present yourself in front of experts / peers and to communicate in a professional way. This is essential, as the own network is indispensable. This course should motivate researchers to improve their skills and strategies in order to apply successfully for third party funds.



During the Second Annual Meeting PLANT FELLOWS repeats the course 4: Career Management for Postdoctoral Fellows and offers the following two courses:

Leadership Skills for Postdocs (course 1)

The course on leadership skills has been designed with the aim to assist postdocs to develop leadership skills that will enable them to manage people in their project and research environment. It is part of becoming an independent researcher in plant sciences to be able to lead and manage a research group. This requires leadership and management skills in addition to academic skills and interpersonal competencies. Moreover this workshop will also broach the issue of: staff selection, team development and project management.

Understanding Entrepreneurship (course 5)

With the workshop “Understanding Entrepreneurship” the fellows will gain entrepreneurial skills allowing them to exploit their knowledge and develop the commercial potential of their work. The workshop will be organised together with UZH@start up, University of Zurich together with input of the PLANT FELLOWS industry partner.



During the Third Annual Meeting PLANT FELLOWS repeats the courses Leadership Skills for Postdocs (course 1) and Advanced Funding Strategies (course 2b) as well as offers the courses:

Advanced Publication Strategies (course 2a)

The workshop provides a platform for sharing experiences, for challenging guidelines and recommendations, and for developing individual strategies. The programme comprises the following questions:

  • - Where and when should we publish for success in academia?
  • - Why is so difficult to reach the target?
  • - What do journal editors want?
  • - How can we hook editors?
  • - How can we get involved in our scientific communities?
  • - What do I plan to do? When do I plan to do it?


Professional Conduct in Research (course 3)

Embedding Ethical Appraisal in your Research: Institutions and funders including the European Union pay enormous attention to embedding and implementing a process for compliance with all their ethical principles. What ethical regulations and processes do you have to pay attention when planning your research project? How can you carry out a full ethical appraisal in your research proposal and how can institutions support you in getting the right ethical certifications?

Practical Advice for post-doctoral fellows on Data Management: Data management plans are made to allow for reproducibility of research results with for example the Swiss National Organisation funding regulations (among many other) requiring that research data is made available to other researchers for secondary research and is recognized scientific data pools. Specialists from the ETHZ Digital Curation Office will explain how a Data Management Plan can be built up.

The Process of Ethical Inquiry: The process of ethical inquiry helps to find your own well-reflected moral decisions in ethical ambiguous situations. We will use this process to deal with questions about:

- Scientific Integrity, Error and Negligence in Science

- Conflicts in Authorship Practices

- Questions of Data Treatment

- Influence of Values on Data Interpretation

- Social Responsibility of Scientists (e.g. 'Communication with the public')

The focus will be on discussing your own cases and questions from your own research and applying the process of ethical inquiry on them as well as developing a framework of mentoring less experienced researchers in these questions.