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On the Origin of PhD retreat


In 2007, three European graduate schools in Plant Sciences namely: The Dutch graduate school of Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS), the French doctoral school Sciences du Végétal (SdV), and the German International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) initiated an international collaboration to improve research, training and education of PhD students in Europe.

The outcome of this collaboration culminated in the organization of an early stage researcher’s retreat for doctoral students, which was held for the first time in 2008 at the Wageningen University (NL). The research fields of Plant Sciences that these schools cover are highly related and complementary. As such the Joint Retreats, symposia, and PhD courses are intended to facilitate and promote the schools to organize joint research projects and exchange programs.

By providing opportunities for the sharing of knowledge on scientific approaches and technical knowledge gained from research activities conducted across the European region, the education and training of the PhD students will be greatly improved. Such a collaboration finally aims at establishing an international graduate school of plant sciences, comprising a network of some the most important institutes and laboratories across Europe with well established scientific and information exchange.

After the first successful meeting of the three graduate schools, three other important institutes of plant sciences in Europe were included: the British John Innes Center (JIC), The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL), as well as the Belgian VIB.

Each of the participating graduate schools will host the joint retreat rotationally. This year (2011) the Joint PhD Retreat will be hosted by the doctoral school SdV in Orsay.