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Menu Institutions

SPS - Saclay Plant Sciences

Teaching and training in plant sciences within the SPS LabEx

Classe Informatique

Training students in plant sciences, in a broad sense, has been a priority of the SPS LabEx since it was founded. Teaching and training through research in plant biology have thus received a budget of around 1 million € over the past four years, which represents 15% of the total LabEx budget for this period.

The institutional context of education in general, and in particular education in plant biology, has changed over the last 5 years with the creation of the Université Paris-Saclay and the alliance of several institutions for mutualization of plant science teaching in Ile-de-France.

Teaching

Teaching is mainly grouped in a limited number of programs that pass within the SPS laboratories. In M1 (first year of master’s degree), 3 complementary training programs are available with 2 university programs and an engineer course. There is now a single Plant Sciences M2 program (second year of master’s degree), which pools the skills and expertise in plants of the main teaching institutions: AgroParisTech and the universities of Paris-Sud, Evry Val d'Essonne, Versailles St Quentin en Yvelines and Paris-Diderot. In 2015-2016, there were more than 70 master students in plant science programs (30 M1 and 40 M2) and 120 engineers chose the field of education "Production, industrial sectors, territories for sustainable development" (plant and animal programs taken together).

In this context, the main objective of SPS is to support activities that promote innovative and cutting-edge teaching and training in plant sciences.

So far, several activities have been carried out:

  • Developing hands-on teaching:

   - funding of material dedicated to creating teaching modules focussed on practical work and student autonomy (e.g. cell biology and imaging - Plant Sciences M2).
   - funding of equipment for existing practical courses at the bachelor and master levels as well as for engineer courses.
   - providing students with access to platforms by contributing to the purchase of large equipment (NGS sequencer, confocal microscope, high-resolution mass spectrometer)
   Our students have the unique opportunity to work and train on research equipment at the cutting-edge of technology. The list of all the pieces of equipment funded by SPS for teaching and training is available here.

  • Supporting training through research by subsidizing internship allowances of students in laboratories.
  • Financing student mobility (visits, conferences) and foreign lecturers.
  • Funding an annual professional forum for the students to meet companies from the industrial sector.
  • Organizing summer schools ("The Seed Biology Paris Summer School" in 2015, "From gene expression to genomic network" in 2016).
  • Providing financial support to the annual European PhD Retreat for doctorates in Plant Sciences from 5 European countries (France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, The Netherlands)

Support to teaching and training activities in the framework of SPS is managed by a dedicated working group. This group is composed of 12 members representing the different teaching institutions involved in the programs in which LabEx members participate (AgroParisTech and the universities Paris-Sud, Evry Val d'Essonne, Versailles St Quentin en Yvelines and Paris-Diderot) but also INRA and CNRS. The members of this group also represent the 4 major LabEx sites for training through research (Jean-Pierre Bourgin Institute, Institute of Plant Sciences Paris-Saclay, Institute of Integrative Biology of the Cell and Unit of Quantitative Genetics and Evolution-Le Moulon).

Other activities are planned, notably in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship and, of course, to perpetuate the project via, for example, lifelong learning.