SCHOLARSHIP ERASMUS MUNDUS MASTER PLANT BREEDING – EMPLANT

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About emPLANT+

emPLANT+, European Program in Plant Breeding has been designed and is organized by a consortium of six European universities from six different countries: UniLaSalle Polytechnic Institute (France), Szent István University (Hungary), Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria) and University of Milano (Italy).

emPLANT+ is the continuation of the emPLANT program (2017-2022) which is composed of 5 universities from five different countries: UniLaSalle Polytechnic Institute (France), University of Helsinki (Finland), Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden) and Ege University (Turkey). The program has trained 3 intakes of students: 2018, 2019 & 2020 and will end in 2022.

The complementarity of the consortium members in terms of specializations, working methods, climatic specificities, and collaboration partners produces a program that could not be offered by one organization alone. The wealth of knowledge and expertise in the fields of plant breeding, plant biology, seed technology, biotechnology of emPLANT+ is unique in the world.

emPLANT+ aims at providing students interested in Plant Breeding with excellent training in science, management, law, languages, and soft skills that are needed in this field by the Seed Industry and Research Institutes.

IMPORTANCE OF PLANT BREEDING

A recent report (Noleppa 2016) shows that innovation in plant breeding over the last 15 years increased productivity in EU arable farming by 74%. In addition, the study reveals that in the field of arable crops 3,4 billion tons of direct CO2 emissions have been avoided, 55 billion m3 of water have been saved and approximately 70 000 jobs have been created. This shows the significant contribution of plant breeding to achieve food/nutrition security and climate change goals in Europe and the world.

It is also noteworthy that the development and growth of this sector does not only occur in Europe and other developed countries, but there is a significant growth of the sector in developing countries, where the use of improved seeds is becoming a common practice.

As a reminder, in less than 25 years the world population is expected to rise to 9 billion people and agricultural production will need to increase by 70% to secure food supplied (FAO). That is why, at the global level, the Plant Breeding sector needs specialists with a high degree of training who know and are able to combine and apply the methodologies derived from conventional techniques with those of the new biotechnologies (molecular markers, In vitro cultivation, genetic transformation, etc.) for the development of new varieties.

HIGH DEMAND FOR PLANT BREEDERS

The development and release of new varieties, along with associated activities, is one of the fields of technology with greater projection and foreseeable demand in the future. The market for seeds and other propagating materials is one of the most dynamic ones, the annual value of worldwide commercial seed production reaches €30 billion (Ragonnaud, 2013). It is estimated that plant breeding has generated 60% of crop plant productivity increases (Bradshaw, 2016), now with the integration of new tools of biotechnology the potential of this discipline has multiplied.

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The plant breeder of today (and of tomorrow) needs to master concepts of traditional breeding and modern molecular breeding. In addition to having hands-on expertise in growing plants, understanding their reproductive biology, and knowing the possibilities and limitations of crossing-selection breeding, he/she needs to have skills in molecular biology, bioinformatics, advanced statistics, and project management.

EMPLOYABILITY

After graduation, students will work as technical and scientific managers of commercial or public breeding programs, on methodology, technology or cultivar development, in seed production and crop improvement, in R&D, in charge of legal questions linked to seeds in the seed/agro/food industry or pursue a Ph.D. linked to breeding, crop production, and plant biology.

LIST OF COURSES :

The first year provides the basics in terms of plant breeding and connected topics to the students, such as crop production, genetics, breeding, statistics, etc. The students will deepen their knowledge of basic science related to breeding, breeding strategies, and the legal and administrative rules of the seed business.

3 different institutions are possible during the first year: Institut Polytechnique UniLaSalle in France or Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Sweden or Szent István University in Hungary. for more information visit here

Tuition fees

Two different types of EMJMD are awarded:

  • Scholarships for Program Country students
  • Scholarships for Partner Country students (see below the exception for 12-months residency rule) which include some scholarships for students coming from the targeted region of the world
STUDENTS WHO ARE AWARDED AN EMJMD SCHOLARSHIP WILL BENEFIT FROM THE FOLLOWING FINANCIAL SUPPORT:
  • Partner Country students
Contribution to emPLANT+ participation costs18 000€ (2-year full-time Master’s degree)
Contribution to travel costs2 000€/year if place of residence is less than 4 000km from LAS*
3 000€/year if place of residence is more than 4 000km from LAS*
Exception: 1000€/year if you live in a Programme Country
Contribution to installation costs1 000€ one time cost
Exception: 0€ if you live in a Programme Country
Living allowance (max. 24 months)1 000€/month (not when in country of residence and max. 3 months in any Partner Country)
  • Programme Country students
Contribution to emPLANT+ participation costs9 000€ (2-year full-time Master’s degree)
Contribution to travel costs1 000€/year
Contribution to installation costs
Living allowance (max. 24 months)1 000€/month (not when in country of residence)

Application procedure

1- ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

If you are interested in applying for the Erasmus+ Master Programme in Plant Breeding, please check if you meet the requirements below:

  • Awarded of Science degree (min. 180 ECTS) in Agriculture/Agronomy, Plant Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Master 1 Genetics, Molecular Biosciences or related relevant fields
  • OR students in their last Bachelor year
  • Language proficiency:
    • B2 in English except when English is your mother tongue. If not, please provide one of the following documents:
      • Official English test:
        • TOEIC: minimum of 785 points
        • IELTS: minimum of 6.0
        • TOEFL: 577 paper-based, 233 computer-based, 90 internet-based (20 written)
        • Cambridge: Certificate of Advanced English
        • etc…
      • Or a University letter attesting English is the medium of instruction of your higher education
    • Spanish: for those applying to UPV in year 2, a level B1 is needed by the beginning of the second year (not required at the time of application). Official test: DELE, ALTE, etc…
  • Application received before the end of the deadline
  • Application form filled out in English
  • An application containing all requested elements and documents
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2- DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO APPLY

If you meet all requirements and want to apply to emPLANT, the following list of documents will have to be attached to the application in a PDF format:

  • Copy of your diploma(s) / degree(s) certificate(s) (add an English translation if applicable) or enrolled certificate from your university (for last year students)
  • Copy of transcript of records for your whole degree and a grading scale (add an English translation if applicable)
  • Copy of official language certificate attesting language skills in English and Spanish if applicable
  • Curriculum Vitae in a European format
  • Passport (or valid ID document)
  • Proof of current and exact place of residence (see requirements below)
  • Two recommendation letters (no specific format)
  • Declaration on honor (download template)
  • Other documents you consider relevant for the application

3- INFORMATION ABOUT THE ONLINE APPLICATION

  • The application form must be filled out in English
  • The online application procedure takes some time so make sure you have plenty of time to do it. Or do it several times
  • Before starting your application, make sure you have all the required documents you will have to attach to your application and in a PDF format
  • All documents must be in the English language. If it is not the case, add an English translation done by a certified, court-approved translator officially recognized by the issuing country
  • Don’t wait until the last moment to apply or the platform might shut down due to too many applications received at the same time
  • After submission of your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgment of receipt by e-mail
  • You can’t submit more than one application
  • Candidates can apply for an EMJMD scholarship to any of the Erasmus+ Erasmus Mundus courses of their choice but for a given academic year the number of applications must be limited to a maximum of three different joint programs

Selection procedure

1- After reception, each application is checked in order to remove the following applications:

  • Incomplete applications (missing information or documents)
  • Incorrect applications (form filled out not in English, admission requirements not fulfilled, wrong documents …)

2- At the end of the call for applications, eligible applications are split in 2 groups:

GROUP 1

Countries from where more than 15 applications are received are put aside in order to make a pre-selection of the best applicants only (between 5 and 10).

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Indeed, maximum 3 applicants from the same country can receive a scholarship according to the Erasmus Mundus rules so it is not efficient to assess all applications received from the same country if there are too much applications.

  • Pre-selected applicants are then assessed out of 100 according to the criteria detailed in point 3 below.
  • Unfortunately the other application files are not assessed and are put on the non-selected list.
GROUP 2

If less than 15 application files are received from the same country then all files are assessed out of 100 according to the critera detailed in point 3 below.

3- Each selected application from group 1 and group 2 is assessed by two universities of the Consortium according to the following criteria:

CriteriaScore
Academic competencies (General academic results AND Academic results in subjects relevant for emPLANT+)45
Subject-related knowledge, skills and motivation (Career plan/objective AND motivation for plant breeding)45
Personal and interpersonal competencies (Recommendation letters, CV & open-mindedness)10
Total100

If a difference of more than 20 points out of 100 is found between the 2 assessing universities then a third university assessed the candidate.

Selection and admission to emPLANT Master Programme is based on academic merit and excellence.

All applications scoring less than 75/100 are put on the non-selected list. All the other applications are ranked according to the total score they have obtained. There are 2 ranking lists: one for Partner Country students and the other one for Program Country students.

4- In each absolute ranking list, best ranked applicants will be selected for a short interview before the end of February. Non-selected applicants for interview are placed on the reserve list (in the ranking order).

Candidates are contacted at least 7 days before the date and time of the interview. The online interview lasts 20 minutes maximum and is designed to check the English level, to evaluate the motivation, the basic knowledges about the program & about plant breeding, and communication skills of each applicant.

Each applicant is interviewed by two or three universities of the Consortium according to the following criteria:

CriteriaScore
English level4
Motivation (career objective and consistency with the emPLANT+ program among other things)6
Knowledge (about the program AND plant science)5
Communication and interpersonal skills5
Total20

As it is a program of excellence, all applications scoring less than 15/20 are put on the reserve list.

Applicants with an English score ≤ 2/4 are put on the non-selected list.

5- The final selection of candidates is based on both the score obtained for the application and for the interview: 60% for interview and 40% for application. Two ranking lists are made according to these percentages: one for Program Country applicants and the other for Partner Country applicants

In each ranking list (Partner and Program Country), the Consortium selects the best ranked applicants to be part of emPLANT+.

Non-selected applicants are placed on the reserve list (in the ranking order).

APPLICATION DEADLINES

THE FIRST CALL FOR APPLICATIONS, WITH ERASMUS MUNDUS SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY, IS OPEN FROM OCTOBER 5, 2020 TO JANUARY 15, (11:59PM CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME)

The call for applications 2021-2023 is under a new Master program named emPLANT+.

how to apply

IMPORTANT BEFORE APPLYING
  • Make sure to check the detailed list of compulsory documents here
  • Make sure you are eligible by checking the admission requirements here
  • Be sure to know what is a Program Country and a Partner Country by checking here
  • Be aware that your application will be rejected without any possibility of an appeal if your application is not complete or if you have uploaded the wrong documents.

after this got to apply page

official website

please follow the link

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