Plants are central to life on this planet. They produce the oxygen we breathe, are the main source of our nutrition along with fibre and bioenergy. Plants are also a rich source of pharmaceutical and other novel products. The rapidly increasing demand of food and fibre together with the requirement for sustainable energy such as biofuels requires extensive research and training of experts in different areas of plant sciences. The central aim of the Doctoral Programme in Plant Sciences (DPPS) is to meet these challenges and to train world-class experts in the fields of basic and translational plant sciences including plant biology and associated biotic interactions, plant production and other applications for example bioenergy to fulfil the ever growing needs for well qualified and highly motivated researchers in modern plant sciences and its industrial applications in Finland and globally.
Subject areas covered by the programme include: biology, agriculture and forestry, environment
- molecular plant biology
- genetics, genomics and breeding
- physiology and biochemistry
- developmental biology
- pathology and biotechnology
- plant production
Through national collaboration, the teaching personnel of the programme includes all the major plant biology groups in Finland both at universities and research institutes as well as international experts and networks. The partnership of basic and translational research is seen as an important asset of the educational programme and is made possible by the joint collaboration of the two faculties in Viikki involved in this programme (Biological & Environmental Sciences and Agriculture & Forestry).
Short intensive courses on specific subject areas and methods in plant science complement the research of the doctoral candidate carried out in internationally rich research laboratories. Courses are either practically or lecture based and are usually assessed by written assignments or oral presentation of results.
Progress of doctoral candidates is followed not only by the supervisor but by a follow-up group (thesis advisory committee) who monitor the progress of students throughout their research and studies.