The iGRAD-Plant program consists of two different studying periods, the qualification and the research period. Students entering the program with a Bachelor's degree will start with the qualification period, whereas students entering with a Master's degree will directly start with the research period. The study program in both periods is further divided in different parts.
The basic philosophy of our qualification program is that all incoming students with a bachelor's degree will be initially trained in a structured one-year program. During the qualification period, each student will be assigned to a faculty supervisor, who will guide and consult the student in the first year. The qualification period will consist of three 6-week rotation periods in three different laboratories, a structured program of lecture and seminar courses, and is completed by a project proposal for the dissertation phase and a final oral exam. For a more detailed out-line of the structured program see the iGRAD-Plant Handbook (coming soon).
After successfully passing the qualification period, the students will have up to six months to start their dissertation project and to develop a research proposal, that they will present to their guidance committee. After defending their proposal, the students will move on to the research part of their Ph.D., which is accompanied by mandatory and optional seminars and workshops, and by regular meetings with their guidance committee. Part of the study program will be taken at HHU, other parts can be integrated with a research stay in a host lab at the Michigan State University (MSU). Each graduate student will be required to complete a 6 to 9 months research stay in a lab at MSU. The program is designed to be completed within four years in case of students entering with a bachelor's degree. Students entering the program with a master's or diploma degree will directly enter the research period of the program by doing three 3 week lab rotations, developing and defending their research proposal and will usually complete the program within three years.