DFG Represented at International Congress of Plant Molecular Biology (IPMB)

At the Research in Germany stand Left to right: Laura Redondo, Silvia Bauer, Professor Dr. Olaf Kruse, Professor Dr. Rita Gross-Hardt and Maxi Neidhardt

(20.11.15) Between 25 and 30 October 2015, the Research in Germany initiative was represented with an information stand at the 11th International Congress of Plant Molecular Biology (IPMB) in Foz do Iguaçú, Brazil. The congress was being held for the first time in South America and, because of the countries' geographical proximity, was jointly organised by Brazil and Argentina. The supporters of the event included the DFG's Brazilian and Argentinian partner organisations: CNPq, CAPES, FAPESP, MINCyT and CONICET.

During the congress, which was held in the conference centre of the Bourbon Cataratas hotel, speakers presented new findings in molecular biology and there was an opportunity for interdisciplinary discussion within the scientific community. In addition to highly specialised topics in plant molecular biology, participants also considered the relevance to social issues such as population growth and climate change. According to the organisers, approximately 1250 participants were registered for the congress.

At the Research in Germany stand there was a steady stream of interested enquiries from qualified researchers regarding research and funding opportunities in Germany. During the course of the week the team advised around 114 people in Portuguese, Spanish, English and German. A few were students interested in studying or doing a master's degree in Germany, while the majority were graduates and doctoral or postdoctoral researchers who wanted to find out about doctoral, postdoctoral and other research opportunities in the country. Experienced researchers also stopped by the Research in Germany stand to ask about cooperation projects (lab cooperations or initiation funding) and research visits. Most visitors came from Brazil and Argentina, but participants from Germany, South Korea, India, the USA, Mexico, Spain, Australia, Peru, Chile and Malaysia also received tailored information and advice.

On the penultimate day of the congress there was a Research in Germany information event which took the form of a lunch session, in which around 70 people took part. Guests Rita Gross-Hardt, professor of molecular genetics at the University of Bremen, and Professor Olaf Kruse, scientific director of the Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec) at the University of Bielefeld, gave engaging presentations on their specialist fields and their institutes in Germany. This provided an interesting and practical insight into research funding in Germany, particularly from the DFG. Afterwards Silvia Bauer (DAAD) and Laura Redondo (DFG) presented their funding organisations and answered more questions at the stand.

The presentations by Professor Dr. Gross-Hardt and Professor Dr. Kruse were delivered to a large audience on Monday ("Causes and Consequences of Synergid Degeneration") and Tuesday ("Molecular Regulation of Light Energy Utilisation in Microalgae").