The AGenT (Agricultural Genomics Transversal) postdoctoral programme is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Programme (H2020 Grant Agreement No. 945043) at the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG; Barcelona).
AGenT is an ambitious research and training initiative designed to conduct multidisciplinary and intersectoral research projects at CRAG in conjunction with associated partner organizations (private companies, research centers and academic institutions), both national and international.
The programme offers twenty (20) two-year postdoctoral fellowships in four calls and is focused on: training both in specific research areas and in transferable and transversal skills; secondments and research collaborations; and networking activities in both the academic and the industrial sectors; all in order to enrich the training of the fellows and enhance their professional development while conducting projects of research excellence.
AGenT is an international, interdisciplinary, and intersectoral programme that can be summarized as an orthogonal grid that combines the four scientific programmes at CRAG (Plant Development and Signal Transduction; Plant Responses to Stress; Plant Metabolism and Metabolic Engineering; and Plant and Animal Genomics) with three priority lines that are specifically supported by the three different types of partner organizations of the AGenT programme. These are:
- Collaborative international projects of research excellence. Partner institutions include many of the best research Centers in plant sciences in Europe: Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ, Germany); John Innes Center (JIC, UK); National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA, France); Umeå Plant Science Center (UPSC, Sweden); The Sainsbury Laboratory at Cambridge University (SLCU, UK), and Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica (IPMB, Taiwan).
- Application of frontier technologies to plant science research and development (e.g., advanced materials, nanosciences, and photonics). Partner organizations are: Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO, Barcelona); Catalan Institute of Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies (ICN2, Barcelona); Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB), and Center for Research in Mathematics (CRM, Barcelona), all of which are also “Severo Ochoa” programme Centers of Excellence.
- From research to products. Partner organizations are private companies: Rijk Zwaan (RZ); Fitó Seeds; Sequentia Biotech; Vytrus Biotech; OpenNatur; and Enlighting Technologies (ET).
The AGenT programme will improve career prospects for plant and farm animal researchers in Europe; contribute to the training of future leaders in the areas of plant and agricultural sciences; support research of excellence and boost the research capacity and international visibility of CRAG and its collaborating institutions; and support advancing research in topics of high social impact and of importance for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Addressing many of the challenges that human societies will face in coming decades (e.g., climate change and increased weather variability and their consequences; the increasing demand on agricultural products and natural resources -food, feed, and fibre- at the global scale; agricultural sustainability; or the preservation of the ecosystems on which societies depend, to name a few) will crucially depend on plant research at multiple levels.
The AGenT Postdoctoral Programme has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie (Grant Agreement No. 945043) and will be co-funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the “Severo Ochoa” Centres of Excellence and “Maria de Maeztu” Excellence Units Programme 2019 (Project No. CEX2019-000902-S).