About four years ago, the joint doctoral program of Hochschule Geisenheim University and the Université de Bordeaux was the first program from the agricultural and thus viticultural sector to receive funding from the Franco-German University (DFH). With this novelty, the DFH acknowledged the high quality of research and education at both institutions but also paid tribute to the economic dimensions of the subject in the partner countries. By deciding to extend the funding period until December 2025, the DFH now honors the successful implementation of the doctoral program “Impact of Climate Change on Special Crops and Their Products” since the start of the funding on January 1, 2018.
With financial support from the DFH, the doctoral program offers young scientists an international training at four world-class institutions leading in the field of special crops – and viticulture and enology in particular. The candidates conduct most of their research projects in Geisenheim or Bordeaux but also have the chance to spend several months researching at the Australian Wine Research Institute or the University of Adelaide – another special feature of the program. The virtual institute of the above-mentioned institutions – the BAG Alliance – provides the basis for this exchange. The strength of the strategic alliance is that it enables its partners to significantly speed up the transfer of research results to the industry by conducting simultaneous trials under various climatic conditions.
Soon, the program will consist of seven doctoral candidates who benefit from the outstanding opportunities provided by the unique cooperation. In various research projects, they are examining the impact of climate change on the cultivation of special crops and their secondary products. Among other things, the focus of the research projects is to understand how grapevines can respond to climate change based on their underlying physiology. Other topics include the cultivation of grapevines with different cultivation systems, biodiversity, genetic diversity and molecular genetics, the influence of secondary metabolites on the quality of wine, economic aspects of wine production as well as (new) pests and plant diseases.
As part of a cotutelle procedure, all candidates are enrolled at both Hochschule Geisenheim University and the Université de Bordeaux and will be awarded a joint doctorate. “The degree opens the door to an international career in basic and applied research in life science,” explains Prof. Dr. Annette Reineke, Vice-President of Research at Hochschule Geisenheim University and responsible for young scientists at the institution. “We are very pleased that the DFH continues to support doctoral candidates in starting their careers.”
For further information, please go to https://www.hs-geisenheim.de/dfh/