Modern breeding techniques of maize



August 20th – September 7th 2018



This course “Modern breeding techniques of maize” focuses on (1) the latest scientific developments and tools to accelerate maize breeding (both conventional breeding and biotechnological techniques), (2) the latest essential insights in the regulatory framework and environmental risk assessment principles in Africa and Europe and (3) methods to collect reliable data that allow a thorough environmental risk assessment of new maize varieties.
The program will start with fundamental background sessions on maize breeding, the use of molecular markers in plant breeding, plant biotechnology, genetic transformation and new breeding techniques for maize. Experts from Europe and Africa will give an overview of all biotic and abiotic stresses affecting the growth of maize and possible solutions to overcome these threaths. In these sessions, special emphasis will be given on the effects of fungal contamination, drought and soil fertility on the growth and yield of maize. The course continues with both theory and exercices for the understanding of the basic principles and methodologies of crop safety and risk assessment. The sessions will be interactive, including group work, presentations and discussions. The program also includes practical exercises about maize phenotyping and bio-informatics and visits to confined field trials.
Students, scientists and professionals from the public and industrial sector, who are involved in local crop (maize) improvement or GM regulatory programs
Admission requirements:
    • Holder of at least a Bachelor (or equivalent) in Science, Plant Biotechnology, Agricultural or Bioengineering Sciences
    • Good knowledge of English
    • Preference will be given to participants from Africa involved in maize breeding
    • A balance between male and female participants will be achieved


IPBO, Technologiepark 19, 9052 Gent, Belgium


Registration is free for participants with a VLIR-UOS scholarship.
Registration fee for participants without a VLIR-UOS scholarship: 450 Euro
Registration form




A number of scholarships with support from VLIR-UOS for registration, accomodation and travel expenses are available for applicants from the VLIR country list. Preference will be given to participants from the public sector in Africa who are professionally involved in the topic.
Eligibility criteria:
1) STI-scholars must be nationals and residents in one of the 31 countries with which VLIR-UOS cooperates in its scholarship programme. The 31 countries include:
Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.
Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Vietnam.
Latin America: Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru,
2) VLIR-UOS targets applicants from research institutes, higher education institutes, the government sector (nation-al/subnational), the sector of social economy, an international organization or an NGO, with expertise in matters relevant to development. Applicants from the commercial profit-sector without expertise in matters relevant to the development of a country are not eligible.
3) Previous applications and scholarships
A candidate can only receive 1 VLIR-UOS-scholarship per year
A candidate who was awarded a VLIR-UOS-scholarship before to participate in a ICP, ITP or STI can only be awarded a scholarship to participate in the STI if the STI has a thematical connection with the previously followed programme.


For more information, contact


  • Prof. Dr. Godelieve Gheysen (Chairman, UGent, IPBO, Belgium)
  • Prof. Dr. Dirk Inzé (Co-chairman, UGent, PSB, Belgium)
  • Dr. Sylvie De Buck (IPBO, VIB-UGent, Belgium)
  • Dr. Hilde Nelissen (VIB-UGent PSB, Belgium)
  • Dr. Marc Heijde (IPBO, VIB-UGent, Belgium)


With the support of