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Master in

Plant breeding

Present edition: 1st part: 26 September 2016 – 9 June 2017 / 2nd part: September 2017 – June 2018 ··
Next edition: 1st part: September 2018 – June 2019 / 2nd part: September 2019 – June 2020

Master in

Plant breeding

General information on the Unit

ECTS: 30
Subject 1 – Basic tools for the elaboration of scientific and technical documents and publications: 6 ECTS
Subject 2 – Practicum on Plant breeding: 24 ECTS
Contact hours: 288
Subject 1– Basic tools for the elaboration of scientific and technical documents and publications: 60 hours
Subject 2 – Practicum on Plant breeding: 228 hours, with the tutor and the tutor's team
Personal work hours: 462
Subject 1– Basic tools for the elaboration of scientific and technical documents and publications: 90 hours
Subject 2 – Practicum on Plant breeding: 372 hours (with the tutor and staff from the tutor's team)
Character: Compulsory
Venue:
Subject 1 – Basic tools for the elaboration of scientific and technical documents and publications: Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza
Subject 2 – Practicum on Plant breeding: Institution chosen by the candidate upon conformity from the UdL/IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission of the Master
Scheduling:
- This Unit is developed during the third semester, in the Master's second academic year. The first subject of the Unit "Basic tools for the development of scientific and technical documents and publications" takes place for two weeks at the end of the first part of the Master. The "Practicum on Plant breeding" (which constitutes the second subject of the Unit) usually begins in early September, although, depending on the Protocol established or the convenience of the tutor and the host institution, the starting date may be delayed or slightly brought forward, prior acceptance of the UdL/IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission of the Master.
- Assessment of the Unit: The first subject is assessed throughout its progression and the Practicum is assessed once the stage is finished and the reports presented, during the fourth semester.
Requisites and permanence
In order to complete this Unit, the student must have passed the first part of the programme and submitted a protocol supported by the Practicum tutor. Such protocol must be examined by an assessment committee appointed by the organizing institutions of the Master, considering both the characteristics of the work to be done, and the suitability of the tutor and the host institutions.
Training takes place in credited institutions collaborating in the second part of the programme (universities, research centres and companies), usually in Spain or in the country of origin of the student, under the supervision of a Practicum tutor with experience and prestige in the speciality.
Learning methods
The learning process is based on lectures and practicals, a theoretical and practical tutored learning, advice throughout the training, and the reinforcement and monitoring of the student's attitudes. The Practicum tutor must be a professional with acknowledged prestige in the subject. During the Practicum, the learning progress is monitored through periodical reports.
Language
The subject "Basic tools for the development of scientific and technical documents and publications" is delivered in Spanish, and the practical work documents may be submitted in Spanish, English or French. The Practicum's tutored training is usually performed in Spanish, although by agreement between the students and the tutors and their working teams, this may be done in another language, especially when the training takes place abroad. The periodical reports may be submitted in Spanish, French or English. The oral exam before the Jury may also be performed in Spanish, English or French.

 

Presentation of the Unit and context within the syllabus

This Unit is divided into two subjects. The first one, "Basic tools for the elaboration of scientific and technical documents and publications" (6 ECTS) provides skills in writing, composition and review of technical and scientific texts, and for the establishment and use of bibliographic reference databases. The second subject "Practicum on Plant breeding" provides the background knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for the planning and realization of research or professional projects in a given topic within the Master speciality. The Practicum topic is chosen according to the educational and professional interest of the student, and can take place in various universities, research centres and companies collaborating in this part of the programme. It is a practical professional stage in which the student, under the supervision of a tutor, works and learns autonomously and benefits from being included in a working team. Training focuses on understanding the scientific-technical objectives of the research or work carried out by the host team on the topic chosen for the Practicum, on the handling of the instrumentation and equipment used by such team, on the identification of sources of knowledge relevant to the topic and on the effective planning of work, on basic occupational safety and health standards, and on the importance and limitations that intellectual property imposes on team work.

 

Competences

Specific competences

  • SC5 Designing, planning and analyzing statistical and agricultural experiments with methodological thoroughness, assuming the limitations of the experimental approach.
  • SC13 Assuming the responsibility of planning and carrying out, under the supervision of a tutor, but in a manner that must be largely autonomous, a work of initiation to research in the field of plant genetics and breeding.

­Since every student undergoes a specific training in the Practicum, applied to a concrete topic, other specific competences are acquired, determined by the topic undertaken.

General competences

  • GC1 Integrating scientific and technical knowledge and applying them discerningly.
  • ­GC2 Performing scientific and/or technical information searches and processing them selectively.
  • ­GC5 Learning and working autonomously, responding to unforeseen situations and re-aiming a strategy if necessary.
  • ­GC6 Team-working and promoting exchange and collaboration attitudes with other students, researchers and professionals.
  • ­GC8 Writing presentations and synthesis, preparing and presenting oral communications, and defending them in public.

Learning outcomes

The student, at the end of the learning of this Unit:

  • Is skilled in the search for information, as well as in its selective treatment.
  • Knows how to elaborate scientific or technical documents and the conditions of content and quality necessary for their publication in renowned media which prove to be adequate for an optimal communication of the information, according to the contents and the audience targeted.
  • Has developed criteria for defining the objectives of a particular research study or professional project.
  • Knows how to plan the research work in order to best achieve the objectives set and to optimize time.
  • Knows how to use the techniques and methodologies relevant to the execution of a research project and how to discern the advantages and disadvantages of each one for each particular project.
  • Knows how to integrate knowledge and has learned how to analyse and contrast results.
  • Values the guidance received to plan and develop a research work, fostering dialogue, criticism and capacity to work as a member of a team.
  • Is skilled in self-directed learning and autonomous work.
  • Has capacity of response to unforeseen situations and the ability to reorient a research if need be.

Since every student undergoes a training applied to a specific topic, other learning outcomes exist, determined by the topic undertaken in the Practicum, which provide further expertise in that particular speciality.

 

Contents

This Unit is divided into two subjects:

(1) Basic tools for the elaboration of scientific and technical documents and publications (6 ECTS)
- The Scientific Method
- Constitution and usage of bibliographic reference databases
- Types and characteristics of documents
- Drafting of professional reports and scientific documents
- Presentation rules for scientific and technical documents
- Tools for the advanced edition of scientific and technical texts

(2) Practicum on Plant breeding (24 ECTS)
This subject provides the student with the prior knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to plan and accomplish a professional project or research work on a specific topic within the area of plant breeding, acquiring experience in a real professional environment and in direct contact with a working team. The topic choice for the Practicum corresponds to the students themselves, depending on their learning interest. If students so require, they are advised by the UdL/IAMZ-CIHEAM Studies Commission of the Master on the choice of the most appropriate tutor and institution to carry out the desired Practicum and are also proposed topics of interest previously agreed between the organizing institutions of the Master and other institutions.
The subject provides the student with the necessary training to know the most relevant sources of information on the Practicum topic, the methods and techniques applicable in professional or research projects of this type and the bases to plan the work.
Likewise, the students' skills and attitudes are enhanced to enable them to work and learn autonomously, integrate their knowledge, develop their critical thinking to analyze and solve the problems posed, and benefit from the guidance received by their tutor and their inclusion in a working group.


 

Learning activities

Learning activity 1: Lectures
ECTS: 2
Hours: 50
Percentage of contact: 40%

Learning activity 2: Practical work on:
- Creating databases of bibliographical references
- Analysis of scientific and technical documents
- Document drafting from predetermined data
- Formal and content review of scientific and technical documents
ECTS: 4
Hours: 100
Percentage of contact: 40%

Learning activity 3: Theoretical and practical tutored learning to acquire training on the necessary aspects to carry out a professional or a research project: (i) most relevant sources of information on the project topic; (ii) guidelines for conducting a bibliographical review and for its outlay in written documents; (iii) criteria for setting the project goals and for planning the work; (iv) potentially applicable methods and techniques in the project; and (v) application and use of the techniques selected for research
ECTS: 20
Hours: 500
Percentage of contact: 30% training with the tutor or the tutor's team

Learning activity 4: Counselling during the training in order to: (i) discern the relevance of the information found and its comprehensiveness; (ii) establish specific objectives relevant to the project; (iii) determine a good planning of the work; (iv) assess the advantages and limitations of different methods and techniques applied in the project; (v) integrate prior and acquired knowledge in the same or in other disciplines; and (vi) assess and contrast results, being able to re-focus the work if necessary.
ECTS: 3
Hours: 75
Percentage of contact: 100%

Learning activity 5: Preparation of three written reports made by the student on the development of the training activity and the progress in the completion of the Practicum. The reports must be synthetic and contain only the relevant information requested on: (i) planning of the work and timetable foreseen for each phase of the project; (ii) material used, techniques and methodology used in each phase; (iii) the magnitude of the work that is being carried out in each phase; (iv) progress made in the various activities that have been carried out in each phase; and (v) obstacles encountered in each part of the project and solutions found.
ECTS: 1
Hours: 25
Percentage of contact: 10%

Assessment methods

Assessment system 1: Lecturer's assessment of the results of the practical work. Understanding of the methodology applied and the validity of the results will be assessed.
Weighting: 20% of the final score of the Unit.

Assessment system 2: Practicum tutor's assessment of the student's results on the theoretical and practical tutored learning. The tutor's assessment is based on the following aspects: (i) ability to search for information and command of the bibliographical sources related to the topic of the project; (ii) understanding of the project objectives and participation in their definition; (iii) global planning of the work and its different stages; (iv) mastery of the techniques and methodologies used in the project; (v) attitude towards advice, capacity for dialogue and skills for integration into a work team; (vi) capacity for self-management and autonomous work; (vii) capacity to adapt to unforeseen circumstances throughout the development of the work; (viii) ability for the analysis and discussion of results; (ix) capacity to communicate the results obtained in a written document; and (x) facility to convey to others the results and conclusions obtained.
Weighting: 25% of the final score of the Unit.

Assessment system 3: Assessment by a jury on the periodic reports, which will be performed according to the relevance of the information on the following learning aspects: (i) planning of the work and foreseen schedule; (ii) material used, techniques being applied and methodology employed; (iii) data reflecting the magnitude of the work conducted in each phase; (iv) progress made in the various activities that have been carried out in each phase of the project; and (v) obstacles encountered in each part of the project and solutions found.
Weighting: 15% of the final score of the Unit.

Assessment system 4: Oral exam carried out by the same jury to assess the achievement of the learning outcomes in all learning activities. In the oral examination the jury will ask the student the questions it deems appropriate in order to assess the training received based on the following criteria: (i) diversity of the learning acquired, concerning information handled, techniques learnt, and methodology used; (ii) integration of knowledge; (iii) student's command of the information, the techniques and the methodology used; (iv) scale of the work carried out by the student and adequacy to the planned scheduling, the objectives set and the results obtained; and (v) innovation of the Practicum topic and what this entails for the student concerning advice received and the need to develop new approaches by himself.
Weighting: 40% of the final score of the Unit.

 

Lecturers and tutors

Basic tools for the elaboration of scientific and technical documents and publications

  • Gustavo SLAFER, Depto. Producción Vegetal y Ciencia Forestal, Universitat de Lleida/ICREA, Lleida (Spain)
  • Josep GALCERÁN, Depto. Química, Universitat de Lleida (Spain)


Practicum
Since every student selects the Practicum topic and the host institution where it will be carried out, there are no predetermined tutors. As an illustration, the tutors and corresponding host institutions for the projects in the academic year 2015-2016 are listed.

  • José Luis ARAUS, Universidad de Barcelona, Facultad de Biología, Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Barcelona, Spain
  • Alejandro ATARÉS, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP-CSIC-UPV), Biotecnología y Mejora Vegetal de Especies Cultivadas, Valencia, Spain
  • Bruno CONTRERAS, CSIC, Estación Experimental de Aula Dei (EEAD), Departamento de Genética y Producción Vegetal, Zaragoza, Spain
  • Oreto FAYOS, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA), Unidad de Hortofruticultura, Zaragoza, Spain
  • Ángel FERNÁNDEZ MARTÍ, Fundación Aula Dei Parque Científico Tecnológico (PCTAD), Servicio de Biología Molecular, Zaragoza, Spain
  • Ana GARCÉS, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA), Unidad de Hortofruticultura, Zaragoza, Spain
  • Jordi GARCIA-MAS, Centro de Investigación en Agrigenómica (CRAG), IRTA-CSIC-UAB-UB, Programa de Investigación Genómica de Plantas y Animales, Barcelona, Spain
  • Yolanda GOGORCENA, CSIC, Estación Experimental de aula Dei (EEAD), Departamento de Pomología, Zaragoza, Spain
  • Natalia GUTIÉRREZ, Instituto Andaluz de Investigación y Formación Agraria, Pesquera, Alimentaria y de la Producción Ecológica (IFAPA), Centro Alameda del Obispo, Área de Mejora y Biotecnología, Córdoba, Spain
  • Amy IEZZONI, Michigan State University, Departmento de Hortofruticultura, East Lansing. Míchigan, United States
  • Margarita LÓPEZ, Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas de Extremadura (CICYTEX), Productos Hortofrutícolas y Tecnología Postcosecha, Badajoz, Spain
  • Juan José LÓPEZ, Centre de Recerca de Agrigenòmica (CRAG), IRTA-CSIC-UAB-UB, Programa de Investigación Respuestas al Estrés, Barcelona, Spain
  • José Ángel MERCADO, Universidad de Málaga, Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Málaga, Spain
  • Antonio MONFORTE, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP-CSIC-UPV), Biotecnología y Mejora Vegetal de Especies Cultivadas, Valencia, Spain
  • Ana Beatriz MORENO, Centre de Recerca de Agrigenòmica (CRAG), IRTA-CSIC-UAB-UB, Programa de Investigación Respuestas al Estrés, Barcelona, Spain
  • Maria Ángeles MORENO, CSIC, Estación Experimental de aula Dei (EEAD), Departamento de Pomología, Zaragoza, Spain
  • Paul CHRISTOU, Agrotecnio, ICREA-UdL, Departamento de Producción Vegetal y Ciencias Forestales, Lleida, Spain
  • Fernando PLIEGO, Universidad de Málaga, Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Málaga, Spain
  • Clara PONS, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP-CSIC-UPV), Biotecnología y Mejora Vegetal de Especies Cultivadas, Valencia, Spain
  • Marta PUJOL, Centro de Investigación en Agrigenómica (CRAG), IRTA-CSIC-UAB-UB, Programa de Investigación Genómica de Plantas y Animales, Barcelona, Spain
  • Concepció ROYO, Institut de Recerca i Tecnología Agroalimentàries (IRTA), Cultius Extensius, Lleida, Spain
  • María José RUBIO, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA-GA), Unidad de Hortofruticultura, Zaragoza, Spain
  • Vicente RUBIO, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Departamento de Genética Molecular de Plantas,Madrid, Spain
  • Joan SIMÓ, Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña (UPC), Fundació Miquel Agustí, Barcelona, Spain
  • José Miquel SORIANO, Institut de Recerca i Tecnología Agroalimentàries (IRTA), Cultius Extensius, Lleida, Spain
  • Ana María TORRES, Instituto Andaluz de Investigación y Formación Agraria, Pesquera, Alimentaria y de la Producción Ecológica (IFAPA), Centro Alameda del Obispo, Área de Mejora y Biotecnología, Córdoba, Spain
  • Ana WÜNSCH, Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA), Unidad de Hortofruticultura, Zaragoza, Spain
  • Robert ZEMETRA, Oregon State University (OSU), Department of Crop and Soil Science, Corvallis, United States