Facts and Figures

Aims of the cluster:

CEPLAS is the only German Cluster of Excellence focusing exclusively on plant science. As the climate changes and the world’s population increases in unprecedented rates, arable land, water and nutrients are becoming scarce. To ensure a sustainable supply of plant-based raw materials, innovative strategies for crop improvement are required.

The Cluster’s mission is to decode different complex plant traits, which have an important impact on growth, yield and the use of resources. By understanding the molecular and genetic basis of these plant traits we aim to create the basis for a future sustainable cultivation of food, feed and energy crops. 


The interdisciplinary approach of the cluster focuses on four different research areas: 

Additionally, CEPLAS has established a technology platform on Plant Metabolism and Metabolomics Facility


Synthetic Biology, Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics, Quantitative Biology, Interdisciplinary Approaches of Theoretical and Experimental Biology 

Partner Institutions: 

  • Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • University of Cologne
  • Max Planck Institute for Breeding Research Cologne
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich

Funding programme:

Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments, second round.

Funding period:



€ 34 million 

Promotion of young researcher:

  • Bachelor Programme in Quantitative Biology
  • CEPLAS Graduate School
  • Structured Postdoc-Programme


Approximately 200 scientists are currently working in the frame of CEPLAS on cluster-relevant topics. Thereof about 60 persons are financed directly by the cluster. The majority belongs to the group of early career researches: 21 postdocs and 25 doctoral researchers (status of 2017).


Dr. Céline Hönl
CEPLAS Céline Hönl


 +49 211 81-11996

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Universitätsstraße 1

Building: 25.43, Level 01   Room: 38

40225 Düsseldorf


CEPLAS in 60 seconds

Heinrich Heine University
University of Cologne
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research
Forschungszentrum Jülich