Workshops offered at all four CEPLAS partner institutions are open to CEPLAS doctoral and postdoctoral researchers (subject to space availability). For a complete list of courses available at CEPLAS partner institutions, please check the official websites (e.g. iGRAD, GSfBS, AMGC, UoC Postdoc Programme, HeRA). Internal training programmes of HHU, UoC and FZJ available in the members section. Please see as well our course archive, as several of the courses will be offered annually. 

Below are examples of upcoming courses. These are allocated to core competencies expected  of graduate researchers and postdocs, based on definitions from the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). You are encouraged to learn more about the core competencies  and explore related resources

1. Discipline-specific conceptual knowledge

Currently no courses listed.

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2. Research Skill Development

Wissenschaftliche Bildverarbeitung und Analyse (in German)

21/08/2018 - 22/08/2018

Participants: Doctoral researchers, postdocs, supervisors

Scientific Image Processing and Analysis

23/08/2018 - 24/08/2018

Participants: Doctoral researchers, postdocs, supervisors

RNA seq

17/09/2018 - 19/09/2018

Participants: Doctoral researchers and postdocs

Location: Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf


    • Dr. Alisandra Denton, Institute of Plant Biochemistry, HHU Düsseldorf
    • Dr. Dominik Brilhaus, CEPLAS Plant Metabolism and Metabolomics Laboratory, Düsseldorf 

    The workshop will focus on hands on exercises in RNAseq analysis, interspersed with explanatory talks.  

    Day 1 – Monday Sept 17th, 9am to 6pm

    • Welcome
    • Linux/command line introduction
    • Experimental design
    • Illumina RNAseq
    • Illumina: read pre-processesing
      • Handling
      • Quality control
      • Trimming
    • Illumina: from reads to quantified transcripts
      • Quantifying against reference transcriptome with Kallisto
      • Mapping to reference genome with Hisat2 + htseq-count
      • Cross species mapping with BLAT + count
      • De novo assembly with Trinity

    Day 2 – Tuesday Sept 18th, 9am to 6pm

    • Read counts to characterization
      • Import and setup
      • Overview clustering
      • RNAseq statistics
        • Differential expression
      • Functional enrichment (GO, MapMan)
      • Targeted analyses
        • Including external information
        • Individual plots or heatmap of genes of interest

    Day 3 – Wednesday Sept 19th, 9am to 4pm

    • Long read RNAseq (IsoSeq, Direct RNAseq)
    • Long read: read preprocessing
      • Handling
      • Quality control
    • Long read: application
      • Clustering and consensus
      • Gene annotation
    • Questions and discussion

    Registration: Sorry, the workshop is fully booked!

    Gentechnische Arbeiten in gentechnischen Anlagen (in German)

    08/11/2018 - 09/11/2018

    Participants: Doctoral researchers and postdocs

    Individual statistical consultation

    Date: tba

    Individual statistical consultation: If you are facing statistical or bioinformatic problems you can always contact the Center for Bioinformatics and Biostatistics (CBiBs) for individual consultation. Please write an E-Mail to CBiBs and ask for a consultation date. CEPLAS will cover the costs that might be charged.

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    3. Communication Skills

    Intensive course on how to write an excellent scientific paper

    22/07/2018 - 27/07/2018

    Participants: Doctoral researchers and postdocs

    A one-week course on scientific writing.

    Location: Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

    Trainer: Richard Twyman


    Peer-reviewed scientific publications are the most important way that scientists communicate with each other because published papers establish a permanent, publicly-accessible record of research. The ability to attract funding and thus make career progress is often tied to the quality and quantity of publications. Writing excellent scientific papers is therefore a necessary part of scientific training. Editors use strict quality criteria aided by the peer-review process to choose among submitted papers and there is strong competition for the highest-ranking publications. It therefore pays to have an edge when submitting manuscripts.

    No matter how good your research may be, it will not be published if it is poorly communicated. Editors and reviewers will be put off by confusing, poorly constructed and badly written papers. The best scientific papers show perfect balance between brevity, clarity, organization and style, which make the writing efficient at conveying information and entertaining to read.

    The aim of this course is to train scientists to communicate effectively by writing excellent and convincing manuscripts that deserve publication. The lingua franca of scientific communication is English and it is therefore imperative for scientists with English as a second or third language to learn how to write strongly, clearly and efficiently in English.

    The course begins with an overview of the art of writing a scientific paper, starting from a blank page and a laboratory notebook. We will discuss strategies to organize data well and tell an interesting story. Scientific writing must be formal, but it need not be artless and dull. The best scientific papers convey excitement without hyperbole and digression. Having mastered data organization, we will then discuss the techniques required to write each part of a scientific manuscript in turn, starting with the most important part – the results. On each day of the course we will tackle a different section of the paper – the results, the title/abstract/introduction, the methods and the discussion. Finally, we will discuss how to fine tune a manuscript, obeying language conventions and ensuring the reader is delighted, rather than annoyed, by the text they are reading. The course will consist of a mixture of lectures, showing these writing techniques by example, followed by individual and group sessions to develop manuscripts into a finished product. There is an optional email-based follow up period to get the paper into a state ready for submission to your journal of choice..


    • comprehensive review/knowledge of the related literature
    • first draft (a first version of the text and results as figures)
    • working title of the paper, co-authors, planned submission date

    Participants: 8

    Registration has closed.

    If you have any questions about the course, please contact juliane.schmid[at]

    Conference presentation for postdocs: Engaging the listener in your talk


    Participants: Postdocs

    10am to 6pm, Seminarzentrum Kerpener Str. 15

    This course is offered by the Postdoc Career Program of the University of Cologne.

    Course number KMK 180918

    Trainer: Julie Stearns,impulsplus


    Being a good speaker is often just question of developing a set of skills and techniques. The use of voice and body language, an effective presentation structure and the dynamic use of language require awareness and practice. The workshop helps you to identify and explore these requirements, from self-reflection to selfassurance and long-term excellence. It targets Postdocs with some presentation experience who wish to build on and improve their presentation style and overall impact.

    This is an activity-based workshop led by a professional trainer/coach with a background in theater whose expertise is in helping the speaker effectively communicate the importance and relevance of the work and the core message of the talk. It also introduces several tactics for dealing with nervousness and challenging questions from your audience in a live situation.

    In this workshop you can focus on strengthening the narrative, the emotional tone, and the physicality of your talk in order to define and support your own dynamic style.

    Seminar contents in brief:

    • Engaging the audience in one’s talk
    • Affirming the strengths and individual style of the speaker
    • Improving body language and vocal quality
    • Structuring your talk
    • Constructive tactics for dealing with nervousness
    • Dealing with challenging questions (Q&A sessions)

    Seminar methods

    • Theoretical sessions to highlight key aspects and strategies
    • Voice and body techniques
    • Language practice and analysis
    • Improvisation
    • Presentation of short talk and trainer/group feedbacks

    To register please follow this link.

    Negotiation Training

    05/11/2018 - 06/11/2018

    Participants: Doctoral researchers and postdocs

    9am to 5pm Forschungszentrum Jülich

    This course is offered by the FZJ

    This Training in English is particularly suitable for all employees who have to negotiate business topics with international partners.

    Target: This course aims at obtaining a profound portfolio of negotiation skills so that you will significantly widen your negation techniques and thus will gain more confidence when dealing with negotiation situations in English. You will learn how to conduct interest based negotiations and how to master difficult situations effectively.

    Content: The following topics will be covered:

    • Effective planning & preparation
    • The negotiation process
    • Discussion management
    • Participating & chairing international meetings
    • Negotiation techniques
    • Focusing on win-win situations
    • Managing difficult communications
    • Dealing with deadlocks
    • Decision-making and conclusion

    Course requirements: English level B2

    For further information or registration please contact Juliane.

    Team communication: key roles and intercultural contexts

    07/11/2018 - 08/11/2018

    Participants: Postdocs

    Hochschuldidaktik (in German)

    Date: tba

    Participants: Doctoral researchers and postdocs

    Angebote der Hochschuldidaktik der Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

    Angebote des Zentrums für Hochschuldidaktik der Universität zu Köln

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    4. Professionalism

    Forschungsförderung: Drittmittel erfolgreich einwerben - Möglichkeiten für Postdocs (in German)


    Participants: Postdocs

    9.00-12.00 Uhr, Seminarzentrum Kerpener Str. 15

    This course is offered by the Postdoc Career Program of the University of Cologne.

    People at UoC can get more information on

    People at other institutions please contact Juliane for more information.

    Success in Companies: How to establish yourself and your projects in a business environment

    11/10/2018 - 12/10/2018

    Participants: Doctoral researchers and postdocs

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    5. Leadership and Management Skills

    Führungsqualifikationen (in German)

    17/07/2018 - 17/07/2018

    Participants: Doctoral researchers and postdocs

    Other dates: 12/11/2018 - 13/11/2018

    Leadership Skills

    10/09/2018 - 11/09/2018

    Participants: Doctoral researchers (after 2nd year) and postdocs

    Project management for postdocs and supervisors

    26/11/2018 - 03/12/2018

    Participants: Postdocs

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    6. Responsible Conduct of Research

    Einführung in den "Gewerblichen Rechtsschutz" (in German)

    13/09/2018 - 14/09/2018

    Participants: Doctoral researchers and postdocs

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