Two Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships awarded

February 20, 2018

KeyGene is pleased to announce that two postdoctoral fellows received a prestigious Individual Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship (MSCA-IF) to perform research within KeyGene. Their work will focus on:

  • Durable Resistance to Broomrape in Sunflower – Irina Calic
  • Discovering susceptibility genes to improve sheath blight disease resistance in rice – Johanna Acevedo García

In March 2017 KeyGene invited candidate postdoctoral fellows to send in their idea for a MSCA-IF. Six out of the 49 applicants were selected to co-write a proposal. This was done under guidance of KeyGene scientists. In September five proposals were submitted and in January 2018 we received the news that two proposals were granted. Congratulations to Johanna Acevedo García and Irina Calic!

KeyGene’s CEO – Arjen van Tunen:

“The MSCA- individual fellowship is a prestigious grant from the European Union and I am proud that KeyGene was able to attract two young talented scientist, who are going to work on these economically relevant topics. I hope they will enjoy their stay at KeyGene and of course wish that their research will provide new insights for improved disease resistant crops! Even though the MCF granting scheme is very competitive, KeyGene has realized a high success rate with their applications and I would like to stimulate other highly motivated scientists to consider co-writing a proposal for a topic of their liking with KeyGene in the future.”

Johanna Acevedo García (Colombia) worked in the previous years as postdoctoral researcher at the MPIPZ at the department of Plant-Microbe Interactions in Cologne, Germany and at the RWTH Aachen University, Institute for Biology in Aachen, Germany. Johanna about the awarded grant:

“I am very happy to be one of the recipients of the MSCA-IF grant. This is a great opportunity for my professional career to strengthen my scientific independence in plant pathology in the non-academic field. I thank KeyGene for the support as host organization and I look forward to obtaining significant results to improve sheath blight disease resistance in rice and perhaps other relevant crops”

Irina Calic (Serbia) worked in the previous years as postdoctoral researcher at the University of California and at the University of Georgia-Athens. Irina about the awarded grant:

“Co-writing a proposal for Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, was a thrilling experience to fulfill a challenging task on thinking big. As this was my firsthand experience on writing a grant proposal, I felt like running a marathon for the first time, which ended as a successful race also thankfully to great support of KeyGene. Overall, this is truly an amazing satisfaction of seeing how hard work make dreams come true.”

General information MSCA- IF
The grant (2 years) provides an allowance to cover living, mobility and family costs. The grant is awarded to the host organization, usually a university, research centre or a company in Europe. Part of the research costs and overheads of the host organization(s) are also supported and KeyGene further supports the incoming fellow with its state-of-the-art research facilities and training to boost their professional career.