The Government
of Canada Announces
Grant Funding

To Dr. Xin Li and Dr. Jim Kronstad’s International Training Program, PRoTECT

Awards and recognition

The Government of Canada announces grant funding to Dr. Xin Li and Dr. Jim Kronstad’s international training program, PRoTECT

Undergraduates, graduates, and post-doctoral fellows looking to build their knowledge and global perspective in the study of plant-microbe interaction can now do so through a new program called Plant Responses To Eliminate Critical Threats (PRoTECT), hosted by the University of British Columbia’s Michael Smith Laboratories in Canada and the Georg-August-University Göttingen in Germany.

Jointly supported by a $1.65 million award (over six years) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through its Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) initiative and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft International Research Training Groups (DFG-IRTG), PRoTect is a new first-rate international training program designed to foster collaborative, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary research, and prepare the next generation of scientists for internationally competitive positions.

PRoTECT offers training from outstanding researchers and teachers in diverse sub-disciplines in plant biology and microbiology. This unique program provides unparalleled opportunities to young scientists through international rotations and exchanges, close interactions and cooperation with industrial partners, weekly seminars, research symposia, methodology workshops, and outreach activities. The UBC team is co-led by Dr. Xin Li and Dr. Jim Kronstad

Dr. Li acknowledges the importance of this program for young researchers saying, “These newly-trained scientists will be able to integrate modern research tools to help solve one of the most urgent problems of our time, feeding the increasing global population in a sustainable manner.” Li adds, “The program will expose trainees to cutting-edge methods customized to plant-microbe interaction, combined with elective additional training to meet the individual needs of the trainees. Upon graduation, these trainees will be well-prepared scientists with a tailor-made international professional network, as well as the modern skills for productive careers in diverse international work environments.”

To learn more about the PRoTect program, please contact Dr. Xin Li or visit