Within Wageningen UR (Wageningen University and Research Centre), PE&RC collaborates with the Contract Research Organisations Alterra and Plant Research International, and with ISRIC World Soil Information. Approximately 40 staff of these institutes are a member of PE&RC, fulfilling PE&RC publication criteria and supervising PhD candidates.
PE&RC has a leading role in the Netherlands Ecological Research Network (NERN), running the secretariat of NERN since its existence in 2007. NERN aims at strengthening ecological research and education in the Netherlands. Main events are the Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting (NAEM), a two-day event with about 350 participants, and Current Themes in Ecology, a one-day symposium on a specific topic with about 150 participants. More information about NERN and its activities can be found on its website: www.nern.nl.
PE&RC has collaborative links with numerous (inter)national organisations, universities and research institutes. Exchange of PhD candidates and staff with leading international institutes is strongly stimulated. International working visits and sabbaticals are common practice among staff. PE&RC members can apply for financial support from our strategic budget (in competition) to attract visiting scientists and for organising international workshops. International activities such as congresses, symposia and workshops, and working visits are incorporated in the Training and Supervision Plan of PhD candidates. Furthermore, our PE&RC postgraduate courses are often organised together with other graduate schools, in particular Graduate Schools at Wageningen University and the Research School Ecology and Evolution (RSEE) of the University of Groningen. Besides being able to offer more courses and having more participants (reduced chance of cancellation), this collaboration clearly amplifies the interdisciplinary character of the courses which is a central element of the PhD learning objectives. Also, most postgraduate courses involve lecturers from abroad with excellent reputations in the relevant field.
The Graduate School PE&RC participates in an EC funded Erasmus Mundus programme for joint doctoral studies (AgTraIn - Agricultural Transformation by Innovation that aims at innovation processes with respect to smallholder farms in developing countries) that also serves as a joint doctorate pilot project for Wageningen University. Fourteen projects with involvement of PE&RC groups are funded leading to (whenever possible) joint PhD degrees with the University of Montpellier (8), The University of Copenhagen (5), and the University College Cork (1). Furthermore, collaboration with the University of Copenhagen has been further strengthened resulting in three joint courses: plant nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems (annually); root ecology (once every 3 years) and insect pathology (to start in 2016).