New Competition! Teaching Tools in Plant Biology pre-proposals: 30 April 2017

Have you got a passion for plant science that you are eager to share? Do you have a favorite paper, experiment, topic, or method that you like to share with undergraduates? Have you found a clever way to engage students and stimulate their curiosity?

We want to hear your ideas for new content for The Plant Cell’s Teaching Tools in Plant Biology series, and so we are soliciting pre-proposals for contributions. Authors of selected proposals will be invited to submit an article to the series, and upon acceptance receive a $500 stipend. Pre-proposals will briefly describe the proposed Teaching Tool, but the contest winners will be required to submit full Teaching Tools with PowerPoint slides, Lecture Notes and Teaching Guides. Address any questions to Mary Williams,


The goal of this competition is to solicit contributions to complement our ongoing series of articles, which are designed to support university-level teaching and learning of plant sciences. Submitted topics might focus on a specific method used in contemporary plant science, on guiding students through understanding an important recent or classic research article, or on the application of plant science to real-world problems or in support of the objectives outlined in the Plant Science Decadal Vision (predicting and assembling traits, harnessing plant chemistry, or working with large datasets). Winning proposals also will address how the resource will enhance student learning.

Pre-proposal deadline is April 30, 2017

Use these guidelines to complete a 1 to 2 page pre-proposal:

Brief overview of the Teaching Tool you wish to contribute, including learning objectives

Pre-proposals should clearly state the topical themes of the proposed Teaching Tool. As examples, these themes could include specific physiological processes, molecules, signaling or metabolic pathways, tools and techniques, fallacies and misconceptions, or global challenges.

Pre-proposals also should list specific learning objectives for the proposed article.

You can see some examples of plant science learning objectives here.

 List five key references that will inform the content of the proposed article

Teaching Tools in Plant Biology are peer-reviewed educational resources derived from published plant science research and are designed to help students bridge the gap between textbooks and contemporary research. Information in TTPB articles should be referenced to scholarly journals, including resources that are available online and without a subscription. Wikipedia and popular media are not suitable references other than as discussion points for student engagement.

List one discussion topic or activity that would support the learning objectives of the proposed article

Suggest a question for discussion, an activity, or an exercise that will help students develop critical and analytical competence and skills or engage with relevant problems.

Submit your preproposal by midnight (your local time) of the submission date. Submit through the regular manuscript submission site (, selecting “Teaching Tools Preproposal” as the manuscript type.

Past competition winners:

Published April 2016:

Rhythms of Life – The Plant Circadian Clock, by Katharine Hubbard and Antony Dodd

In progress / under review:

Biogenic volatile organic compounds: Solving the puzzle of plant communication, by Csengele Barta

Seed development and germination, by Daniela Dietrich

Root system architecture quantification: why and how?, by Benjamin Lobet and Guillaume Lobet

It’s not easy being not green: the making of a parasitic plant, by Caitlin Conn and David Nelson

Maker Tools for Education: From MicroComputers to the Circadian Clock and Beyond, by Malia Gehan, Noah Fahlgren and Dmitri A. Nusinow

Molecular control of plant shoot architecture: How do plants achieve their form and stature?, by Agustín Zsögön and Lázaro Eustáquio Pereira Peres

Plant Responses to Drought and Global Climate Change, by Gloria Muday, Bethany Pan, and Parastou Ranjbar

A Bioinformatics Pipeline to Understand Transcriptional Regulation in Plants, by Amy Marshall-Colon and Ursulla Idleman

Genetics of Floral Development, by Christine Fleet

Herbicide Target Sites and Weed Resistance Mechanisms: Insights into Applied Plant Biochemistry, by Dean Riechers, Rong Ma, and Rex Liebl

The Plant Cell Wall, by Jenny C. Mortimer and Igor Cesarino

Peptide Hormones in Plant Biology, by Wolf Scheible, Peter Lundquist, Michael Udvardi, and Sonali Roy

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1 thought on “New Competition! Teaching Tools in Plant Biology pre-proposals: 30 April 2017

  1. Very nice article great approach towards new technology and sharithis idea is much appreciated. Students get bored with routine plant biology lectures. Something innovative and different will attract students attention.

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