Legal frameworks for research and innovation with plant genetic resources 

Starting date: 2026

Registration deadline: 2026

Location: Hamar


Students should apply to this course through here + at INN

Course leader

Practical info

This course will be on site at Hamar. The responsible institution is Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences – INN University (course code AE9116). Photosyntech members will be prioritized and must apply to take the course both here (using the form at the bottom of the page) and at INN.

Important! Registration is binding! Do not register for a course unless you are sure that you can attend.
Course participants that are members of Photosyntech must register in both ways:

  1. Register to Photosyntech using the form at the bottom of this page. Registration opens TBD. Deadline for registration: TBD
  2. Register through INN, the host university, by sending an e-mail to the PhD advisor at INN Lisbeth Vedå. Deadline for registration: TBD.

Course content

The aim of this course is to enable understanding of the relevant legal frameworks for accessing and utilizing plant genetic resources (PGR), for working with modern plant breeding tools such as transgenesis and genome editing, and for plant variety protection such as plant variety rights and patents. The course will hence cover the international and domestic legal frameworks within: 

1) Access and benefit-sharing (ABS) 

2) Biosafety 

3) Plant Variety Rights (PVR) 

Learning outcome


Upon completion of the course, the candidate shall have: 

  • extensive knowledge of the key provisions of legal frameworks for access and benefit-sharing of genetic resources (ABS), biosafety of the products of genetic precision technologies, and plant variety rights (PVR). 
  • knowledge of how and why these legal frameworks have been developed, and how they continue to develop. 


Upon completion of the course, the candidate shall be able to: 

  • use the acquired knowledge to comply with the applicable provisions whenever necessary for the professional activities in plant research or breeding. 

General competence 

Upon completion of the course, the candidate shall be able to: 

  • convey the acquired knowledge through engaging in discussions about strong and weak details (and their consequences) of each relevant legal framework. 

“Syllabus” is normally called the entire description of a course, incl content, learning outcome, credits, language, title, semester, prerequisites, teaching methods, course requirements, exam etc, so I am not sure I should paste that in here. 

Application deadline


Admission requirements

To apply for this course you must be a PhD candidate at one of the Norwegian institutions. See application prosess at the top of this page.

The maximum number of students is 30.

The minimum number of students to give the course is 6.

The course is available for applicants enrolled in a PhD programme at any university in Norway or elsewhere. If the number of applications exceed the number of available places (30), the order of priority is the following: 1) PhD student members of Photosyntech, 2) other PhD students at INN, 3) other PhD students from a Norwegian University, 4) PhD students from a university in another Scandinavian country, 5) PhD students from a university based in a country outside of Scandinavia.

Apart from the priority order indicated above, a “first come, first serve” principle applies.

Exceptional MSc students/candidates with a MSc degree will be considered only if there is available space (however, the course cannot count towards a MSc degree at INN).



Teaching methods

Lectures with invited experts will make up approximately 52% (18 lecture hours á 45 min) of the scheduled course time.

Group discussions/exercises will make up approximately 18% (6 hours á 45 min) of the scheduled course time.

An individual assignment, distributed on the first day and worked on throughout the week, will make up approximately 21% (7 hours á 45 min) of the scheduled course time. This will focus on a particular legal detail and is to be presented as a short report as well as orally on the final day.

The examination will take a total of 3 lecture hours á 45 min for the entire class.

Literature, approximately 200 pages in total, will be distributed about six weeks before the course starts. Students will be asked to submit, five days before the start of the course, at least three questions based on their reading. The preparatory work with the literature is expected to take approximately 35 hours of work.

Literature, and information about the individual assignments, will later be available in Canvas for all registered students.

Mandatory course requirements

To pass the course, the student will:

  • Attend a minimum of 70% (13/18) of the lectures and two of the three scheduled group exercises.
  • Present and defend an individual assignment.
  • Have submitted, before the course week starts, at least three questions based on the literature reading.


Exam type: Project assignment with oral presentation. The project assignment and oral presentation can be performed individually or in a group of maximum two persons. If the exam/assignment is carried out by a group, all participants in the group are responsible for all content in the assignment / product / achievement.

Grading: The performance is assessed as Pass / Fail.