TSL Summer Conference in Plant-Microbe Interactions, 15th – 26th July 2024

Inviting Early Career Researchers to join international experts in discussing the latest approaches and discoveries in Plant-Microbe Interactions

The Sainsbury Laboratory Summer Conference in Plant-Microbe Interactions
for Early Career Researchers
15th – 26th July 2024
Norwich, UK

Application deadline: 12:00 BST (UTC +1) Friday 5th April 2024.

We have come a long way towards understanding how plants recognise pathogens to mount a robust defence and how pathogens can evade plant immunity to lead to disease and crop losses.

Our plant-microbe interactions summer conference brings together international keynote speakers, local speakers and selected participants. There will be plenty of time for informal and social interactions to discuss the latest approaches and discoveries.


We welcome participants at an early career stage with research interests in any aspect of plant-microbe interactions including:

  • plant innate immunity
  • genomics
  • gene discovery
  • infection processes
  • proteomics
  • mechanistic understanding of cellular and molecular processes
  • immune receptors and resistance proteins
  • effectors and immunity
  • molecular interactions including structural biology
  • gene editing and transgenics
  • from discovery to translational activities

Registered participants will present their research in the form of a short talk supported by a poster.

Keynote Speakers

Jian-Min Zhou
Yazhouwan National Laboratory, Sanya, China

Sebastian Schornack
Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University

Jane Parker
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research

Richard Leggett
Earlham Institute, Norwich Research Park

Tonni Grube Andersen
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research

Richard Wilson
University of Nebraska

Yansong Miao
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Local Speakers

Mark Banfield - Christine Faulkner - Jonathan Jones - Sophien Kamoun - Wenbo Ma - Dan MacLean - Frank Menke - Nick Talbot - Kamil Witek - Cyril Zipfel

Not only will you hear lectures from local speakers, but you’ll also be exposed to the research going on in our labs.

How to Apply

We will accept a maximum of twenty registered participants. Participants can be at any career stage prior to leading a research group. We encourage applications from every sector and from every country. Participants will be selected based on the information requested on our online application form.

Apply Now

The registration fee is £950 for academics and £1,900 for those working in industry. The registration fee covers conference materials, accommodation (including breakfast), morning and afternoon refreshments on most days, a social day trip and some evening social events. Lunch and dinner on most days are not covered but on-site facilities are cheap and easy to access. Accommodation is a ten-minute walk away, self-catering and close to a supermarket.

The application window will close at 12:00 BST (UTC +1) Friday 5th April 2024. Successful participants will be notified by email by 17:00 BST Friday 19th April 2024.

We can offer a registration fee-waiver (that also covers standard visitor visa fees but does not include travel and subsistence costs) for up to two participants. To be eligible for a fee-waiver, you must be a national of or domiciled in a least-developed, low-income, or lower-middle-income country or territory as defined by the Overseas Development Agency Development Assistance Committee (DAC) 2024-25 list. Please indicate on the application form whether you wish to be considered for a fee-waiver.

Getting Here

Norwich is in the East of England. The Sainsbury Laboratory is on the Norwich Research Park, which is at the eastern edge of Norwich, next to the University of East Anglia.

Arriving by Air

Norwich International Airport

Norwich Airport is a very convenient way to reach Norwich from outside the UK. Norwich International Airport is served by KLM and regional carriers with direct connections to 70 worldwide destinations, including Amsterdam, and 21 UK airports. From the airport you can take a taxi to TSL in 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic. Alternatively, explore local bus services below. Note that if you fly out of Norwich airport you will need to pay a £10 Airport Development Fee at the airport before you can go to your gate.

London Airports

You can also arrive at any of the London airports and take a train or coach to Norwich. Stansted Airport is the closest and has direct rail connections to Norwich.

Arriving by Train

Norwich Train Station is in central Norwich, which is 20-30 minutes away from TSL by taxi or bus, depending on traffic. Greater Anglia, National Rail and TheTrainLine are some comprehensive online resources for booking train travel within the UK.

Arriving by Coach

Many coaches arrive at the Bus Station in the centre of Norwich, which is 20-30 minutes away from TSL by taxi or bus, depending on traffic. Some also stop at UEA, a ten-minute walk from TSL.

Arriving by Car and Parking

See the UEA travel and transport page for more information about getting to the Norwich Research Park within which TSL is situated.

It is possible to park for free in the car park of JIC/TSL. You must tell the staff in the main JIC/TSL reception your car license plate number, etc., otherwise you will be liable for a parking fine by a third party.

Those staying at UEA will be able to park there for free. Complimentary access to the UEA Sportspark will also be given to those staying there, where you can purchase a swimming or gym session.

Local Buses

Local bus providers include FirstBus and KonectBus. Look for buses to Colney Lane, UEA, or the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Lower Colney Lane, UEA and the hospital are within walking distance of TSL.

Zoom into Google Map to see the location of bus stops and the location of TSL relative to our neighbouring institutions.

Visa information for participants

We anticipate participants who need a visa will require a Standard Visitor type of visa that may incur a UK Home Office fee that depends on your home country.

We are very excited about putting on this Summer Conference. However, as for all such not-for-profit events, its viability will be subject to enough participants enrolling and obtaining visas.

The Sainsbury Laboratory
Norwich Research Park
Colney Lane
United Kingdom

Contact Steph Bornemann Stephen.bornemann@tsl.ac.uk for more information