The Marie Curie doctoral network INCITE (Insect Clock Initial Training Experience) has been selected for funding by the European Economic Community.

Organisms that inhabit the surface of the Earth have evolved an endogenous 24-hour clock that infiltrates every level of biological organization from the molecular to the ecological. This biological timer is a critical adaptation to living on a rotating planet with predictable daily and seasonal cycles of light and dark, warmth and cold. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has provided the model system by which the highly conserved genetic and molecular basis of animal rhythmicity was initially dissected.

INCITE will gather 10 European laboratories (including the Rouyer group at NeuroPSI) that will work together to provide state-of-the-art doctoral training to in insect molecular chronobiology using a comparative approach in which the circadian clock will be studied from a variety of perspectives.
These will include the recruitment of the clock for:
1) insect seasonal ‘hibernation’ or diapause, a critical life-history feature that has important implications for range expansion under global warming,
2) in pollination,
3) in pest control,
4) in optimizing the development of insects, mass-reared as a protein source for human/animal consumption – a sustainable model for agriculture and
5) in fundamental circadian biology of the model insect, D. melanogaster.

In addition to their research projects, doctoral candidates will be seconded to partners both academic and industrial within the network and be further exposed to a variety of successful well-defined and time-tested courses that supplement those already offered at their local institutions, and will enhance and develop their scientific, entrepreneurial and transferable skills. INCITE will generate highly-trained, mobile and employable graduates that will be welcomed both in academia and industry.