mercredi 4 février 2015

Post Doctoral Fellowship Programme

Post Title: Teagasc Post Doctoral Research Fellow Level 1 (PD1)
HR Reference No: PD1/AHW/0115
Research Area: Animal health and welfare
Eligibility: PhD in a relevant discipline with up to 3 years’ (max.) relevant experience.
Project Title: Environmental enrichment and nutritional strategies to reduce tail biting in pigs
Project End Date: 31 November 2016
Post Duration: The indicative duration of 12 months, but not exceeding the above project end date, subject to contract
Location: Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork
Reports To: Project Leader and/or other designated manager
Training Rate:
Appointment will be at the minimum point of the Post Doctoral Level 1 (PD1) scale (€33,975).

The current PD1 scale is as follows:
PD1: €33,975 (min.); €34,974; €36,003 (max.)

Increments will be awarded annually* subject to performance and completion of the prescribed training plan. 

Note: Exceptional circumstances may apply for candidates with current or previous service in the public sector. *Remuneration and the annual cycle for the payment of increments may be adjusted from time to time in line with Government policy.

Basic Function 
of the post:
The candidate for this position should be educated to PhD level in Animal Science, Animal Welfare or Veterinary Science, have good research experience, and ideally experience of working with pigs. 

The appointee will work as part of a team investigating methods to reduce tail biting in growing pigs, managed under conventional Irish rearing and finishing systems. Both nutritional and management factors will be considered. 

The candidate will be responsible for an initial information gathering exercise and organisation of the project, including student supervision, during the first year. They will also carry out experimental work to investigate the interaction between diet and environmental enrichment.

The Teagasc post-doctoral programme provides training and development opportunities for early career scientists that enhances their experience of learning and equips them with the necessary skills for the next stage of their chosen career in research. 

Tail-biting is one of the most serious health, welfare and production problems in pig production. Docking of pigs’ tails is used as a control mechanism, yet even so, tail lesions due to biting are present in up to 70% of pigs. Moreover, routine tail-docking is forbidden in the EU. However, to date, there has been no programme of research carried out on how to reduce tail biting and the need for docking in Irish pig production systems. Manipulable environmental enrichment reduces the amount and severity of tail-biting, and is a legal requirement. This project will investigate the efficacy of two enrichment materials that are suitable for use in slatted systems on pig welfare: compressed straw and wood. Straw can be extremely effective as enrichment, but the replacement rate of compressed blocks could be dependent on the diet of the pigs. Dietary fibre level will be adjusted as a mechanism to reduce the replacement rate of the straw. Wooden ‘chew’ posts are a potentially cheaper and more manageable alternative to straw in Ireland, but there is little research on the most effective type of wood (e.g. hard or soft wood). The successful candidate will carry out experimental work, as well as working very closely with the project leader.

This is a research focused training role, the primary purpose of which is to provide early career scientists with the opportunity to develop their research skills and competencies.

The PD Fellow will, while working in conjunction with senior research staff, gain insight and experience into a variety of areas including the processes of project and budgetary management, publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals, the development of active collaboration with relevant national and international research communities; the development of communication and presentation skills, leadership and management skills, mentorship of students, and overall career development. 

The fellowship is supported by a modular training programme. Modules will be conducted under the supervision and direction of the (Project Leader) or other designated manager in conjunction with the Head of Department.

Duties & Responsibilities specific to this project:
Preparation of experimental protocols, ethical approval applications, and applications for licencing of experiments (when required), in relation to the project aims
Carrying out of experimental procedures and measures, including measures that involve handling of live animals
Recording and analysis of experimental data, and preparation of project reports
Postgraduate training and supervision
Efficiently networking with other members of the research team (including students, researchers, technical and farm staff)
Additional Duties & Responsibilities:
To interpret research findings and prepare scientific and popular press publications.
To disseminate research findings to a variety of audiences as appropriate.
To assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service Charter and action plan.
To comply with all relevant Teagasc policies and procedures.
To actively participate in the Teagasc Post Doctoral Fellowship programme and review processes, and to undertake all Post Doctoral fellowship training and associated duties as agreed in the Training & Development Plan.
To take up additional duties as they may arise and be assigned by management.
Person Specification
This section outlines the qualifications, skills, knowledge and/or experience that the successful candidate would be required to demonstrate for successful discharge of the responsibilities of the post. Applications will be assessed on how well candidates satisfy these criteria.

PhD in Animal Science, Animal Welfare or Veterinary Science (or other relevant discipline)
Relevant research experience not to exceed 3 years’ post-PhD
Demonstrated research and technical expertise in commercial pig production, specifically with regard to animal behaviour and/or welfare
Evidence of research activity (publications, conference presentations, awards) and future scholarly output (working papers, research proposals etc)
Analytical, report writing and data analysis skills
An ability to collaborate with team members and students to help build research knowledge and skill and to guide professional development
Excellent communication skills (oral, written, presentation) with an ability to enable effective knowledge and technology transfer
Ability to generate new ideas, unique concepts, models and solutions
Experience in handling pigs
Knowledge of animal nutrition and experience in diet formulation
Experience in setting own research agenda
Evidence of teamwork and collaboration with relevant partners
Further Information for Candidates
Completed application forms should be TYPED and saved in MS WORD format and submitted by email to no later than 12 midnight on Thursday 5 February 2015.

Please state relevant reference code in all correspondence.

Teagasc is an equal opportunities employer. Canvassing will disqualify.