dimanche 28 février 2016

PhD Studentship

Scotland’s Rural College
PhD Studentship - Ewe and lamb behaviour and lamb mortality during the periparturient period – effects of nutrition and genotype

The PhD Fellowship is a joint research project between Teagasc, Athenry, Ireland and SRUC, Edinburgh. SRUC delivers comprehensive skills, education and business support for Scotland’s land-based industry founded on world class, sector leading research, education and consultancy. Our 1350 staff are located on 6 campuses and around 40 business units across Scotland and the North of England. SRUC’s joint submission with the University of Edinburgh to the Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science subpanel of the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) ranks top in the UK on research power.

Teagasc – the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland - is the national body providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture (farming & forestry) food industry and rural communities. The Teagasc mission is to support science-based innovation in the agri-food sector and the broader bioeconomy that will underpin profitability, competitiveness and sustainability. Teagasc is a client-based organisation employing approximately 1,100 staff at 55 locations. Teagasc has significant resources in research and KT areas. At Athenry it has its main sheep research facility consisting of 128 ha, 1180 breeding ewes and replacements.

Lamb mortality is a significant welfare concern in sheep farming, and a constraint to the profitability of sheep farms. This project will investigate the impact of ewe nutrition in pregnancy on lamb mortality, and how this might be modified by the age and genotype of the ewe. Most lamb mortality occurs in the first 24 hours after delivery, thus the project will focus on this period to understand how ewe and management factors can influence relevant characteristics relating to survivability. The student will conduct a risk assessment for lamb mortality, identify the main causes of lamb death in Teagasc flocks, and conduct focused experimental studies to understand the impact of nutrition, ewe age and genotype on the expression of ewe and lamb behaviours at birth.

Students are expected to have a good first degree (at least 2:1 or equivalent) in a relevant area (such as biological subjects, agriculture, veterinary science). A Masters degree in a relevant area would also be desirable as would practical experience of working on a farm, especially with lambing ewes. This 4 year studentship is due to commence around 1st September 2016. The student will be based largely at Teagasc in Ireland, where the animal work will be conducted, but will spend some time in Edinburgh to complete the behavioural analyses. The fellowship provides a stipend of 16,600 per annum. The student will be registered at the University of Edinburgh. The studentship is funded to pay the tuition fees of UK/EU nationals only. Non UK/EU nationals must provide evidence of funds to cover the international student tuition fee level (this would be approximately £14,000 per year).

Online applications for this post can be submitted via our website www.sruc.ac.uk/jobs Alternatively application packs can be requested from audrey.johnstone@sruc.ac.uk      Tel 0131 535 4028 quoting reference SRUC/1030678/Dwyer. Please note that CV’s will not be accepted without a completed application form. If English is not an applicant’s first language, a recent IELTS/TOEFL certificate should be submitted with the application as evidence that the candidate meets the language requirements for PhD study at Edinburgh University. To have an informal discussion about this studentship, contact Prof Cathy Dwyer, cathy.dwyer@sruc.ac.uk, +44 131 5359338 or Dr Tim Keady: Tim.keady@teagasc.ie +353 91 845835

The closing date for the return of applications is 5pm on 8th April 2016.