Teagasc Phd Walsh Scholarship Opportunity

Teagasc Phd Walsh Scholarship Opportunity

Pig production is under pressure from a range of radical external changes: the unprecedented economic crisis in 2022 (low pig prices, record high feed prices); pressure to reduce AMU; the ban in using ZnO in feed; the need to improve animal welfare and reduce nitrogen emissions. Similarly, broiler chicken farms are struggling with similar economic issues and have been hit hard by avian influenza outbreaks alongside pressures to improve welfare, reduce AMU and manage Campylobacter levels. These pressures require farmers to make changes and improve the use of technologies available to them. However, making the right investments and taking the right decision requires accurate information leading to high quality cost-benefit and financial analyses. Teagasc and Animal Health Ireland (AHI) hold a significant amount of economic, production performance, biosecurity and health data of the Irish pig industry and biosecurity data from the poultry industry. The project will use biosecurity data to establish the methods to combine data for pigs and poultry. The main hypothesis is that improved biosecurity will lead to improved productivity and economic performance. The project will establish links with the DECIDE (Data driven control and prioritisation of non-EU-regulated contagious animal diseases), BIOSECURE (Enhanced and cost-effective biosecurity in livestock production) EU projects, the GBADS (Global Burden of Animal Diseses) programme and the COST Action BETTER (Biosecurity Enhanced Through Training Evaluation and Raising Awareness).

This PhD will: I) identify the main factors associated with productive performance; II) quantify the economic effects of the different factors; and III) initiate an evidence-based decision-making process for the Irish pig and poultry sectors.

Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Upper Second-Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Veterinary medicine, preferably, Animal Science, or similar). The successful candidate should like challenging situations, should be highly self-motivated, be prepared to work in a wide range of situations (farms, farmers and stakeholder meetings, meetings abroad), and have at least basic skills in data management and analysis and basic understanding about economic concepts. The PhD will be carried out mainly in Teagagsc Moorepark Cork, but it also involves collaborations with Animal Health Ireland, University of Ghent, University of Liverpool and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Thus, the candidate must be willing to undertake frequent travel to and stays in all locations. A full EU driving licence and fluent spoken English is required.

The scholarship funding is €25,000 per annum and includes University fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum and flat rate stipend of €18,000 per annum and is tenable for 4 years.

Further Information
Dr. Edgar Garcia Manzanilla, Pig Development Department, Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Dr. Carla Gomes, Animal Health Ireland, Carrick-on-Shannon, or Dr. Alberto Allepuz, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Application Procedure
Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest to: Dr. Edgar Garcia Manzanilla and Dr. Alberto Allepuz.

Closing date
24th July 2023


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