Research Vacancies

Teagasc PhD Walsh Fellowship Opportunity

“Assessing the effectiveness of a gendered approach to a behaviour change programme designed to improve the health status of Irish livestock farmers.”

Ref Walsh Fellowship Number 2017082

Background

Irish farmers are a particularly high-risk group for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading non-communicable disease worldwide. The majority of CVD cases are caused by unhealthy lifestyle behaviours (including occupational factors) and are therefore preventable. CVD is also associated with various activity limitations, which undermine the profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of farming. Nevertheless, farmers remain a ‘hard to reach’ group to engage with health promotion interventions. Whilst farmers respond positively to opportunistic workplace cardiovascular health-screening programmes, more concerted actions over a prolonged period are needed to support farmers to adopt sustainable health behaviour change. There is a gap in existing research in relation to what prompts farmers to adopt behaviour change to improve their health.

This mixed-methods study adopts a male gendered approach and will investigate whether a tailored behaviour change intervention is effective in prompting Irish farmers to adopt sustainable behaviour change to improve their health. This study will advance public health knowledge through original research by investigating the impact of a tailored intervention designed to prompt farmers to adopt behaviour change to improve their health.

Requirements

Applicants should have a primary honours degree (1 or 2.1) or a MA. or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Health Sciences, Social Sciences, and Agricultural Sciences etc.). The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and be prepared to work on location throughout Ireland. A full driving licence is also required.

Award

The PhD Fellowship is a joint research project between Teagasc, the Institute of Technology Carlow and the University College Dublin. The project is also supported by the Irish Heart Foundation and the HSE. The student will be registered in the Institute of Technology Carlow and will be supervised by Dr Noel Richardson (Institute of Technology, Carlow), Dr David Meredith (Teagasc) and Dr John McNamara (Teagasc). The student will be based at the Institute of Technology Carlow (year 1) and at a Teagasc Office (year 2-4). The Fellowship will start as soon as possible after 1st of October following registration of the successful candidate.

The fellowship provides a stipend of €22,000. College fees are paid by the student from the stipend which is tenable for 4 years.

Application Procedure

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest simultaneously to:

Ms Mary Yates, Research & Commercialisation Support Centre IT Carlow - Email: mary.yates@itcarlow.ie

Dr. Noel Richardson, National Centre for Men’s Health, Department of Science and Health, IT Carlow Republic of Ireland
Phone +353 (0)87 286 0152  email: noel.richardson@itcarlow.ie

Dr. David Meredith, Teagasc, Agri-food Business and Spatial Analysis, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Republic of Ireland
Phone +353 0)87 123 1208  email: david.meredith@teagasc.ie

Closing Date

5.00pm 17th April 2017

Teagasc PhD Walsh Fellowship Opportunity

“Characterising lignocellulose degradation in mushroom substrate by Agaricus bisporus strains”

Ref: 2017020

Background

The commercial mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, derives its nutrition from a complex composted substrate of straw, chicken manure, gypsum and water, which is lignocellulosic in nature (composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin). Chemically, cellulose and hemicellulose are well characterised, whereas lignin is a highly heterogeneous macropolymer. As A. bisporus growth progresses, the cellulose/hemicellulose fractions are readily utilised and decrease while the lignin fraction decreases more slowly. The heterogeneity of the lignin molecule makes it a difficult molecule to metabolise but A. bisporus has many lignocellulosic enzymes to utilise it as a food source. We propose to examine the breakdown of lignocellulosic components in mushroom substrate over the commercial life of a crop and to compare the lignocellulose degradation ability of different mushroom strains/mutants with contrasting productivity characteristics. We will investigate the breakdown of lignin with special focus on key enzymes e.g. cellulases, beta-glucanases, xylanases which are required for substrate utilisation.

Requirements

Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Upper Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Biology, Bioscience, Chemistry with Biology or other relevant disciplines). Strong competence in Molecular biology and Biochemistry is highly desirable. The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated, able to work in a group environment and should possess good levels of communication in written and oral English.

Award

The PhD Fellowship is a joint research project between Teagasc, Ashtown and the EnviroCORE, Institute of Technology, Carlow. The student will be based equivalently in Teagasc Research Centre at Ashtown, Dublin and in Carlow, Institute of Technology where he/she will be registered working under the supervision of Dr. Carloalberto Petti in association with Teagasc supervisor Dr Helen Grogan. Periods of laboratory work will be undertaken at both research institutes and varying in time depending on the tasks being carried out.  The Fellowship will start as soon as possible after 1st of October when the most suitable candidate is appointed.

The fellowship provides a stipend of €22,000. University fees are paid by the student from the stipend which is tenable for 4 years.

Further Information/Applications

Dr Helen Grogan, Teagasc, Ashtown, Dublin, D15KN3K, Ireland
Phone +353 (0) 1 805 9780 email: Helen.grogan@teagasc.ie

Dr Carloalberto Petti, EnviroCORE, Institute of Technology Carlow, Carlow, R93V960, Ireland
Phone +353 (0) 59 917 5595 email: Carloalberto.petti@itcarlow.ie

Application Procedure

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest simultaneously to:
Ms Mary Yates (mary.yates@itcarlow.ie)
Dr Helen Grogan (Helen.grogan@teagasc.ie)
Dr Carloalberto Petti (Carloalberto.petti@itcarlow.ie)

Closing date

5.00pm 7th June 2017