Graduate, PhD and Masters opportunities


PhD Studentship: The impact of supplementation methodology on the micro mineral status and flux in grazing livestock farms

Closing Date:  31st July 5:30pm

Even though the vital role of micro-minerals in animal health and performance has been realized for many decades, mineral bioavailability from pasture still causes many grazing livestock diseases. Interactions of minerals, either in the soil reducing uptake by plants (e.g. high Ca in chalky soils causes poor availability of Mg, Cu, Mn and Zn), or in the rumen reducing absorption (e.g. formation of thiomolybdate reducing Cu absorption) means careful attention to the mineral status can significantly improve the health status of a herd and flock. Currently this is achieved by supplementation of either inorganic or organic minerals with little attention given to the mineral status and flux on farm e.g. loss in faeces and urine, impact on forage and soil content and subsequent loss to water courses. The project will reveal the flux of micro-minerals on farm following supplementation of organic minerals or inorganic minerals into animal products, manure, soil, pasture and loss to water.


Further Information and How to Apply






Role of the rumen microbiome in enhancing feed efficiency and reducing methane emissions in sheep 

WF Reference 2017128 

Closing date: 17.00 on 4 th August 2017

Background: Global demand for livestock products will continue to increase driven by growing populations. In 2010, the ruminant sector contributed about 29 percent to global meat production (equivalent to 81 million tonnes) of which 79 percent is from the cattle sector and the remaining from buffalo and small ruminants. Global milk production in 2010 was 717 million tonnes with milk production from the cattle sector contributing the bulk, about 83 percent of global production.While ruminants play an important role in providing high quality protein essential for human diets, they are an important source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To avoid significant increases in total GHG emissions from the sector, a reduction of the intensity of emissions from ruminant livestock is required. 

Between 2000 and 2050, the global goat and sheep population is forecast to rise from 1.7 billion to 2.7 billion. Globally, small ruminant production of meat and milk is currently responsible for 428.8 million tonnes CO2-eq, of which 254.4 million tonnes CO2-eq (59 percent) are associated with sheep production. Significant efforts are underway to develop low-emissions sheep production systems, through breeding of low-emissions sheep combined with innovations in husbandry and feeding regimes. Teagasc have made considerable progress in analysing the microbial diversity, abundance and functional capacity of the bovine rumen and its influence on host feed efficiency and methane emissions. In the Teagasc Athenry sheep improvement programme, Residual Feed Intake (RFI) and other production traits are measured routinely on large numbers of sheep and rumen contents collected. In this Walsh Fellowship, the PhD student will measure methane emissions from the sheep, and perform next-generation sequencing to investigate the influence of the sheep rumen microbiome in controlling host feed efficiency and methane emissions. Due to low cost, large numbers, easy handing and extensive phenotyping, sheep are as an excellent model to study the rumen microbiome for developing novel strategies to reduce methane emissions. 

The Walsh Fellow will enrol in the NUI Galway - Teagasc Structured PhD in Plant & AgriBiosciences to generate data that contributes to development of more carbon-neutral approaches for ruminant livestock production and products. The project will contribute to the broader goals of the NUI Galway – Teagasc Research & Education Alliance on Carbon-Neutral Agriculture which was launched in July 2016. 


Further Information and How to Apply



PhD Studentship: Effect of the prebiotic Galacto-oligosaccharide on the weaning pig

​Closing Date: Friday, 29th September 2017


Research Title

Effect of the prebiotic Galacto-oligosaccharide on the microbiome of the weaning pig

Research Description

Prebiotics are non-digestible feed ingredients that can be metabolized by specific members of intestinal microbiota to provide health benefits for the host. Here we propose to study the effect of the Prebiotic GOS (Galacto-oligosaccharide) which we hypothesize will stabilize/enhance gut microbiota around the time of weaning and promote gut health. We will study the effect of GOS on performance, metagenomics profile, and recovery of GOS responsive bacteria.

Successful applicant will receive a Stipend of £14,296. University fees of £4,183 will also be covered.

Keyword Search: Pig, metagenomics, Galacto-oligosaccharide, prebiotic, microbiology

Award Start Date: 01/10/2017

Duration of Award: 36 months


Further Information and How to Apply


PgC/PgD/MSc - Aquaculture 
Do you want to develop your technical fish production practice to postgraduate level?  Harper Adams University has developed the first Masters degree in Aquaculture. Further information 



MSc/PGDip Animal Nutrition – University of Nottingham

This new vocational course offers the unique opportunity to study farm, companion and zoo animal nutrition and acquire business skills and an in-depth knowledge of the international animal feed industry. This combination will equip you with the knowledge and skills for working in either research or industry.    Further information



PhDs - Nottingham Trent University
Numerous fully-funded PhD studentship opportunities for 2017 available across a number of schools, including animal, rural and environmental sciences. Closing date for applications is Friday 9 December. For information on individual projects and how to apply, visit the NTU Doctoral School website or