Monthly Archives: April 2013

PhD Research Project – Investigating the phenotypic and genetic dynamics of potato late blight disease in Ireland

Application deadline: 10 June, 2013

Institution:  Teagasc Irish Agriculture & Food Development Authority

We are looking for a motivated student to fill a PhD position in a 4 year fully-funded research programme that is a collaborative project with University College Dublin. Scheduled to commence September 2013, and supported through the Irish Department of Agriculture’s Research Stimulus Fund, the student will work as a member in an inter-disciplinary team tasked with monitoring the pathogenic evolution of potato late blight disease (Phytophthora infestans) on the island of Ireland (Project MonPesc).
Globally, Ireland consistently achieves some of the highest potato yields due to a moist maritime climate during the growing season. Yet, the emergence of highly aggressive, fungicide-resistant strains of late blight threaten the sector’s future competitiveness. To address this, farmers have had to increase the fungicide load they apply on their potato crops. Unsustainable in the long-term, the current strategies have led to an accelerated rate of genetic change in pathogen populations. As a consequence, novel strains of Phytophthora infestans have emerged, which present a significant challenge to the continued viability of potato cropping in Ireland.

In response, this project aims to investigate this issue by completing a robust pathogen monitoring strategy for late blight disease using an effectoromics-based strategy to model the evolution of genetic change in past, present and future late blight populations. Specifically, we need to know are these novel strains impacting on native blight strains? Is, or has, genetic recombination occurred and what is going to be the impact of this on Irish potato crops? Also how will these new strains respond to novel sources of varietal resistance that are coming on stream through potato breeding programmes?

The candidates will be based full time at the Teagasc Crop Research Centre in Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland and will be academically registered with UCD. Over the course of the 4 year tenure, the student will be trained in cutting edge biotechnology techniques (e.g. 454 sequencing), molecular biology, plant and fungal tissue culture, crop agronomy and genomics. The student will gain exposure to all aspects of potato production as Oak Park is also home to the National Potato Breeding programme, which has been breeding potato varieties for national and international markets for over 40 years. As per the academic requirements of UCD, the successful candidate will be expected to take project-relevance courses at the UCD campus in Dublin to ensure they attain the necessary number of credits for PhD level.

The project will suit a student with a background in crop science / agronomy / molecular biology / microbiology / plant biology. He/she will possess an honours B.Sc degree (grade 2.1 or higher) and an M.Sc in a relevant discipline. As the student will present at both national and international conferences proficiency in both written and spoken English is critical as is a demonstrated ability to innovate and problem solve in the laboratory.


Interested applicants must email
1. A detailed CV that includes experience of problem solving, publications and research projects undertaked to date.
2. A list of two referees (email and phone numbers)
3. A cover letter describing why you would be interested in completing this specific project.
Applications not meeting all three criteria will not be reviewed.



PhD Research Project – Characterisation of Potato Cyst Nematode Populations in Great Britain for Sustainable Crop Management

The potato cyst nematodes (PCN) (Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida) are destructive pests of potato crops in the UK. The Potato Council (PCL) have recently estimated that PCN cause annual crop losses to the value of £25.9 million. Increasing industry concern has resulted in PCN being cited as an ‘Industry Research Priority’ in the ‘PCL Research & Development Strategy: 2012–2015’.

Understanding PCN populations is of paramount importance to the selection of appropriate management methods. This study aims to characterise PCN populations of Great Britain by (i) Conducting a PCN survey in England, Wales and Scotland (ii) Examining the virulence of G. pallida populations (iii) Determining the viability of the populations using a test validated within this project.

There is some evidence that mixed populations of G. pallida occur together and may become more virulent over successive generations. Virulence tests will be conducted on field populations using a range of potato genotypes to gain a better understanding of PCN populations in the UK. The findings of this work will be beneficial to the development of resistant cultivars.

Currently viability is not estimated in PCN population density assessments. Determining the viability of eggs within the cysts is essential for assessing the effectiveness of control treatments and making decisions on inputs. The project will explore and develop various methods for estimating viability before validating the most promising method under field conditions. Viability assessments will be conducted on survey samples in an attempt to identify factors associated with a loss of viability.

The successful applicant will undertake a 6-12 month placement at the James Hutton Institute (near Dundee) under the guidance of Dr Vivian Blok. This time will be spent developing a viability assay.

Applications should be made through the HAU website: further details of the project can be found. The studentship will start in October 2013, with the exact starting date to be negotiated at interview. Interviews will take place by Skype for shortlisted applicants living outside the UK.

Further information can be found on Harper Adams University at and on the research training provided and PhD progression requirements in the Postgraduate Research Students Handbook at

For informal enquiries on general aspects of research degrees at HAU, applicants may contact Mrs Viv Slann, Research Students Administrator ( For informal enquiries on the project, applicants may contact Dr Matthew Back on

Applicants will normally be expected to hold a bachelor’s degree with first or upper second class honours (UK applicants) or a high GPA (international applicants) in an appropriate subject. A relevant master’s degree may be an advantage.

A minimum level of competency in English is required. International applicants need to be classed as an overall grade 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component using the International English Language Test System (IELTS) or equivalent Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or PTE score.

Funding Notes:

The studentship includes tuition and bench fees and a stipend of £13,500 rising by £500 annual increments.

Applicants from both EU and non-EU countries are eligible for stipend and fees.


Enquire about this PhD at Harper Adams University
Apply Online for this PhD at Harper Adams University
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PhD Studentship – Impact of New Methods for Detecting Mycobacterium Paratuberculosis on Control of Johne’s Disease in Cattle

University of Nottingham -School of Biosciences – Division of Food Science

Supervisor: Dr Catherine Rees

Other Supervisor/s involved: Dr Jon Huxley (UoN Vet Med) and Dr Michael Hutchings (SRUC)

Johne’s disease is a wasting disease of cattle and other ruminants resulting in lower meat and milk yields, and leading to significant financial losses to both the dairy and beef industries. It is caused by Mycobacterium aviumsubsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) which is an exceptionally slow growing organism (up to 18 weeks). MAP is considered to be endemic in many countries throughout the world and although the disease can be controlled, early detection and reliable diagnostics are paramount in preventing transmission between animals.

We have recently developed and evaluated a new bacteriophage-based assay for the detection of MAP in raw milk samples and which provides results within 48 h. This project will focus on generating data describing prevalence of MAP within dairy herds, and using this assay to better understand how the results gained can be utilised in terms of rapid diagnosis and herd control.

The project is a collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) who are a centre of excellence for modelling the epidemiology of this disease. The student will be expected to spend time during the project working with this group in Scotland to model the impact of the new assay on disease control in cattle. The successful candidate will have a background in Microbiology/Biology or Mathematical/Statistical Modelling. To realise the full scope of the project, the ideal candidate should have the ability to undertake laboratory-based research and apply current statistical and numerical techniques.

Students must hold a BSc in relevant biological discipline; minimum of 2i (or equivalent) required.

This studentship is available from 23 September 2013 for a period of 3½ years and provides full fees for Home/EU student and a stipend equivalent to BBSRC minimum

To apply please access: Please quote ref. SCI/1271. This studentship will remain open until filled.


Post-Doctoral Researcher in Livestock Genomics

University of Edinburgh -The Roslin Institute

£30,424 – £36,298

Applications are invited for a 3-year full-time appointment as Post Doctoral Researcher in Livestock Genomics at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. The position is supported by a grant of the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council.

Candidates with a PhD degree in a relevant area, and excellent statistical, computational and programming skills are encouraged to apply. Experience in quantitative analysis of complex traits is essential.

The position will sit within the Genetics and Genomics Division based in the new state-of-the-art Roslin Institute Building at the Easter Bush campus. You will join a dynamic team of quantitative geneticists, bioinformaticians, computational biologists, epidemiologists, statisticians and molecular biologists. You will also liaise closely with the Animal Breeding and Genomics Team of SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College).

Your role will be to conduct scientific research on statistical and computational aspects of animal breeding and genomics. Main responsibilities include:

  1. Develop and utilise innovative quantitative and computational techniques and methods to optimise genomic evaluation and selection in livestock species.
  2. Develop and implement novel frameworks for breeding value estimation and breeding programme design.
  3. Develop innovative tools to use (post)genomic technologies for the improvement of livestock traits.
  4. Contribute to the development of new research ideas and grant proposal preparation.
  5. Contribute to synergies between Roslin and SRUC research activities.
  6. Participate in relevant postdoctoral networking activities, and attend/present seminars and research talks.

Ref: 013264
Closing Date: 20 May 2013

For more information and to submit an application, please use the ‘apply’ button below.

Click here for Employer Profile



The INK Fellows program mobilizes young innovators and changemakers from emerging economies, providing them the support necessary to leverage their impact on society. We seek out budding luminaries in any field, who have proven their potential to be the architects of tomorrow.

We have two main goals:

To create a cross-disciplinary community of like-minded peers, be they entrepreneurs or artists, scientists or social advocates, musicians or technologists. We understand that the experience of being a changemaker can be isolating, as it can lack the financial security, clarity of direction, and social support network that comes with traditional jobs. Being an INK Fellow provides the development, mentorship and peer-support necessary to take brilliant ideas to the next level.

To provide public exposure, so that our changemakers gain access to potential customers, funding opportunities, accolades and other forms of support critical to their development and success. We aim to give our fellows not only a platform from which to make their ideas heard, but also the tools of communication to ensure they’re noticed.

INK Fellows receive:

  • All expenses covered to attend the annual INK conference (including the conferencefee, airfare and hotel accommodation)
  • The opportunity to network with prominent speakers and attendees
  • The opportunity to be selected for a speaking slot at the INK conference
  • In-depth coaching in compelling public communication, and how to give an INKtalk
  • Fellows located in India: local speaking engagement at least one INK event during the Fellowship year
  • The opportunity to have their INKtalk selected to be posted online at
  • The support and camaraderie of the Fellows peer community
  • INK social media exposure throughout the Fellowship year
  • Customized assistance dependent upon the needs of each fellow

 INK Fellows already have:

  • A powerful vision for the world
  • Taken tangible steps to fulfill this vision
  • Demonstrated serious accomplishment at a young age
  • A compelling and inspiring story
  • A need of active support from the INK community
  • The capability to actively support and enrich the INK community
  • The ability to articulate and communicate succinctly

  Apply here to be an INK2013 Fellow (Applications open 15th April, 2013)

Japan International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers 2013


This annual award, which began in 2007, is organized and presented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan. Its purpose is to increase motivation among young researchers contributing to research and development in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and related industries in developing countries, which is promoted by Japan for the benefit of those countries. Up to three young researchers who have shown

  1. outstanding performance in research and development, and
  2. outstanding research achievements that will lead to future technological innovation

will be invited to Japan to attend the commendation ceremony this November and accept their awards and cash gifts (US$5,000 will be given per awardee).


  1. Must be foreign researchers doing research activities outside Japan
  2. Must be under the age of 40 (as of January 01, 2013)
  3. Must be engaged in research and development in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and related industries in developing countries
  4. Must be able to attend the commendation ceremony. (Travel expenses shall be borne by the organizer.)

Application deadline : June 14, 2013 (Friday)

Guidelines and application forms

This and including all the forms can be found at the link below:

Submit applications by post to

Secretariat of the Japan International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers
International Relations Section,
Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS)
1-1, Ohwashi Tsukuba City, Ibaraki
305-8686 Japan

Canada-Africa research exchanges – CAREG

 APPLY HERE – Deadline for submissions: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Canada-Africa Research Exchange Grants program is part of a two-year pilot program funded by the International Development Research Centre.

IDRC aims to fund seven to eight grants worth a maximum of $40,000 each to support short-term exchanges between Canadian and African universities and research institutes that address IDRC research themes. As well as joint research activities, the program will also provide some support to activities aimed at improving student training at the graduate level.

For more details, follow this link/:



Rural Africa Facts

Donate now at Global Giving to give the Elderly and Rural Schools a chance to have access to safe and clean water. Follow this LINK to submit your Donation. Check below for more information:

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Call for Proposals – Understanding Microbiomes to Improve Animal Health and Human Nutrition

Researchers are beginning to understand the integral role that microbial communities play in the health, productivity, and environmental impact of livestock systems. The purpose of this RFP is to create a community resource that will contribute understanding toward the role of the microbiome in human nutrition and animal health through the synthesis, implementation, and analysis of livestock and human microbiomes associated with enteric pathogens.  Humans and livestock share a number of enteric pathogens that decrease overall health of the host. Microbiome data can help advance our understanding of the role of these pathogens in overall microbial community composition.

Attention: Focus Countries–Nepal and Uganda

Click here to access the forms associated with this proposal.

More details can be read on this document:

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2013, midnight (12:00 am) Mountain Standard Time (MST)

Brazilian Government — Science Without Borders “Young Talent Program” 2013

Science Without Borders is a joint effort of Brazil’s Ministry of Education (MEC) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT). The program aims to qualify 100 thousand Brazilian students and researchers in top universities worldwide. The program also makes grants to attract talented young researchers from outside the country to work in Brazil. Grants in the “Young Talent” program are for one to three years in the priority areas of Science Without Borders — including sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, disaster prevention, biodiversity and bio-prospection, marine sciences, and others. The application deadlines are 20 May 2013, 19 August 2013, and 01 November 2013. Visit the website below for more details.


There is also a Special Visiting Researcher program for senior researchers

For further information, check the document of Call, in English, available here.
The scholarship program for “Special Visiting Researcher” aims to attract a senior foreign researchers recognized internationally as leadership in priority areas of Science Without Borders program, to conduct projects with Brazilian research groups and visit Brazil for up to three months each year over two to three years.

The program also provides scholarships for Brazilian students to doctoral and postdoctoral keep projects in Brazil and abroad. The benefits of this fellowship include support for living expenses when the researcher is in Brazil as well funding for the local laboratory.

Areas Covered

The proposals for the Special Visiting Researcher program should be focused in the following areas:

  • Engineering and other technological areas
  • Pure and Natural Sciences
  • Health and Biomedical Sciences
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Aerospace
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Sustainable Agricultural Production
  • Oil, Gas and Coal
  • Renewable Energy
  • Biotechnology
  • Nanotechnology and New Materials
  • Technology for prevention and mitigation of natural disasters
  • Biodiversity and bioprospection
  • Marine Sciences
  • Minerals
  • New technologies for constructive engineering
  • Formation of technical personnel


The fellowship will cover the period from 12 to 36 months and the benefits are:

  • R$ 14,000.00 (fourteen thousand reais, about seven thousand five hundred US dollars) per month for living expenses;
  • Research grants in the amount of R$ 50,000.00 (fifty thousand reais, about twenty eigth thousand US dollars) per year;
  • Flight tickets;

Additional scholarships can be obtained: post-doctoral scholarships in Brazil for the maintenance of the research during the absence of the visiting researcher and PhD scholarships (sandwich) abroad to Brazilian researchers to follow the visiting researcher in his country. These scholarships should be provided in the research project and requested on the application form.


The proposal to receive a Special Visiting Researcher must only be submitted by the host researcher in Brazil, exclusively by internet, through the Online Application Form available in the website. It is necessary to attach a file with the research project and the candidate’s Curriculum resume into Lattes Platform or the summary of the candidate’s resume. New Public Call has been released in march, 27th 2013. 

For further information, check the document of Call, in English, available here.

Finding a partner in Brazil, clicking here.

More details can be found from the website below: