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Exciting PhD Opportunity

An exciting scholarship opportunity is available to students run in partnership with UCD, Animal Health Ireland, Agri-Food Biosciences Institute and Teagasc and funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. 

The PhD is titled "Behavioural strategies to support development and implementation of salmonella control measures in pig farms". 

Project Description

TICSalmPIg is a multidisciplinary project, including individuals with experience in Salmonella research, pig health and nutrition, genomics, psychology, and behavioural science expertise from University College Dublin, Teagasc, Agri-Food Biosciences Institute, Animal Health Ireland, and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The overall objective of this project is to address the challenge of Salmonella originating in pigs using an all-island basis and collaborative approach. Salmonella originating in pigs remains the most important source of domestically acquired Salmonella food poisoning in humans in Ireland and infections are commonly resistant to antibiotics. Therefore, there is a need for an appropriate strategy to stimulate farmers’ intent to implement Salmonella control measures at farm level. This PhD project offers a unique opportunity to: (i) use evidence-based behaviour change intervention development (such as the COM-B model and Behaviour Change Wheel framework) to engage farmers and others with Salmonella control; (ii) co-create farm-specific control interventions with farmers and other stakeholders including specialist pig veterinarians and farm advisors; and (iii) develop a roadmap to scale up successful interventions to all commercial Irish pig production. The PhD studentship will be a collaborative and interdisciplinary journey with the opportunity to work alongside farm staff, producers, veterinary and production advisors, among others. The project offers an exciting opportunity to be involved in multi-actor participation in real life settings at the intersection of biological and social sciences.


Applicants must have a good primary degree (First or Upper Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in a relevant discipline i.e. behavioural science, agricultural science, veterinary medicine, sociology, psychology, agricultural extension, geography, or a related field. A willingness to work in a pig processing environment would be beneficial as hands-on experience is critical for understanding the real-world aspects of Salmonella control. The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and prepared for field work, data analysis, reporting and publication of findings at (inter)national conferences and meetings. Fluent English language skills and a full EU driving license are essential. Please see here for English language requirements.

Further Information Dr Sinéad Flannery, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin Phone: +353 (0)1 716 7502 | Email: sinead.flannery@ucd.ie Application Procedure Submit an electronic copy of your CV (including names and details of two referees) and a letter of interest simultaneously with a short research statement by email to: Dr Sinéad Flannery (opens in a new window)sinead.flannery@ucd.ie

  • Supervisors: Dr. Sinéad Flannery (Principal Supervisor, University College Dublin), Alison Burrell C.Psychol (Animal Health Ireland) and Dr. Áine Regan (Teagasc)
  • Duration: 4 years Funding Information: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
  • Value of the Scholarship per Annum: Stipend of €25,000p.a. plus €6000p.a towards fees
  • Closing Date: 12th February 2024 @ 5pm GMT
  • Commencement Date: As soon as possible
  • Location: School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin

UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science

Agriculture and Food Science Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7205 | Location Map(opens in a new window)