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PhD studentship within VistaMilk


The VistaMilk SFI Research Centre is a unique collaboration between Agri-Food, Information Communications Technology (ICT) research institutes, leading Irish/Multinational Food, and ICT companies. It is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM). The centre is hosted by Teagasc, in partnership with the Tyndall National Institute, the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology, and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at University College Dublin.

PhD Position

Applicants are invited to apply for a PhD studentship within VistaMilk, in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University College Dublin, Ireland.

The successful applicant will work on a project entitled ‘Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence for Animal Health’. The project involves collaboration between Dr Aonghus Lawlor, UCD and Dr Dan Milbourne, Teagasc. The position is funded through the VistaMilk SFI Research Centre ((opens in a new window)https://vistamilk.ie/).

This PhD scholarship holder will work at the interface between Deep Learning/Machine Learning and plant genomics. Recent developments in ML and DL provide an opportunity to develop powerful state of the art predictive methods to support plant breeding programs at Teagasc. The project will develop novel models and techniques for improving the prediction of phenotypic traits, and will also involve analysis of Near Infrared Spectroscopy data collected in Teagasc. This project is a collaboration between the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and the Crop Research group in Teagasc

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements are:

  • 2.1 grade (or equivalent) in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in computer science, mathematics, engineering, statistics or similar technical discipline.
  • Non-native English speakers require at least IELTS 6.5 (with at least 6 in all components) or equivalent (further details on equivalence of tests are availablehere).


The successful candidate will receive a generous scholarship valued at around €110,000. This covers PhD fees (fully covered for EU students and partially covered for non-EU students), a tax-free stipend of €18,500 per annum for four years, funds for conference travel, and an equipment allowance.

To Apply

An application consisting of a curriculum vitae, cover letter, and scanned copies of relevant academic transcripts should be sent to Dr. Aonghus Lawlor (aonghus.lawlor@ucd.ie) by 5 pm September 30th, 2020.

UCD School of Computer Science

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 V1W8.
T: +353 1 716 2483 | E: computerscience@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)