UCD Graduate Studies Scholarships

Student excellence and achievement are recognised in UCD, through a variety of scholarships and awards. Students are advised to contact the UCD School in which they are interested in studying to ask about current funding possibilities.  

PhD opportunity: Develop a framework using Machine Learning (ML) to identify specific features of stress response using plant phenotyping

Background: Early stress detection in crop plants is highly relevant for food security but methodologically complex. Plant stress responses can be observed using non-invasive methods such as plant imaging. The use of different camera sensors such as RGB, hyperspectral and chlorophyll fluorescence enable the detection of altered plant performance in response to environmental stress. Such changes include slower growth, senescent changes in the spectral reflectance and modified fluorescence responses of leaves. Although these changes cannot be captured by human eye, the imaging sensors used in this project can perceive such changes very fast. To understand the early responses of plants to environmental stress, we will develop a framework of data collection, storage and curation, trait extraction and utilization of ML and classification algorithms to extract the features from plant images. Plant images will be collected using imaging platforms in a controlled environment and unmanned aerial vehicles in field conditions(UAVs).

Project: This exciting project will develop a specific framework that utilizes concepts from probability theory, statistics, decision theory, optimization and visualisation to identify specific features of stress response using thousands of plant images. The Ph.D. student will have the opportunity to participate in training courses, workshops and conferences. The research will be supervised by Assoc. Prof. Eleni Mangina from UCD- School of Computer Science and Assist. Prof. Dr. Sónia Negrão (UCD- School of Biology and Environmental Science). This Ph.D. project is part of the SFI President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Award lead by Principal Investigator for this research programme Dr. Sónia Negrão at the School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin.

Details: This is a 4-year full-time position, with a stipend of €18,500 per annum.

Qualifications: Candidates should hold bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field (preference will be given to master’s degree), with some previous experience in data analysis, and have an interest in machine learning. Experience in plant-imaging with either high-throughput platforms and/or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would be desirable but not mandatory. Candidates must demonstrate an awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.

Application process: Informal enquiries are welcome and should be directed to Assoc. Prof. Eleni Mangina ( and Assist. Prof. Dr. Sónia Negrão (  Applications including a detailed CV, letter of motivation (max 2 pages, single spaced), transcripts and two letters of recommendation (to be sent directly from referee) should be sent to no later than 30th of May 2020.



Newman Fellowship on Constitutional Futures

As part of its programme to provide postdoctoral research opportunities for scholars of proven academic excellence, University College Dublin is pleased to announce the Newman Fellowship on Constitutional Futures. The appointment of a Newman Fellow in 2020 is established with the generous support of the Reconciliation Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Newman Fellow is expected to undertake research on potential constitutional responses to changing relations between communities on the island of Ireland, between North and South, and between Ireland and Great Britain following the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union. The successful candidate will also be expected to contribute appropriately to the work of the Institute for British-Irish Studies.

The Fellow will be based in the UCD Institute for British Irish Studies (IBIS) and the UCD School of Politics and International Relations.

Applications are invited from candidates who hold a doctoral degree and have research experience. Applicants should have a strong interest in British-Irish relations, the Northern Ireland conflict, constitutional politics, comparative politics and/or conflict resolution and peacebuilding. The successful applicant will be prepared to publish in high impact journals and with leading scholarly publishers.

The Newman Fellowship on Constitutional Futures comes with a generous stipend and is tenable for one year in the first instance but up to three years in total subject to funding, performance and annual review.

Informal enquiries regarding this Fellowship may be directed to Professor Ben Tonra, Director UCD IBIS by email to:

How to Apply: Candidates must supply a cover letter setting out how they would undertake this project, as well as submitting a completed Newman Fellowship Candidate Form, and detailed CV (including publications). Please send completed applications (with all required documents contained in one PDF file) and two copies of the Newman Fellowship Referee Form by email to: with ‘Newman Fellowship on Constitutional Futures’ in the subject line.

Should you choose to send applications by post, please ensure sufficient time for receipt of applications before the closing date.  Please post to:

REFERENCE: Newman Fellowship on Constitutional Futures

UCD Graduate Studies

Room 0.14, Tierney Building

UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 5pm Thursday, 19 March 2020.


PhD opportunity: Maternal diet, pregnancy/birth outcomes and offspring childhood obesity

Background: Increasing evidence suggests that early life exposure to a range of environmental factors plays a critical role in defining offspring health, both in childhood and in later life. According to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, transient environmental exposures during critical periods of development (such as the pre-conceptional, fetal and early infant phases of life) can alter the health trajectory of the offspring. Maternal diet is a modifiable behaviour that could play an important role in maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes. Novel findings from our individual birth cohort studies and the ALPHABET consortium highlight the potential influence of maternal dietary quality and inflammatory potential during pregnancy on birth outcomes and a range of offspring childhood health outcomes. However limited data regarding the interrelationships between maternal diet and lifestyle, placental development and birth and childhood outcomes in humans exist.

Project: This exciting project will address this gap in the knowledge base by harnessing information on maternal diet & lifestyle and pregnancy/birth/offspring outcomes using existing databases and analysis of biological samples from several birth cohort studies. The PhD student will have the opportunity to participate in training courses, workshops and conferences. The research will be supervised by Dr Catherine Phillips, Assistant Professor and lead Principal Investigator for this research programme at the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin.
Details: This is a 4-year full-time position, open to EU and non-EU candidates, with a stipend of €18,000 per annum.
Qualifications: Candidates should hold a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, biological sciences (physiology, developmental biology, reproduction), public health or related field and have an interest in early life/fetal programming, nutrition and metabolic health. Experience in pregnancy and childhood research, epigenetics or nutritional assessment techniques would be desirable.
Application process: Informal enquiries are welcome and should be directed to Dr. Catherine Phillips ( Applications including a detailed CV, letter of motivation (max 2 pages, single spaced), transcripts and two letters of recommendation (to be sent directly from referee) should be sent to no later than March 23rd 2020.


PhD Opportunity: Dietary sugars / sweeteners during pregnancy and their impact on long term maternal metabolic and reproductive health

Background: There is significant evidence that an unhealthy diet greatly increases the risk of complications during pregnancy and predisposes offspring to metabolic dysfunction and obesity. While fat intake is typically associated with the onset of obesity and its comorbidities, there is increasing evidence linking sugar, particularly high fructose corn syrup, to the global rise in obesity rates. Furthermore the detrimental effects of fructose intake during pregnancy on mother and child have been clearly outlined. Despite their wide availability there is only limited information regarding their impact on maternal pregnancy outcomes, placental/fetal development and long term risk of cardio-metabolic complications in the mother. Previous work from the group has demonstrated that the artificial sweetener Ace-k increases insulin resistance during pregnancy and in the postpartum period.

This project will investigate the effects of artificial sweeteners in combination with a high fat diet during pregnancy on maternal obesity, metabolic and reproductive health during successive pregnancies. This project will provide training in key laboratory skills ranging from rodent physiology, biochemical, cellular and molecular techniques. Training in experimental design, data analysis and scientific writing will also be provided.

This project would be ideal for a student with a background in a biological science (nutrition, physiology, reproduction, biochemistry) with a keen interested in nutrition and metabolic health.

Funding information: This is a 4-year full-time position with a stipend of E18,000 per annum.

Candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Applications are accepted from candidates from Ireland, the EU and worldwide
  • An academic background in a biological science
  • High honours in a related disciple

How to apply: The application must be submitted via email to not later than Tuesday, 10th March 2020 and must include

  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS of 7 total score, with no band below 6.5, or alternatively a masters’ degree graded at 2:1 or above, written in English and obtained from an English speaking institution in an English speaking country, within the past 3-years from date of application)
  • Diploma and Transcripts of academic records (undergraduate and postgraduates)
  • A CV
  • A supporting statement of no more than two pages (font size 12) outlining their academic and professional experience relevant to this project.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

To find out more: Enquiries can be directed via email to the lead investigator, Dr Clare Reynolds (


2020 Research Demonstrator Competition - Funded PhD Opportunities 

The Research demonstratorships will be available for up to 4 years full time PhD studies. They will be awarded competitively on academic merit. The start date for these opportunities is 1st September 2020.

The total value of the payment of the Research Demonstratorship programme is valued at €16,000  per annum (tax free) together with up to € 2,000 in travel allowance over the four years. This will include tutorial duties. Successful applicants who do not qualify for any external fee support will in addition be covered for 100% fees.

The closing date for applications is April 3rd 2020 with the results anticipated by the end of May.  Applications should be made via e-mail to Marian Woods ( 

An application should include as a single email attachment the following documents (in a single PDF) in order to be considered: 1. State up to three topics of interest. Scroll down to the list below for available topics. Please list them in order of preference. 2. A brief curriculum vitae. 3. A statement of mathematical interest (no more than 500 words). 4. Full copies of academic transcripts (translated to English where applicable). 5. Contact details of two academic references (name, telephone number and email address).

NOTE: After submitting their application, applicants are required to contact the supervisor(s) associated with their listed topic(s) of interest, communicating their interest in the proposed topic(s). However, decisions of acceptance are made by an independent panel. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to an interview that may be given over Skype.

For Terms and Conditions and/or available topics please click here.


New mobility scheme for researchers offered by the Embassy of France in Ireland

The French Embassy in Ireland has launched a new funding scheme called high level scientific mobility grants. This new scheme aims to strengthen scientific cooperation between Ireland and France by funding researchers based in Ireland to spend one month in a research laboratory in France, before December 2020.

More information can be found: 

Applications must be sent before 29th February on the France Alumni Ireland platform here:


PhD Openings in Applied Electromagnetics and Wireless Communications 

Position description: Applications are invited for fully funded 4-year PhD positions. The start date will be in January, May, or September.

Research project: The PhD positions generally involve theoretical and applied research in electromagnetics and wireless communications. The research projects cover a broad range of topics, with a particular focus on the development of high-performance computational platforms for emerging wireless technologies in intelligent transportation (air, ground, underground), 5G and beyond wireless communications, underwater communications, indoor/outdoor localisation, as well as biomedical sensing and healthcare applications. The successful candidates are expected to conduct research, particularly, but not exclusively in the following projects: (1) Physics-based wireless channel models for large-scale environments (indoor, outdoor, underground/underwater) and their application for the intelligent planning of wireless communication systems. (2) Numerical modelling and analysis of multiphysics/multiscale problems in computational electromagnetics. (3) Machine learning and its application in electromagnetics and wireless communications. (4) RF/microwave/millimeter-wave design & measurement.

Specific research topic for the PhD position will depend on the candidate’s background. The PhD candidate will have a chance to work with industry partners and international collaborators.

Expected qualifications: The successful candidate should hold a Bachelor or Master degree in electrical/electronic engineering, computer science, applied mathematics/physics or a related discipline, and should have a solid background in mathematics, electromagnetic and communication theory, as well as programming. Previous related research experience will be a plus. 

How to apply: Interested candidates should send an email to Dr. Xingqi Zhang ( along with your CV, academic transcripts, English qualifications, as well as any other documents that you believe can well demonstrate your research capability and potential.


Ad Astra PhD Scholarship in the School of Education: Children’s voice and citizenship practices in Ireland

The UCD School of Education is seeking to recruit one PhD candidate to work on a research project exploring children’s voice, agency and citizenship practices. The successful applicant will be working under the supervision of Dr Gabriela Martinez Sainz and will receive a three-year scholarship covering full tuition fees, a stipend and a research fund to work at the UCD School of Education, a leader in the field of education, with over 100 years of service to the wider education community in Ireland. The research project will explore children's voice, agency and citizenship primarily in Ireland and Europe, but proposals to examine other relevant contexts through comparative analysis are welcome. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work closely with the team of the Irish national study of primary schooling: Children’s School Lives (CSL). On successful completion of the project, the candidate will be awarded a PhD in Children and Youth Studies from University College Dublin.

Applicants should have a strong background in education and/or children and youth studies, with a keen interest in children’s rights and/or citizenship education. Experience in qualitative research and analysis is essential for the position. The PhD successful candidate is expected to start in September 2020 and will receive the following financial support for 3 years:

Full funding for tuition fees: A stipend of €18,000 per annum to assist with living expenses and a research allowance of €4,000

This is a full-time position for the three-year duration of the PhD programme. Candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Applications are accepted from candidates from Ireland, the EU and worldwide.
  • An academic background in Education and/or Children and Youth Studies
  • High honours in an appropriate Master’s degree

How to apply: The application must be submitted via email to no later than March 15, 2020, 23:59 Irish Time (with ‘Ad Astra PhD application’ in the subject line of the email). and must include:

  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS of 7 total score, with no band below 6.5, or alternatively a masters’ degree graded at 2:1 or above, written in English and obtained from an English speaking institution in an English speaking country, within the past 3-years from date of application)
  • Diploma and Transcripts of academic records (undergraduate and postgraduates)
  • A CV
  • A supporting statement of no more than two pages (font size 12) outlining their academic and professional experience relevant to this project.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

To find out more: Enquiries can be directed via email to the lead investigator, Dr Gabriela Martinez Sainz ( For more information about the structure of the PhD programme in Children and Youth Studies consult the UCD School of Education website.


PhD opportunity: PhDifferent

The EPSRC & SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems (AMSCDT), offers something different. This programme will give you the opportunity to gain a PhD, which reflects real-world challenges, with international travel, state-of-the-art training in the manufacture of metallic materials, as well as the professional skills that will help you fast-track your career.

Join a cohort of 19 students from a variety of science and engineering disciplines to undertake a world-leading combination of training activities and doctoral research, working across the four world-leading partner universities in the AMSCDT. The training activities will take place in both the UK and Ireland, while the PhD research projects will be carried out at either DCU or UCD.

We're looking for the Science, Engineering or Maths graduates who are seeking careers in the medical device, aerospace and automotive sectors to join us for this four-year programme. The doctoral research project will focus on metallic materials and will be carried out in close collaboration with our industry partners.

For further information or contact or call +353 1 7007856


PhD Opportunity: “The role of soil micronutrients in N cycling and N use efficiency in winter wheat”

CONSUS: Crop Optimisation through Sensing, Understanding & Visualisation

University College Dublin (UCD) together with Origin Enterprises Plc have established a new collaborative Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Strategic Partnership research programme, entitled CONSUS, focussed on the application of precision agriculture to crop production with a particular emphasis on optimisation of agri-food production systems leading to more efficient food production with lower environmental impacts. The outcomes from this research programme will deliver a step-change in crop agronomy tools and practices, leading to enhanced global competitiveness.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a 4-year PhD studentship with the CONSUS team researching crop nutrition and limits to yield potential.


Globally, major gains in crop yield and quality have been made through the application of the major plant nutrients (macronutrients) such as N, P and K in fertilizer. However, with the supply of adequate levels of these macronutrients, concentrations of micronutrients, such as Zn, Cu and Mn, in soil and plant can drop below optimum and become yield- and quality-limiting. This is particularly the case in more intensive cropping systems with higher yields and removal of micronutrients in exported plant materials. Fertilizer N is a major variable input cost to most conventional farming systems. In addition, poor use efficiency can increase the risk of loss to the wider environment, and associated impacts on water quality, air quality, and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. This PhD will use laboratory and field experimental approaches to develop an improved mechanistic understanding of the role of micronutrients in N cycling and N use efficiency in winter wheat. This position will be in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science ( and the UCD Earth Institute (, working with the nutrient cycling group of Dr Paul Murphy (


Applicants should have a First or Second Class Honours degree or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (e.g. Agricultural Science, Plant Science, Soil Science, Environmental Science, Chemistry). The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and be prepared for laboratory work and field work with modern analytical equipment. Field and laboratory experimental and analytical skills and experience are highly desirable. A good knowledge of European cereal production systems and nutrient management practices is desirable. The applicant should have a good working knowledge of English (spoken and written) and hold a full EU driving licence. 


The Studentship will provide a stipend of €18,000 and a fee contribution of €5,500 per year for 4 years maximum and the support of the CONSUS infrastructure, a Doctoral Studies Panel and the Post-Doctoral Researcher associated with this work package. The student will be based, in the first instance, at UCD but may also spend time, as required, at other sites in Ireland, or potentially overseas.

Further Information/Application Procedure

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest to: Dr. Paul Murphy:

Closing date: Fri 20 Dec 17:00, or when a suitable candidate is appointed.


PhD Position: Understanding hepatitis E virus infection in pigs and humans

Project Description: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an emerging viral infection, and an increasing cause of acute viral hepatitis in the developed world. In Europe, infection with HEV is most commonly associated with the consumption of contaminated meat, mainly from pigs. In humans, most HEV infections cause an acute, self-limiting hepatitis. However, severe disease can occur, particularly in pregnant women or those with pre-existing liver disease. HEV infection is also associated with other disease manifestations including neurological disease, however the reason why severe disease occurs is poorly understood. Currently, there are no specific treatments for HEV, and there is no licenced vaccine in Europe.

HEV is extremely challenging to propagate in cell culture, and there is no robust method to screen food products for the presence of infectious virus. This project will aim to develop in vitro and ex vivo models for the study of HEV, and to use these systems to investigate the biology of this virus in pigs and humans. The student will work with an interdisciplinary team at UCD, based at the Veterinary Sciences Centre, and will have the opportunity to develop their research skills in One Health and zoonotic disease. The student will collaborate with research groups at UCD, the University of Birmingham and Pirbright Institute in the UK, and the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA, over the course of the PhD programme. This is a truly interdisciplinary project, working on an important and poorly understood viral infection.

We are searching for an enthusiastic individual, with a first or upper second-class degree in a relevant subject, to work on this exciting and novel project. Ideally, the candidate should have laboratory experience, and previous experience in molecular biology and cell culture techniques would be an advantage.

Funding Notes: Applications and enquiries should be directed to Dr. Nicola Fletcher at the Veterinary Sciences Centre, University College Dublin, Ireland ( Please submit a CV and letter of motivation with applications. The stipend for this position will be €18,500 + full EU or non-EU fees paid for 4 years.


Dobbin Atlantic Scholarship Programme 

The Ireland Canada University Foundation is currently welcoming applications for the 2019-20 Dobbin Atlantic Scholarship Programme. It is the objective of this programme to develop a new generation of academic, artistic, cultural and economic links between Atlantic Canada and Ireland. Scholarships will be awarded to Irish and Canadian applicants, in support of research trips between Ireland and the Atlantic provinces of Canada*, with the awards supporting research visits for a period of three to five weeks. Successful research projects will explore areas such as;

  • our common culture, history and heritage
  • the potential of our shared resources
  • scientific and technological innovation

This programme is made possible through the generous continued support of the Dobbin family, and the Department of Foreign Affairs (Ireland), through the Emigrant Support Programme. To see a selection of reports from past Dobbin Atlantic Scholars, click here.

Applications must be submitted to ICUF by Sunday 24th November. For more information on the Programme and to find out how to apply, click here.


Call for PhD & Post Doc applications – Cloud-based Building Information Modelling (CBIM)

CBIM is a new European research and training network in the area of Cloud-based Building Information Modelling. There are 14 fully funded PhD positions for highly talented people who are eligible for study at any one of its partner universities. Each PhD student will be employed full time for three years at one of the CBIM partner universities or at one of the three CBIM beneficiary companies, while pursuing a PhD degree at one of the universities. There is also one funded Post Doc position at the Technion.

CBIM Universities: 

  • University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • University College London, United Kingdom
  • Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
  • Technical University of Berlin, Germany
  • University College Dublin, Ireland

CBIM Companies

  • Trimble Oy, Espoo, Finland
  • LocLab Consulting, Darmstadt, Germany
  • Fundacion CARTIF, Valladolid, Spain

CBIM is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network call, and the stipends/salaries are particularly generous. For more information about:

- CBIM, please visit the relevant website:

- instructions for how to apply for one of the 14 PhD (ESR - early stage researcher) positions:

- the Post Doc position, please write to Prof. Rafael Sacks, at


Doctoral Scholarship in Technology and Society

The design and use of technology has serious implications for society as a whole. There is increasing public concern about issues such as anthropogenic climate change, the proliferation of military and surveillance technologies, and the possible impacts of automation and artificial intelligence. However, decisions about technological systems are often made without transparency or democratic oversight. Engineers bear much of the responsibility for the development, construction, and maintenance of technological systems, but in whose interests do they act? Engineering institutions claim to be committed to public welfare, but can engineers really balance that commitment with meeting the demands of employers and clients? There is in fact evidence to suggest that the culture of engineering education and professional practice discourages engineers from placing sufficient importance on public welfare. Further research is needed in this area; this PhD will address that need by exploring the relationship between engineering, professional responsibility, and public welfare. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be used to investigate the beliefs and attitudes of engineering students and professionals in Ireland, as well as the contexts in which these engineers study and work.

Applications for this PhD Scholarship are invited from candidates from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds, including but not limited to sociology, anthropology, psychology, human geography, education, and design. Candidates should have or expect to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in their field. Please direct any queries about the project or application to

Scholarship: The scholarship covers all academic fees and includes a stipend of €15,000 per annum for four years and a travel budget to allow attendance at conferences.

How to Apply: Please submit a CV and cover letter explaining your interest in the project to

Closing date for applications: Monday, 30th September 2019


PhD Opportunity: 3D printing of polymer medical devices

3D printing (Additive Manufacturing), is increasing being applied for the fabrication of medical devices. One of the advantages of the technology is its ability to tailor the design, to meet specific patient needs. Given the individualized part printing however, a key consideration is to ensure the quality of the printed device. This PhD project will involve the printing of both polymeric and fibre reinforced polymer composites, for use in prosthetic devices. The printing will be carried out using both a laboratory and a pilot scale Fused Filament Fabrication system. The physical, chemical and mechanical properties of the printed parts will be extensively investigated and correlated with the processing conditions. A number of advanced process diagnostic techniques (including optical imagining), will be used to monitor the printing process. Working closely with colleagues in Computer Science, the data collected will be analysed, in order to provide process feedback. The objective is to determine if the in-process measurements can be correlated with print defects (i.e. porosity), and where possible can help to predict the formation of defects before they occur.

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Funding: Scholarship support for this PhD is through the Science Foundation Ireland I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. PhD funding is available for EU students only.

Applicant requirement: A minimum of a 2.1 honours degree in Engineering, Chemistry, Physics or Materials Science.

Application: To apply, please submit a CV and cover letter to Prof. Denis Dowling, I-Form Centre, University College Dublin ( Closing date for applications Monday, 6th January 2020.


Marie Skłodowska Curie European Training Network: 8 PhD positions available for EU training network  under Innovative Training Networks (ITN) of Horizon 2020


Climate change and food safety have become interdependent worldwide research priorities. The overarching aim of this Innovative Training Network (ITN) is to provide high-level training in Predictive mOdelling Tools to evaluate the Effects of Climate change on food safeTy (PROTECT). The project will provide sound scientifically based knowledge for management options and decisions on new and emerging food safety threats due to climate change. Specific case studies will be focused on the dairy industry (e.g. cheese, yogurt, liquid milk) and emerging chemical and biological threats. Tools will focus on the change in chemical levels and microbial populations in relation to the dairy industry and assess how levels will change under climate change pressures. The skills and knowledge gained through the network will be a critically important step towards better management of future food supplies.

The goals of the network will be achieved by a unique combination of “hands-on” research training, non-academic placements, summer schools and workshops on research-related and transferable skills facilitated by the academic and non-academic composition of the consortium. PROTECT brings together intersectoral and multidisciplinary expertise from 11 European Countries (7 third level educational institutions, 6 industry partners, 1 United Nations agency). The consortium will share technical and training expertise to recruit and train 8 highly skilled Early stage researchers (ESRs) in advanced modelling tools to investigate the impact of climate change on food safety. The research work consists of 3 technical work packages with 8 individual research projects each looking at a specific aspect of predictive modelling and the influence of climate change on food safety. An important element of the training network is the Network wide training events and industry secondments and the emphasis on training all ESRs in key transferable skills.

The project is currently recruiting 8 post-graduate researchers with specialization in Food Science, Biostatistics, Food Microbiology, Biosystems and Food Engineering, Environmental Science, Chemical and Environmental Engineering or related discipline. 

Positions are offered for 3 years for the following individual research projects 

PhD1: Development of a Feed Chain Risk Assessment (FCRA) to assess the increased risk from mycotoxins in animal feed as a result of climate change and potential transfer to dairy produce for human consumption

PhD2: Modelling the dynamics of microbial change: dairy food production processes and process/waste water of (dairy) food

PhD3: Modelling the dynamics of microbial change: dairy food products

PhD4: Develop a Quantitative Microbial Exposure Assessment (QMEA) model to assess the impact of key process steps on both risk for human health and commercial sterility failure rate

PhD5: Modelling the dynamics of microbial change: non-refrigerated food products

PhD6: Simulation and evaluation of energy use in the dairy industry: effect of a climate change scenario on the supply chain

PhD7: Improving the environmental sustainability of the dairy products value chains by the combined use of LCA and RA methodologies

PhD8: Development of a DSS based upon risk assessment and predictive tools

Further information can be found on Call_for_ESR_PROTECT EURAXESS final  


SFI Centre for Research Training in Machine Learning - PhD positions available

UCD School of Computer Science are delighted at the recent announcement of the new SFI Centre for Research Training in Machine Learning. The Centre is a collaboration between three Dublin universities (UCD, DCU, and TUD) and over the coming years will train over a hundred PhD students in machine learning research.

The UCD leaders of the Centre are Dr. Brian Mac Namee and Dr. Georgiana Ifrim, both from the School of Computer Science. There are currently 57 potential PhD supervisors associated with the Centre, including many from the UCD School of Computer ScienceResearch topics for PhD students will range from fundamental questions in machine learning, to applications of machine learning in fields as diverse as health and finance, to understanding ethical issues associated with the use of machine learning in society.

There are 19 different Irish based companies, both SMEs and multinationals, that have an active interest in machine learning and are partnering in the Centre. In addition to their academic work, every student will complete a placement as part of their PhD. Typically, these placements will last 3-6 months and will be with industry partners or an international research group.

The centre is currently recruiting the first cohort of PhD students to start in September 2019. All students will receive a generous scholarship (€18,500 per annum) and have their tuition fees fully covered. There are two deadlines for applicants - Sunday March 31st and Tuesday April 30th. Application details are available here.


PhD programme in Metallurgical Challenges for the Digital Manufacturing Environment

 Do you want to graduate with a globally competitive PhD in an area that is transforming Ireland's economy? Do you want to work on a challenging project in partnership with industry? I-Form is looking for the brightest maths, science and engineering graduates to join the Centre for Doctoral Training in Metallurgical Challenges for the Digital Manufacturing Environment from September 2019. The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) brings together a group of PhD students from diverse backgrounds to tackle today's evolving issues and future challenges in an exciting environment, linked with industry and supporting broad skills development in areas such as responsible innovation, leadership, science in the media and industrial training.

Being part of this innovative training network means:

  •  Cohort based training across four academic sites with PhDs working side-by-side on industry relevant projects
  • Time embedded with industry partners
  • Graduating with a broad set of professional leadership skills alongside your doctoral research

The four universities involved are: University College Dublin, Dublin City University, University of Sheffield and University of Manchester.

If you are interested in a PhD in the following areas in the metallic manufacturing sector, then send your CV or email queries to

  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Advanced Manufacturing (e.g. laser processing, joining technologies etc)
  • Innovative product and process design
  • Data capture, process monitoring & control
  • Design for manufacturing

(Please note, the funding awarded for this programme covers EU student fees only.) Relevant website


PhD position in Tactile Biomechanics and Neuroscience: How Do Humans Feel Friction?

Background: Prosthetic and robotic hands demonstrate poor dexterity during object manipulation, often dropping objects. Humans rarely allow objects to slip because we can sense if an object is slippery and adjust our grip. In recent years, while we have learned more about the biomechanics and neuroscience underpinning our ability to sense friction, there is still much to learn. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given how poorly we understand human friction sensing, very little research has been directed at replicating this ability to sense friction or slipperiness in artificial sensors. This research program has three work packages: (WP1) To advance our understanding of how humans sense friction; (WP2) To demonstrate, using a number of friction-based tactile sensor prototypes currently under development by our research group, that friction sensing leads to improved dexterity in robotic manipulation; (WP3) To use advanced design, manufacturing, and instrumentation methods to miniaturise the proposed sensors to a scale similar to a human finger pad. The outcomes of this research, which would endow artificial hands with the ability to feel the slipperiness and/or impending loss of grip of a grasped object, could significantly advance the fields of prosthetics, telesurgery, and service, agricultural, and manufacturing robotics.

PhD scope: The candidate will work on WP1 of this project, performing biomechanical and microneurographic studies of the human sense of touch to discover the mechanisms by which frictional information about the contact interface between the finger pad and a manipulated object is transduced by the skin of the finger pad, and subsequently encoded and signalled to the brain by tactile afferents. The biomechanical studies will involve video processing of relative movement between the skin and the object surface, and this movement (and associated forces) related to friction. Microneurography, using microelectrodes placed in the median nerve at the level of the wrist, will be used to record the responses of single tactile afferents in response to localised biomechanical events, which in turn are influenced by frictional properties – this demonstrates whether friction-related biomechanical events (such as localised slips) can be detected by our mechanoreceptors. Robotic actuators will be used (with support from additional technical and research staff) to manipulate the skin of the finger pad. Advance statistical methods, including machine learning techniques, will be used to decode the ensemble of neural recordings, highlighting which biomechanical events are important to our sensation of friction.

Supervision and research environment: The candidate will be supervised by A/Prof Stephen Redmond (School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering: and Prof James Jones (School of Medicine: The candidate will spend time training with A/Prof Ingvars Birznieks at UNSW (Sydney, Australia) to develop skills in the technique of microneurography. Neurological recordings will be performed in Dublin under the guidance of Prof Jones, and in collaboration with Neurology Research Group at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin. The candidate will interact with the other work packages or the project. The candidate will also have the opportunity to contribute to the SFI Insight Centre for Data Analytics ( based at UCD.

Funding: A stipend of 18,500 per annum plus tuition fee is available for a maximum of four years. The project is generously funded by Science Foundation Ireland’s President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Award, held by A/Prof Redmond, which includes an extensive budget for laboratory apparatus, consumables, and travel. The tactile sensor design work packages are also partly supported by US Office of Naval Research Global funding held by A/Prof Redmond and Dr Heba Khamis at UNSW (Sydney, Australia).

Academic requirements: The minimum academic qualification is a first- or upper-second-class honours degree (or an equivalent international degree) in neuroscience, neurophysiology, biomedical engineering, or a sufficiently related field.

Contact: Please send CV and cover letter to Stephen Redmond:


PhD Studentship Neuromuscular Systems: Multi-Domain Lifestyle Targets for Improving ProgNOsis in Huntington’s Disease

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded through the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) and Health Research Board (HRB) with the Neuromuscular Systems Research Lab at University College Dublin. This project is in collaboration with a network of European Partners, including the Centre for Trials Research (CTR), Cardiff University.

The PhD candidate will develop and validate signal processing algorithms for capturing physical activity in Huntington’s disease (HD) patients using wearable sensors. HD is a progressive, life-limiting neurodegenerative disease. It has serious consequences for the individual and their families. No current treatment to modify the course of the disease exists. Improved evidence-based symptom assessment is crucial to optimising disease management. This project aims to identify key environmental factors (physical activity, sleep activity and nutrition) that may be responsive in targeted interventions with a view towards optimising disease management for individuals with HD.  The PhD applicant will have the opportunity to travel to other European project partner’s research facilities. The project will commence in May/Sept 2019. 

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second class honours Bachelors or Masters degree in Electrical, Electronic or Biomedical Engineering (or a related discipline).  Suitable candidates will have a strong interest in biomedical/neural engineering and neuroscience. Excellent analytical, computational and communications skills are essential. Experience in wearable sensing, data analysis and predictive modelling are also an advantage.

The PhD studentship covers tuition fees for EU applicants and a tax free stipend of €18,000 per year. An annual allowance is provided for research consumables and for conference attendance.

To apply, please send a cover letter describing your experience and interest in this project (1 page max), CV, and academic transcripts to

Professor Madeleine Lowery

UCD School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering

University College Dublin


Dublin 4


Email: or



MEngSc (Research) - Attitude Determination and Control Systems (ADCS) Design for EIRSAT-1 Ireland's first Satellite

This research masters will focus on the development of Attitude Determination and Control Systems(ADCS)for EIRSAT-1, Ireland's first Satellite. The mission will test and compare two separate ADCS algorithms while in orbit. One off the shelf ADCS and a second novel control scheme developed in UCD. The CubeSat will utilise a 3-axis magnetorquer set up for actuation and a gyro/magnetometer/sun sensor arrangement for attitude determination.  These need to be tested and verified before launch, through simulation and hardware in the loop testing.

The role will have the following responsibilities:

  • Continued development of a space environment simulation for 2U CubeSat in low earth orbit
  • Controller implementation for satellite detumbling and pointing
  • Testing and verification of the ADCS through hardware in the loop testing
  • Create and maintain test plan and test specification documentation
  • Develop new ADCS hardware for future missions


  • Undergraduate degree in Engineering or Science
  • High standard of spoken and written English
  • Ability to work to deadlines and work as part of an interdisciplinary team

The successful applicant will join the Dynamics and Control Systems Group based in UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. The group has 8 years of experience working of projects with the European Space Agency controlling the flexibility in space structures ranging from launchers, to X-ray telescopes and robotics arms. EIRSAT-1 is a 2U CubeSat being built, tested and operated by University College Dublin as part of the European Space Agency’s Fly Your Satellite! programme.

For informal enquiries contact: Professor David J. Browne at

Interested applicants should send a CV, together with a cover letter to Professor David J. Browne at


MEngSc (Research) - Design, Testing and Verification of a CubeSat antenna deployment module

This research masters will focus on the testing and verification of the Antenna Deployment Module (ADM) for EIRSAT-1, Ireland's first Satellite. The ADM stores two dipole antennae during launch and deploys the antennae upon reaching a safe from the international space station. Successful deployment allows communication to be established between the ground station and the satellite and is therefore a mission critical element of the design.

The ADM has been full designed and manufactured in UCD and requires through testing and verification, and possible redesign of the deployment mechanism, before flight.

The role will have the following responsibilities:

  • Oversee manufacturing the of Antenna Deployment Module
  • Assembly and integration of the ADM in a cleanroom environment
  • Design and build a test procedure and specification plan for the ADM
  • Low temperature testing of the ADM
  • Oversee the vibration test campaign
  • Create and maintain test plan and test specification documentation


  • Undergraduate degree in Engineering or Science
  • High standard of spoken and written English
  • Ability to work to deadlines and work as part of an interdisciplinary team

The successful applicant will join the Dynamics and Control Systems Group based in UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. The group has 8 years of experience working of projects with the European Space Agency controlling the flexibility in space structures ranging from launchers, to X-ray telescopes and robotics arms. EIRSAT-1 is a 2U CubeSat being built, tested and operated by University College Dublin as part of the European Space Agency’s Fly Your Satellite! Programme.

For informal enquiries contact: Professor David J. Browne at

Interested applicants should send a CV, together with a cover letter to Professor David J. Browne at


2 x PhD Opportunities - Solidification of Metallic Alloys

4-year scholarships to cover PhD fees, stipend, and travel expenses.

Two new PhD opportunities are immediately available for suitably qualified candidates. One is sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), the other by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) as part of the I-Form Research Centre based at UCD.

1.     ESA project on alloy solidification in space

UCD has been involved over a number of years in ESA-funded research on the effects of gravity on alloy solidification – which is important in manufacturing processes such as casting, welding and additive manufacturing. In particular, funding is now available for a PhD student to work on a project (called XRMON) on X-Ray MONitoring of solidification processes in space. This will include design, execution and analysis of experiments on short-duration microgravity facilities like parabolic fights and sounding rockets, with plans currently being made for long-duration experiments on the International Space Station. It is envisaged that the student will have the opportunity to experience zero gravity directly and personally by participating in an ESA parabolic flight campaign.  

2.     I-Form project on Additive Manufacturing with Metals

The new I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and based at UCD, will draw together research expertise from academia and industry to deliver innovation in Additive Manufacturing (AM) techniques and processes. I-Form research combines novel metrology, materials science, computational modelling, data analytics and control theory to achieve significantly enhanced AM processing efficiency for metals and polymers.

For AM of metallic alloys, we will develop and validate new models for the simulation of powder flow, metal melting, melt flow, metal solidification, and microstructure evolution, as well as constitutive models of resulting mechanical properties. The overall goal is to deliver a process-structure-property through-process model for the first time. As part of this new research programme, Prof. David Browne is recruiting a PhD student to work on the computational modelling of the melting and solidification phenomena which occur layer-by-layer in 3D printing involving scanning a bed of metal alloy powder particles with laser or electron beams .

Expertise and Education required

Upper Honours Bachelors or Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering, or Metallurgy. The candidate should have excellent communication skills – written and oral – in English, good mathematical, experimental and computer skills, and be capable of team-work.

Interested graduates, or current final year students, should send their CV, indicating preferred PhD project, along with a cover letter, to:

Professor David J. Browne

School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering

University College Dublin

Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland,

Tel. +353 1 716 1901                                    

preferably via email:


School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

A. Sharing Economy Systems

We are seeking excellent candidates to work in the following areas as part of a sharing economy project. Currently we have 5 Ph.D. positions and one Postdoc position available in the following areas.

1. Dimensioning and control of Sharing Economy System

2. Congestion management and behavioural analytics for Sharing Economy Systems

3. Human-in-the-loop data-science

4. Blockchain and DAGS for high frequency sharing economy micropayments

5. Design of Cyber-Physical Systems

The positions will involve the development of theory at the interface of control theory, statistics, economics, and computer science, as well as the realisation of a number of practical (mobility based) demonstrators. Some of the research will be conducted in collaboration with IBM Research, with potential for significant interaction with other industrial companies.

B. Advanced Manufacturing

We have one Ph.D.  position in the area of cyber-physical systems for 3D manufacturing applications. The focus of the positions will be in the area of cooperative control involving humans and machines, as well as cognitive computing with a focus of operator-machine optimisation. This is part of the new I-FORM centre. 

C. Automotive 

We are also seeking candidates for our mobility work in the context of the Enable-S3 project and for our work with Lero. The project seeks to develop tools to test and evaluate autonomous vehicles, and to develop distributed control/optimization algorithms for connected car projects. As part of both of these projects we will also explore closed loop design of recommender systems.

To apply

Applications should be submitted to Applicants should submit a CV and the names of 3 referees. All Ph.D. candidates will be expected to fulfil the English language requirements for admission to the Ph.D. programme at University College Dublin.

For further information, please contact or refer to All positions are funded by Science Foundation Ireland.


Intel Masters Student Scholarships

This sponsorship programme sees up to 16 UCD students selected each year each to receive a monetary grant as well as ongoing support and mentor provision by Intel. The eligible students are those beginning full time Masters programmes in Science and Engineering related disciplines. The programme provides each participant with €3000 to support their academic studies and also ensures that students have the opportunity to experience practical learning which is aligned to the needs of industry. The provision of employee mentors by Intel provides students with a direct relationship to the world of work.

More Information can be found here.