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PhD Studentship: Life Cycle Environmental and Economic Impact Assessment of Pollution Mitigation Strategies for Beef Farming Systems

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Belfast
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: €25,000 or £21,744.90 (converted salary*) per annum and university fees
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 20th June 2024
Closes: 5th July 2024

Supervisor(s) Prof Michael Wallace (Principal Supervisor, UCD).

Dr Austen Ashfield (Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute, AFBI) 

Duration 4 years

Funding information Co-Centre for Climate + Biodiversity + Water 

Value of the scholarship (per annum)

The scholarship includes a stipend of €25,000 per annum and university fees. 

Closing date and time 5 July 2024 at 5:00 pm IST 

Commencement date September 2024 

Post summary

Launched in January 2024, the Co-Centre for Climate + Biodiversity + Water is a €41m cross-border research programme jointly funded by Science Foundation Ireland (ROI), the Department of Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Affairs (NI) and UK Research & Innovation (GB). By bringing together some 60 world-leading researchers across the three jurisdictions, the Centre’s mission is to lead research, innovation and policy development to tackle the interlinked challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and water degradation on the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. This post is an exciting opportunity to join this major research programme and contribute to developing a multi-platform modelling framework to assess the economic and environmental impacts of policy driven land use transformation on the agri-food sector, focusing on identifying low resilience groups and economic-environmental trade-offs. 

The PhD project will focus on beef production systems, quantifying the effectiveness of environmental sustainability measures across multiple impact categories including economic performance. The student will develop a life cycle assessment (LCA) model to evaluate the environmental impacts of alternative mitigation strategies. An economic evaluation for the mitigation strategies will be determined by integrating the LCA model with the AFBI Beef Systems Model. The student will receive discipline-specific and generic postgraduate skills training, including coursework. The student will primarily be based at AFBI (Belfast) and registered at UCD, working under the supervision of Dr Austen Ashfield (AFBI) and Prof Michael Wallace (UCD). 

Person Specification

Qualifications

Essential

  • Applicants should hold or expect to attain, as a minimum a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Food and Agribusiness Management, Agricultural Science, Agricultural Economics, Business Studies or a related discipline.

Knowledge & Experience

Essential

  • Experience of data analysis using software applications such as Microsoft Excel.

Desirable

  • Experience of quantitative analysis of farming systems.
  • Knowledge of beef production systems.
  • Basic understanding of methods such as Life Cycle Assessment in evaluating environmental impacts of agriculture.

Skills & Competencies

Essential

  • Excellent data analysis and IT skills, organizational skills and communication skills (both written and oral)
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as under own initiative
  • Ability to work under pressure to meet project deadlines
  • Flexibility and ability to problem-solve
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must have completed an English Language Test (TOEFL/IELTS).

Application procedure

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest simultaneously to:

Prof Michael Wallace and Dr Austen Ashfield via the 'Apply' button above.

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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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