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Teagasc Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Level 2 (PD2) – Ref: PD2/MASTER/MP/0119

Research Area

Food and Health

Eligibility

PhD in a relevant discipline with a min. of 3 years and no more than 5 years’ relevant experience.

The combined duration of this contract combined with any other PD contracts must not exceed 6 years in total. Not permitted to have longer than 3 years as PD1 and 3 years as PD2.

Project Title:

MASTER

Current Project End Date:

01/01/2023

Post Duration:

The indicative duration of 36 months, but not exceeding the above project end date, subject to contract.

A panel may be formed from which future similar vacancies may be filled.

Location:              

Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork.

Reporting to:               

Project Coordinator and/or other nominated manager as maybe identified from time to time.

Training Rate:

Appointment will be at the minimum point of the Post Doctoral

Level 2 (PD2) scale (€40,662).

The current PD2 scale is as follows:

PD2: €40,662 (min.); €41,827; €43,029 (max.)

Increments will be awarded annually* subject to performance and completion of the prescribed training plan.  

Note: Exceptional circumstances may apply for candidates with current or previous service in the public sector. *Remuneration and the annual cycle for the payment of increments may be adjusted from time to time in line with Government policy.

Basic Function of the post:             

The successful applicant will be involved in a project relating to the testing of microbiome mapping workflows and tools in the food industry. On the basis of the available microbiome knowledge, products, workflows, software packages, the researcher will utilize tools for rapid food and environmental microbiome testing by food processors to enhance food quality and safety, reduce withholding periods and reduce food waste as a waste management strategy. The researcher will also be responsible for a number of activities relating to preventing waste, through biopreservation or fermentation, or adding value to waste streams/low value raw materials.

Background:

MASTER is a new EU H2020-funded Innovation Action, starting in January 2019 and co-ordinated by Teagasc. MASTER will take a global approach to the development of concrete microbiome products, foods/feeds, services or processes with high commercial potential, which will benefit society through improving the quantity, quality and safety of food, across multiple food chains, to include marine, plant, soil, rumen, meat, brewing, vegetable waste, and fermented foods. This will be achieved through mining microbiome data relating to the food chain, developing big data management tools to identify inter-relations between microbiomes across food chains, and generating applications which promote sustainability, circularity and contribute to waste management and climate change mitigation. We will harness microbiome knowledge to significantly enhance the health and resilience of fish, plants, soil, animals and humans, improve professional skills and competencies, and support the creation of new jobs in the food sector and bioeconomy.

Duties & Responsibilities specific to this project:

  • Contribute to providing the food industry with standard operating procedures and tools for mapping the microbiota of food processing environments to improve food quality, safety and waste management.
  • Contribute to the optimization of fermented food microbes and processes, including waste streams, for technological valorisation and gut health-promoting purposes.
  • Assist in the design microbiome-based biopreservation processes aimed at extending shelf-life, therefore controlling waste, and improving safety and quality of fish and meat food products.
  • Design innovative functional foods on the basis of the study of available data on food/gut microbiome inter-relationships.
  • Provide effective tools to test the potential of sustainably produced, minimally processed food ingredients to move the gut microbiota away from dysbiosis to that reflective of healthy individuals.

Additional Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Interpret research findings and prepare scientific and popular press publications.
  • Disseminate research findings to a variety of audiences as appropriate (Education and Public Engagement activities).
  • Assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service Charter and action plan.
  • Comply with all relevant Teagasc policies and procedures.
  • Fully co-operate with the provisions made for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of themselves, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff and co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations. This includes full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement.
  • Actively participate in the Teagasc Post Doctoral Fellowship programme and review processes, and to undertake all Post Doctoral fellowship training and associated duties as agreed in the Training & Development Plan.
  • Take up additional duties as may arise or as assigned by management.

Person Specification

Essential

  • PhD in Microbiology with experience in both wet lab and computational approaches.
  • A minimum of 3 years and not more than 5 years’ relevant research experience.
  • Demonstrated research and technical expertise in microbiome analysis (16S rRNA and shotgun sequencing).
  • Track record of researcher dissemination including peer-reviewed publications.
  • Excellent project management, analytical, report writing and data analysis skills.
  • Proven record of collaboration with team members and PhD students to help build research knowledge and skill and to guide professional development.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral, written, presentation) with a demonstrated ability to enable effective knowledge and technology transfer.
  • Demonstrated ability to generate new ideas, unique concepts, models and solutions.

Desirable

  • Experience in analysing the microbiomes of relevance to foods or the food chain.
  • Experience in culture-based analysis of microbes of relevance to foods or the food chain.
  • Experience in setting own research agenda.
  • Evidence of teamwork and collaboration with relevant partners.
  • Knowledge of intellectual property management (IP) processes and how to protect research findings.
  • Management of PhD students to build research skill and knowledge and to support and guide their professional development.
  • Full Driving Licence.

 

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