Funded PhD Studentship Focusing on Dietary Solutions for Incorporating Red Meat into the Diets of Young Children at the University College Cork in Ireland

Funded PhD Studentship in the Role of Perinatal Gut Microbiota in Neurovascular interactions in the Developing Brain at the University College Cork in Ireland

Funded PhD Studentship Focusing on Dietary Solutions for Incorporating Red Meat into the Diets of Young Children at the University College Cork in Ireland.

Closing Date for Applications: 25 May 2022

Project Outline

Due to their limited food intake and rapid growth rate, young children have higher nutrient requirements than adults relative to their energy intake and are vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies, which can have lasting implications for growth, brain development and life chances.

Food-based approaches to tackle micronutrient deficiencies are prioritised by the WHO-FAO as they offer wider nutritional benefits than supplementation and are more sustainable in the long-term. Although fresh, unprocessed meat is an important contributor to many key nutrients, dietary patterns among young children reflect low fresh meat consumption.

The aim of this project is to develop a food-based dietary intervention to tackle poor micronutrient status among young children. The project will develop and test practical strategies focussed on developing meal patterns that incorporate appropriate quantities of fresh meat into the diets of young children, to increase nutrient intakes and status with benefits for their development and overall health.

Key Duties and Responsibilities of PhD Studentship Position

  • To conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision of the Principal Investigators.
  • To competently conduct research activities, including planning, organizing, conducting and communicating research studies within the overall scope of the project.
  • To coordinate and perform a variety of independent and team activities involved in the collection, analysis, documentation and interpretation of study results.
  • To prepare applications to Ethical Review Committees and to support the recruitment of study participants.
  • To engage in frequent communications with key stakeholders and the general public, including the use of social media platforms.
  • To confer with the Principal Investigators in developing plans for research projects and to discuss the interpretation of results and the preparation of manuscripts for publication.
  • To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Principal Investigators, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies.
  • To present information on research progress and outcomes to others responsible for the research project, namely the MTI Director and Research Project Management Group (RPMG).
  • To perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.

Required Qualifications for Studentship

  • A graduate qualification (i.e. BSc or MSc.) in the field of Human Nutrition or Dietetics. Candidates ideally should have a 1.0 or 2.1 Honours degree.
  • Prior research experience is highly desirable.
  • Excellent analytical skills, including a proven ability to source and critically evaluate nutrition literature.
  • Good laboratory and computer skills, with previous laboratory experience highly desirable.
  • Good report writing and presentation skills and attention to detail.
  • Evidence of excellent communication skills, to include communications with key stakeholders, the general public and research participants.
  • Evidence of excellent organisational and interpersonal skills.
  • High levels of initiative are encouraged, with an ability to work independently to a tight schedule.
  • Capability of working effectively within a team to achieve results.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must show evidence of English proficiency, please check the minimum requirements at:
  • Please note that Garda vetting and international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

Details and Benefits

This full-time PhD position is funded for 4 years including a stipend of €18,500 per annum. The studentship will cover UCC fees at the rate for EU students.

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subjected to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at UCC.

The PhD candidate will work with the research team in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences ( in the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, UCC. The School of Food and Nutritional Sciences is internationally recognised for excellence in education, research, and training programmes. It is unique in Ireland for its commitment to food science and technology, food biotechnology, human nutrition, dietetics and health. The School is a leading partner in many national, international and industrial research programmes. This PhD studentship is funded by through Meat Technology Ireland (MTI), an Enterprise Ireland supported Technology Centre co-funded by industry and hosted by Teagasc, in collaboration with ICBF, UCC, DCU, IMR, TUS, MTU and TU Dublin. MTI crosses the interface between academic endeavour and commercial exploitation.

Informal enquiries about the post should made to Dr Elaine McCarthy ([email protected]).

How to Apply for the Funded PhD Studentship:

Interested candidates should submit an electronic copy of their Curriculum Vitae with covering letter detailing their interest and reasons for applying for this position. Please also include the name and contact details of two referees.

Please email these documents to Dr Elaine McCarthy, Lecturer in Nutrition at [email protected] before the closing date of Wednesday May 25th at 5pm.

University College Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

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