Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Animal Science programme. The position is available from 1 August 2017 or later.
Behavioural effects of drying-off in dairy cows - development of motivational tests to documents welfare consequences
Research area and project description:
The project aims to develop and validate motivational tests and protocols to assess hunger and udder discomfort or pain during drying-off. Drying-off is the forced cessation of milk production which is routine management in dairy production and practiced by ceasing milking and reducing the energy supply to the cow approximately 2 months before expected calving. The milk production has greatly increased in recent years while drying-off procedures have not been adequately revised. Drying-off procedures affect the risk of production diseases, and may also have significant effects on behaviour and affective states of the dairy cows. A sudden and dramatic reduction in energy supply results in hunger while the engorgement of mammary tissue due to lack of milking causes intra-mammary pressure, discomfort and possibly pain. This project investigates effects of two strategies of ceasing milking and two strategies for reducing energy supply. Motivational tests will be developed and validated to assess the resulting degree of hunger, and various measures of discomfort or pain will be applied to develop and validate a protocol to assess the level of unpleasantness for the cows. Finally, effects of the different drying-off management will be assessed based on the motivational tests se as well as on observations of undisturbed behaviour before and after cessation of milking. The successful applicant will be part of an interdisciplinary research team including ethologists, nutritionist and physiologists.
Qualifications and specific competences:
Place of Employment and Place of Work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Research Center Foulum, Blichers Alle 20, 8830 Tjele Denmark.
: +45 87157941
Before you applyInformation and attachments:
Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.
Documentation of language skills:
The English language requirement at Graduates School of Science and Technology is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).
English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” is documented by one of the following tests:
- TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test)
- IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
- Cambridge English Language Assessment:
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
Cambridge English: First Certificate with grade A (FCE)
When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.
The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.
It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to no later than one month after the application deadline.
The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
How to apply:
1) Find the application form:
Go to http://talent.au.dk/phd/scienceandtechnology/opencalls/
Choose May 2017 Call with deadline 1 May 2017 at 11.59 PM MET.
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme 'Animal Science'
2) Fill in the following information:
- Personal information
- Academic background
- Financing (if any)
- Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: "Behavioural effects of drying-off in dairy cows - development of motivational tests to documents welfare consequences"
- Source (how you found out about the call)
Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.
3) Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.
If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.
Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English.
As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):
- One reference (template for references)
- Curriculum vitae,
- Motivation (max. 1 page)
- Transcripts and diploma(s)
· Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
- Documentation of language skills if required.
After submission of the application you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed. The e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. In case of significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline.
GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:
- Request additional information to verify an application.
- Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made.
- For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSST application guide here
- The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
- The project awaits final funding. The project will only be initiated if final funding (from GSST/the faculty) is secured.
All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.