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Development of novel feed supplements to minimise infection and improve immunity in piglets

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, August 30, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project description:

The livestock industry is heavily reliant on the application of zinc oxide to prevent and treat diarrhoea (scour) in young piglets. Scour is one of the most common ailments affecting the young piglets. Infection can be severe enough to cause dehydration, reduced weight gain or mortality in piglets, impacting the profitability and productivity of the livestock sector. The industry now faces a major challenge because the use of zinc oxide will be prohibited in animal feed in 2020. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new alternative feed supplements to replace zinc oxide.

This PhD project proposal aims to address this challenge. It involves interrogation, synthesis and interpretation of the scientific literature, pre-existing data, feed additive registers and commercial catalogues. It also involves extensive laboratory work including the screening of commercially available samples in vitro (based on preliminary QUB findings) and conducting a series of high quality trials in piglets on a research farm to determine the efficacy of the novel approaches.

The principal supervisor of the project will be Dr Brian Green of Queen’s University School of Biological Sciences.

Specific skills/qualifications/experience required:

1. BSc in relevant life sciences degree programme. (For full academic entry requirements, see

2. Laboratory experience is desirable but not essential.

3. Applicants must be UK/EU for funding eligibility reasons. For full residency and citizenship eligibility criteria, please see pages 4 and 5 of the Postgraduate Studentships Terms and Conditions document:

How to apply:

All applications must be submitted online via the Queen’s Direct Applications Portal: Candidates should apply to the PhD programme in Biological Sciences and state the project title as their proposed research title.

Please note that a final offer is subject to contract (completion of a Studentship Agreement).

Funding Notes

This project will be funded by a Co-operative Awards in Science and Technology (CAST) studentship. The studentship includes payment of student fees and a stipend of approximately £15,000 per year supplemented by a £2,000 per annum industrial contribution.

How good is research at Queen’s University Belfast in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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