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Selection of cereal varieties adapted to low input Irish growing conditions

   Crops Research Centre

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  Dr S Barth, Prof Fiona Doohan  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project


Crop production on the Island of Ireland has the potential to expand to meet the growing demand for plant protein and meat alternatives. The rapid increase in the consumption of plants coincides with the roll out of the EU farm to fork strategy, which is based on the development of sustainable food systems, including reductions in pesticide and fertiliser inputs. This PhD project will focus on enhancing the sustainability of production systems, through assessment of alternative and reduced input regimes and the assessment of the potential of diversified crops. Organic manures and recycled bio-based fertilisers will be trialled as the nutrient source to ensure lessen reliance on imported conventional mineral fertilisers. The specific objectives are work as part of the Protein-I team to: (1) Map the current and potential future outputs from crop science projects on the Island of Ireland, in terms of sustainability and diversification of our cropping systems (desk-top study). (2) Targeting cereal crops with current and future market demand, we will determine the potential of varieties to perform under diverse agroclimatic conditions in Ireland and under environmentally sustainable input regimes. (3) Determine if specific varieties are superior in terms of their nutritional profiles and/or antinutritional profiles (i.e. containing reduced levels of compounds that reduce the bioavailability of nutrients).

This PhD project is part of the Protein-I DAFM funded project. The successful candidate will be part of the overall Protein-I project team and will work in close collaboration with a sister PhD project in UCD.


To be eligible to apply for this WS PhD, candidates must have the following:

minimum 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in in agronomy, plant production, plant biology or related subject area.

  • applicants with a Master’s degree in Plant Science would be at an advantage;
  • capability of working within a project team to achieve results;
  • good communication, organisation and interpersonal skills
  • applicants whose first language is not English must show evidence of English proficiency (e.g. IELTS minimum 6.5, individual sections 6.0)


This project is a collaborative effort between University College Dublin (Prof. Fiona Doohan and Dr Angela Feechan), Teagasc Crops Research Centre Carlow (Drs Susanne Barth and Ewen Mullins), Teagasc Environment Department (Dr Patrick Forrestal). The scheduled start of this position is May 2022. The student will be supervised by Dr Doohan and Dr Barth, and will be based primarily at Teagasc Oak Park in Carlow. The scholarship funding is €24,000 per annum and includes University fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum and is tenable for 4 years.

International students are eligible for the funding but will need to have their own financial support to cover the extra tuition fees chargeable to non-EU students.

Further Information/Applications & Application Procedure

Please send a cover letter why you apply for this position and what qualities you bring to this project and a detailed CV to Susanne Barth [Email Address Removed] and Fiona Doohan [Email Address Removed] (including language proficiency details if applicable) and the contact details of two references.


Funding Notes

International students are eligible for the funding but will need to have their own financial support to cover the extra tuition fees chargeable to non-EU students.
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