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Understanding behaviour change strategies for biosecurity behaviours for respiratory diseases on dairy farms

   School of Veterinary Medicine & Science

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  Prof Jasmeet Kaler, Dr Charlotte Doidge  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science (SVMS) undertakes research on many key aspects of livestock health and production as well as companion animals. This exciting opportunity is based within the Ruminant Population Health group at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science (SVMS) one of the key strategic research areas which conducts cutting-edge research into the health and welfare of UK cattle and sheep.

Project description

Mortality and morbidity due to respiratory diseases is common in dairy and calf-rearing herds. Biosecurity practices are needed to control the spread of disease on farms. Veterinarians play an important role in communicating biosecurity advice on dairy farms. However, practices such as vaccination and hygiene management remain low on UK dairy farms. Therefore, there is a need to identify behaviour change strategies to improve the uptake of biosecurity practices on dairy farms and in turn reduce the prevalence of respiratory disease. The aim of the PhD is to explore strategies for changing farmer and veterinarian biosecurity behaviour in relation to respiratory disease on dairy farms.

The project will involve both qualitative and quantitative social science methods. The first part of the project will involve undertaking qualitative research including a qualitative evidence synthesis and interviews with farmers and veterinarians to develop a conceptual framework of decision-making factors for respiratory disease biosecurity behaviours. Based on these findings, a series of quantitative experimental studies will be conducted to investigate how these factors can impact veterinarians’ and farmers’ biosecurity behaviours and choices.

The PhD is part of DECIDE project ( funded under European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Overall project aims to develop data-driven decision support tools that offer robust and early signals of disease emergence and options for diagnostic confirmation. This project has a multidisciplinary consortium which brings together 19 partners from 11 European countries.

The successful candidate will be based at SVMS where the student will benefit from interaction with a thriving community of postgraduate students and postdocs. There will be opportunities throughout the programme for professional development training and network building by being part of large consortium.

Further information and Application

Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.1 undergraduate degree or a minimum of a 2.2 degree and a Master’s degree in Agriculture, Animal Science, Veterinary Science, Psychology, Sociology or similar subjects.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to the principal supervisor: Professor Jasmeet Kaler ([Email Address Removed])

Candidates should apply online and include a CV. When completing the online application form, please select the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, then PhD Veterinary Medicine and Science (36m) and, once submitted, send your student ID number to [Email Address Removed].

Any queries regarding the application process should be addressed to the Continuing Education Team, (email: [Email Address Removed]).

Interview Date: 15th Aug 2023

Start Date: 1st October 2023

Closing date: 7th August 2023. The position will be filled when suitable candidates have been identified.  Early application is strongly encouraged.

Eligibility for Funding: This is a fully funded studentship open to UK nationals.  

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded studentship open to UK nationals. The position will receive a tax-free stipend of £18,622 pa.
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