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Behavioural, physiological and production effects of dairy cow-calf rearing systems

Animal Production, Welfare & Veterinary Sciences

As per advert
Closing Date:   Thursday 07 March 2019
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  RD-PHD-35GC

PhD Studentship (36 months)

Background

Naturally, following parturition the calf would remain with the cow, nursing for many months and forming strong bonds with its mother and other cows and calves within the herd.  In contrast, the dairy-bred calf may be removed from its dam within a few hours of birth and placed in individual or group housing and fed colostrum and milk artificially until weaning, whilst the cow re-enters the milking herd.  Public concern about separating the cow and calf soon after birth is increasing.  Therefore, more research is required to investigate possible cow-calf rearing systems which are attractive for farmers, the public and the animals.  The research will focus on the effects of rearing the cow and calf together to meet the needs of both the cow and the calf and provide an opportunity for them to experience a much closer and more natural relationship. 

Aims and Objectives

The aim of this project is to explore cow-calf rearing systems to improve welfare on dairy farms.  The objectives are to determine whether there are any behavioural, physiological or production differences between different rearing systems and to investigate optimal strategies of separating the calf and the cow. 

Additional Information

Applications should be made through the HAU website: https://jobs.harper-adams.ac.uk/ where further details of the project can also be found.

The deadline for uploading completed applications is 5 pm UK time on Thursday, 7 March 2019.

Further information can be found on the HAU website at www.harper-adams.ac.uk and on the research training provided and PhD progression requirements in the Postgraduate Research Students Handbook at: 

https://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/documents//MPhil-PhD-Handbook.pdf

For informal enquiries on general aspects of research degrees at HAU, applicants may contact Mrs Viv Slann, Research Students Administrator (vslann@harper-adams.ac.uk). For informal enquiries on the project, applicants may contact the Director of Studies, Dr Gemma Charlton, through the staff directory: https://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/general/staff/

The studentship includes tuition, bench and writing up fees and a tax-free stipend at the RCUK rate (£14,777 per annum, 2018-2019 rate).

All applicants must have a minimum of an upper second class UK honours degree, or equivalent in a relevant discipline such as Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Animal Science, Veterinary Science or Zoology, or an MSc degree in the same areas. 

A minimum level of competency in English is required. Where necessary, applicants need to be classed as an overall IELTS grade 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component.  Please see the following link with regard to English Language requirements:

https://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/university-life/international/english-language.cfm

 

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:

Harper Adams University is one of the premier UK Higher Education Institutions focused on the land-based and food supply chain sector.

With 2800 undergraduate students, plus those completing postgraduate, research and CPD programmes, Harper Adams is the UK's largest single provider of higher education for these subjects.  Programmes fall into eleven broad subject areas – but none operate in isolation. Community and collaboration are key at Harper Adams, meaning everyone, including staff, students and industry partners, benefits from a close network of knowledge and opportunity exchange

Situated in Shropshire, the campus and the surrounding area provide an excellent working and living environment for staff and students alike.

Harper Adams is consistently positioned highly in a range of national ratings, performance measures and league tables. Its current graduate employment rate is 98% (the joint top rating in England) and student satisfaction stands at 93% (National Student Survey 2017).

Harper Adams is ranked as the UK’s Best Modern University by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018; was named University of the Year in the 2016 and 2017 Whatuni Student Choice Awards and holds a Gold (highest level) award from the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework.

In 2018 Harper Adams University will receive the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education, part of the UK honours system.

Applied research is at the heart of the university’s activity, with the work of a thriving academic community underpinning both teaching and work with the industries allied to Harper. The 2014 Government Research Excellence Framework rated all of the university’s research as “of international quality”, and more than half was deemed “world leading” or “internationally excellent”.