DAERA showcases student research

Date published: 28 September 2016

Postgraduate students, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), presented their scientific research at a Postgraduate Research Seminar, an event which attracted over 100 delegates from the fields of industry, education, environment, research and Government. The researchers addressed a wide range of issues including ash dieback, pleurisy in pigs, avian viruses, new vaccine technologies, sow nutrition, hedgerow management, nutritional aspects of cows’ milk and management strategies for dairy cows in the transition period.

Guest speaker Professor Elaine Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Agri-food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) outlined her distinguished career and achievements, both at home and on the international stage. The valuable insight and research opportunities highlighted in Elaine’s address provided inspiration to the PhD students as they realised that the door is open to them and the world really is their oyster.

Dr Alistair Carson, Head of DAERA’s Science, Evidence and Innovation Policy Division chaired the seminar, which was held at Greenmount campus.  Alistair congratulated the students on their research and commented: “This year DAERA is funding a total of 34 PhD students, the highest number of studentships we have supported in many years. This has come about as a response to the Going for Growth strategy launched in 2013 and in recognition of the importance of targeted investment in R&D, through our Postgraduate scheme and commissioned research from AFBI and elsewhere. DAERA recognises the advantages of a collaborative approach to research and development through co-funding with strategic partners, sharing knowledge and ideas and we are working towards that goal.”

Further details of DAERA’s postgraduate research including research presented at the seminar can be found on the DAERA website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption: From L to R – seated: Dr Lance O’Brien, Head of Strategy and International Relations, Teagasc; Guest Speaker Professor Elaine Watson, Chief Executive Officer (AFBI); Chairman Dr Alistair Carson, Head of Science, Evidence and Innovation Policy Division, DAERA; Steven Millar, Head of Agri-Food Support Services, DAERA. Standing L to R – Joanne Lemon, Maria O’Kane, Emma Baxter, Natalie Brush, Ryan Devaney, final year PhD students funded by DAERA.
  2. Details of the postgraduate scheme, along with topics being funded are available from the DAERA website.
  3. DAERA will publish research priorities for the 2017 Postgraduate Competition, which will open later this year. Awards are made for postgraduate research through a funded PhD programme.
  4. The Department invests around £0.6million annually in a postgraduate research programme. Each year DAERA awards up to twelve postgraduate research studentships.
  5. Follow us on Twitter @daera_ni.
  6. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office, pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk or tel: 028 9052 4619.

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