Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Export of weaned piglets – roof height and consequences for animal welfare

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Animal Science programme. The position is available from 1 November 2020 or later.

Title:
Export of weaned piglets – roof height and consequences for animal welfare

Research area and project description:
This farm animal welfare science project, focus on transport (shorter and longer than 8h) of weaned piglets (10-40 kg). Denmark has a large export of weaned piglets, to neighbouring EU-countries, but also farther away. In Denmark and the EU, animal transport is regulated by European Council Regulation 1/2005, specifying rules for vehicles, drivers, journeys, fitness of animals etc. However, for this particular weight class of pigs (10-40 kg) only rather limited evidence exist regarding the consequences of journeys in terms of animal welfare. In addition, the regulation regarding roof height in trucks, for this particular weight class, is not science-based.

The successful applicant will be part of a research team including researchers working within the fields of ethology, veterinary science and statistics. The PhD candidate will be part of a large research project - built upon a series of studies focusing on a range of welfare indicators: animal-based (behaviour, clinical condition, production), resource-based (measures of ventilation, physical dimensions), and management-based (journey duration, journey breaks), collected from individual pigs and during commercial journeys. In addition, the studies aim to compare different roof heights, to establish data to suggest which height is needed to live up to the requirements laid down in the European Regulation (specifying a need for possibility for natural movements, good ventilation). Based on these studies, the project aims to gain new knowledge about welfare consequences of transport of weaned piglets plus add data to allow science-based regulation of roof heights in trucks transporting weaned pigs.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicants must have a Master’s degree in biology, animal or veterinary science, or similar at university level. Proven competences in animal behaviour, statistical analysis, and good writing skills in English are wanted, but not mandatory, for a highly motivated candidate that will be eager to learn and develop these skills. The successful applicant must be curious, interested in setting up and running studies in animal transport under commercial conditions, with focus on the welfare of weaned piglets. As data will be collected under production conditions, applicants with drivers licence will be preferred.

Place of employment and place of work:
Aarhus University, Department of Animal Science, Research Centre Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark.

Contacts:
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Main supervisor: Senior Researcher, PhD Mette S. Herskin, Aarhus University, Dept. Animal Science, mail: MetteS.Herskin@anis.au.dk: +45 50502969.

Co-supervisor: Senior Researcher, PhD Karen Thodberg, Aarhus University, Dept. Animal Science, mail: Karen.Thodberg@anis.au.dk.

Co-supervisor: Senior Researcher, PhD Leslie Foldager, Aarhus University, Dept. Animal Science, mail: Leslie.Foldager@anis.au.dk.

 

Application procedures

Before you apply

Information and attachments:

Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:

The English language requirement at the graduate school is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” are documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test (internet-based), minimum score: 83. The graduate school does not accept the paper-based test, nor the TOEFL ITP test. Remember to ask the test center to send your test results to Aarhus University in order to enable verification of your test results. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935.
    Currently, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test (available in selected areas) will also be accepted.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 7.0 points
    Please note, from 1 June 2020 the Graduate School of Science and Technology will be split in two following the split of the faculty. For the two new schools, Graduate School of Natural Sciences and Graduate School of Technical Sciences, the minimum average score requirement for an IELTS test is 7.0 points (equivalent of a C1 level).
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to gsts@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at a Danish university for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:

1)      Find the application form:
Go to www.phd.tech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here - Note, the online application system opens on 1 June 2020.
Choose August 2020 Call with deadline 1 August 2020 at noon (11.59 AM CEST).
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme “Animal Science”.

2)      Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: “Export of weaned piglets – roof height and consequences for animal welfare”
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3)      Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

All information in the application must be in English or Danish, preferably English. A certified English translation is required for documents written in languages other than English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) languages.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts, grade point averages (weighted and unweighted), and diploma(s) for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. If the original documents are not in English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) then copies of the original documents as well as a certified English translation must be attached.
  • Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed.

The graduate school reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made. 
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSTS Application Guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • The project will only be initiated if final funding (from the graduate school/the faculty) is secured.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

18592 / i43