Research Assistant, UCD Lyons Farm

College:  College of Health and Agricultural Sciences

School:  School of Veterinary Medicine (Post is based at UCD Lyons Farm)
Post Title:  Research Assistant

Project:  University College Dublin are undertaking a research project to investigate the impact of subacute ruminal acidosis on inflammatory responses and many related conditions in dairy cattle. .
Grade:  Research Assistant
Post Duration:  12 months
Reports to  Prof Finbar Mulligan
Position Summary
High producing dairy cattle are often fed diets that cause excess acidity in the rumen because of the large amount of cereal grains they are fed. Furthermore, for grazing cows, published research from UCD indicates a high prevalence of subacute ruminal acidosis, possibly owing to high levels of sugars and lack of effective fibre in modern day well managed perennial ryegrass-based pastures. The overall aim of this study is to evaluate dietary strategies that may improve overall rumen health as well as milk production and composition. Therefore, the information gathered from this study will help to improve animal welfare by determining optimal dietary strategies to reduce the occurrence of disorders such as subacute ruminal acidosis and other rumen process abnormalities. In addition, improved dietary strategies may result in improved milk production and composition, and thus facilitate the development of a more sustainable dairy industry, which would have significant economic benefits. Prevention of these conditions is particularly important as 12% of Irish dairy cows are thought to have subacute ruminal acidosis and 10% of herds have been shown to have milk fat depression.
The research assistant will co-ordinate the day to day tasks involved in experimental planning, conducting the experiment on farm and will have involvement in sample collection and data collation/analysis. He/she will liaise closely with all project team members. This is a research focused role, where you will conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of the Principal Investigator.
The post is based at UCD Lyons Farm.
The research assistant must be capable of looking after dairy cows as the sole person in charge. The research assistant must have extensive experience in dairy cow husbandry and the handling of dairy cattle.
This post may be suitable to a person at the beginning of a research career.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion UCD is committed to creating an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated, and everyone is afforded equality of opportunity. To that end the university adheres to a range of equality, diversity and inclusion policies. We encourage applicants to consult those policies here . We welcome applications from everyone, including those who identify with any of the protected characteristics that are set out in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy.
Fixed Salary: €22,109
Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Responsibility for dairy cow husbandry tasks as the sole person in charge
  • Collecting research samples and assistance with sampling of various tissues from dairy cattle
  • Engage in laboratory analysis and or data collation/analysis roles as requested
  • Engage in regulatory administrative work as directed by Principal Investigator
  • Engage in appropriate training and professional development as required by your Principal
  • Investigator, your School or Institute, or the University.
  • Engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of your research group, School and Institute.
  • Assist, as appropriate and as directed, the research graduate students in your group, School and Institute.
  • Carry out other administrative work associated with your programme of research.

Selection Criteria
Selection criteria outline the qualifications, skills, knowledge and/or experience that the successful candidate would need to demonstrate for successful discharge of the responsibilities of the post.
Applications will be assessed on the basis of how well candidates satisfy these criteria.

  • Bachelors degree in Agricultural science
  • Knowledge in all aspects of dairy cow husbandry
  • Experience of being the sole person in charge of a dairy herd
  • Competent in dairy cow restraint and handling
  • Good Communication Skills (Oral, Written, Presentation etc).
  • Aptitude to work within a team of committed researchers
  • Availability to conduct after hours research and weekend work as the research programme
  • Excellent Organisational and Administrative skills including a proven ability to work to
  • Have good record keeping abilities with particular emphasis on computer literacy and data
  • Familiarity with, and ability to, interpret and adapt the latest innovations and research


  • Previous experience in dairy cattle research

The closing date for application is 5pm on 28th June 2019.
Application submission through UCD jobs portal, candidates will need to register him/herself to apply for this position on
Informal Enquiries ONLY to:
Name: Prof Finbar Mulligan
Title: Associate Professor of Animal Nutrition
Email address:
Telephone: 01 7166255

Updated: 20th June 2019 — 1:41 pm