Dam-rearing of dairy calves – effects of part-time contact on behaviour, management and animal welfare

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Animal Science programme. The position is available from 1 May 2019 or later.

Title:
Dam-rearing of dairy calves – effects of part-time contact on behaviour, management and animal welfare

Research area and project description:
Organic calves are typically separated from the dam within a few days after birth, thereby depriving dam and calf of natural social behaviour, and the calf of developing natural social and learning abilities. The aim is to develop research-based knowledge to overcome challenges for implementing mother-bonded rearing practices at a wider scale in Danish organic dairy herds and to investigate different strategic choices related to organisation of cow-calf systems. An important barrier for implementing dam-rearing in indoor systems are lack of knowledge of how to manage calves with the cows. Through ethological studies of cow-calf systems in two private dairy herd (with milking parlour and AMS, respectively) during two winters, the effect of two different management (full-time contact or part-time contact) on animal behaviour and animal welfare will be investigated. The management of these two treatments is developed in close collaboration with a private company developing selection gates to separate cow and calf. Qualitative interviews of farmers will be conducted to analyse experienced challenges and advantages of dam-rearing systems, and thereby develop strategies for dam-rearing management. The research area for the PhD project is ethology and herd management.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicants must have a relevant Master’s degree in animal science or veterinary science.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Research Center Foulum, Blichers Alle 20, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.

Contacts:
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Senior researcher Margit Bak Jensen, Department of Animal Science, Telephone: +45 8715 7941, e-mail: margitbak.jensen@anis.au.dk.

Senior researcher Mette Vaarst, Department of Animal Science, Telephone: + 45 8715 7924, e-mail: mette.vaarst@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 GSST 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, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test). The paper-based test must have a “total score”. From the August 2019 call, GSST will no longer accept the paper-based test.
    Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935. Ask the test centre to send your test results to Aarhus University, in order to enable verification of your test results.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
  • 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 sphd@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 Aarhus 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.scitech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here 
Choose February 2019 Call with deadline 1 February 2019 at 11.59 PM MET.
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: "Dam-rearing of dairy calves – effects of part-time contact on behaviour, management and 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.

Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English.

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 and diploma(s)
  • 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 e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. If there are any significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline.

GSST 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 GSST application guide here.  

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 GSST/the faculty) is secured.

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

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