Statistical models for genetic evaluation of crossbred cows

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


Title:
Statistical models for genetic evaluation of crossbred cows


Research area and project description:
Currently, the genetic evaluation of each of the Danish dairy cattle breeds: Holstein, Danish Red and Jersey is managed separately: genetic merits are predicted for pure breeding and animals are selected as parents for the next generation based on this. Increasingly, dairy herds are using crossbreeding to utilize the increased performance of crossbreds due to heterosis. However, tools for the use of crossbreeding are lacking, in particular tools to predict genetic merit of crossbred cows. The aim of the PhD study is to develop statistical models for genetic evaluation of crossbred cows using phenotypes and genotypes from purebreds and crossbreds.

The PhD study is part of a project funded through the Green Development and Demonstration Program by the Danish Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Collaboration with R&D sections of industrial partners is planned.

The PhD study will be carried out at the Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics (QGG http://mbg.au.dk/en/research/research-areas/center-for-quantitative-genetics-and-genomics) at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University. QGG is a major center for research and education in quantitative genetics, quantitative genomics, optimization of breeding schemes, and breeding. It comprises 18 senior staff and a large group of PhDs and postdocs, in total about 60 people. QGG provides a very dynamic and internationally orientated environment with strong collaborations with relevant industrial partners as well as several other leading international research groups in the area.


Qualifications and specific competences:
Candidates must hold a master degree in animal science, agrobiology, statistics or related fields. Successful candidates are expected to have experience with statistical analyses of large data sets and knowledge about genetic evaluation, be enthusiastic for scientific research, and be able to work in a large and diverse group of researchers and industry partners. Proficiency in English is a requirement. Experiences with genomic data and knowledge about the dairy farming sector are an advantage but not necessarily required.


Place of Employment and Place of Work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Research Centre Foulum, Blichers Alle 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark. 


Contacts:
The PhD project will be supervised by Senior Researcher Ole F. Christensen, Senior Researcher Guosheng Su and Professor Mogens S. Lund.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact: Senior Researcher Ole F Christensen, Center for Quantitative Genetics and Genomics, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University. E-mail: olef.christensen@mbg.au.dk. Tel: +45 87 15 80 29.


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 'Molecular Biology and Genetics'

2)      Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: "Statistical models for genetic evaluation of crossbred cows"
  • 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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