Microbiology – Food Safety
PhD in a relevant discipline with up to 3 years’ (max.) relevant experience.
The combined duration of this contract combined with any other PD1 contracts must not exceed 6 years in total. It is not permitted to have longer than 3 years as PD1 and 3 years as PD2.
Maximising the shelf-life of beef and lamb primals through carcass interventions, optimised chilling and the effective destruction of Clostridial spore in plant and on equipment.
Project End Date
Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Ireland.
Project Leader and/or other nominated manager as maybe identified from time to time.
Appointment will be at the minimum point of the Post Doctoral Level 1 (PD1) scale (€34,975).
Increments will be awarded annually* on the PD1 scale for the first 3 years (36 months) subject to performance and completion of the prescribed training plan.
Appointees will progress to the first point of the PD2 scale (€39,155) in year 4 with increments awarded annually* on the first point of the PD2 scale subject to performance and completion of the prescribed training plan for the balance of the contract.
The current PD1 and PD2 scales are as follows:
PD1: €34,975 (min.); €35,974; €37,003 (max.)PD2: €39,155 (min.); €40,279; €41,437 (max.)
Note: Exceptional circumstances may apply for candidates with current or previous service in the public sector. *Remuneration and the annual cycle for the payment of increments may be adjusted from time to time in line with Government policy.
Basic Function of the post:
The successful candidate will join a research team working within ‘Meat Technology Ireland’ on the microbiological aspects of the application of a range of technologies (lactic acid, hot water, chilling regimes and sporicidal treatments) to enhance food safety and maximise the shelf-life of beef and lamb.
The post will be carried out within Meat Technology Ireland (MTI) which is an industry-led initiative that will build a strategic research and innovation base in beef and sheepmeat processing in Ireland. Meat Technology Ireland is a dedicated public-private partnership investment in world-class beef and sheep meat processing research and innovation, leading to smart, competitive meat processing. The Centre will be a one-stop shop for meat processing research and technology, serving as a hub to co-ordinate all beef and sheepmeat processing research needs for the sector.
The aims of the research are to:
- Investigate the immediate and storage effects of lactic acid treatment of beef and lamb carcasses on indicator, pathogenic and spoilage bacteria, including blown pack spoilage Clostridium spp.
- Investigate the effect of different time-temperature chilling combinations on microbial load and shelf-life.
- Research and develop the most effective sporicidal treatments to ensure the destruction of blown pack spoilage Clostridial spores during cleaning and disinfection of beef/lamb plant and equipment.
This is a research focused training role, the primary purpose of which is to provide early career scientists with the opportunity to develop their research skills and competencies. The Teagasc post-doctoral programme provides training and development opportunities for early career scientists that enhances their experience of learning and equips them with the necessary skills for the next stage of their chosen career in research. The PD Fellow will conduct a specified programme of research, supported by the modular training programme, which will include modules of relevance for the development of specific knowledge and research skills, professionalism and communication skills, leadership and management skills, and overall career development. Modules will be conducted under the supervision and direction of the Project Leader or other designated manager in conjunction with the Head of Department.
The final (8 months) of this programme will be at the Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Level 2 (PD2).
The PD Fellow will, while working in conjunction with senior research staff, gain insight and experience into a variety of areas including the processes of project and budgetary management, the development of active collaboration with relevant national and international research communities, the development of communication and presentation skills and possible experience in the mentorship of students. While reporting to the hiring manager, the successful candidate will work directly with the MTI Research & Innovation Project Manager and participating company leads, to ensure research outputs from the Centre are seamlessly transferred and embedded in the MTI member companies. The candidate will be required to act within the MTI Memorandum of Understanding governing the management of confidential information. The candidate will be required to contribute to identifying opportunities and formulating solutions to facilitate progress for the participant companies and researchers involved.
Duties & Responsibilities specific to this project:
· Design statistically based investigative studies as per the project research tasks/sub-tasks.
· Undertake laboratory studies including culture based and molecular biology.
· Perform in-plant (beef and lamb slaughter and processing) studies.
· Undertake statistical analysis of the data generated and convert the findings into knowledge/information that may be applied in the beef/lamb sector.
· Prepare and present the data generated using written (A1 papers, reports, posters, etc.) and oral formats.
· Report and discuss progress updates with the MTC Director and participate where required, on the Research Project Management Group.
Additional Duties & Responsibilities:
· To interpret research findings and prepare scientific and popular press publications.
· To disseminate research findings to a variety of audiences as appropriate.
· To assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service Charter and action plan.
· To comply with all relevant Teagasc policies and procedures.
· To actively participate in the Teagasc Post Doctoral Fellowship programme and review processes, and to undertake all Post Doctoral fellowship training and associated duties as agreed in the Training & Development Plan.
· Fully co-operate with the provisions made for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of themselves, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff and co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations. This includes full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement.
· To take up additional duties as may arise or as assigned by management.
This section outlines the qualifications, skills, knowledge and/or experience that the successful candidate would be required to demonstrate for successful discharge of the responsibilities of the post. Applications will be assessed on how well candidates satisfy these criteria.
· PhD in Microbiology or Food Science and Technology or related discipline.
· Relevant research experience not to exceed 3 years’ post-PhD.
· Demonstrated research and technical expertise in Food Microbiology.
· Evidence of research activity (publications, conference presentations, awards) and future scholarly output (working papers, research proposals etc.).
· Excellent project management, analytical, report writing and data analysis skills.
· An ability to collaborate with team members and PhD students to help build research knowledge and skill and to guide professional development.
· Excellent communication skills (oral, written, presentation) with an ability to enable effective knowledge and technology transfer.
· Ability to generate new ideas, unique concepts, models and solutions.
- Experience in undertaking research in-plant in the meat sector.
- Experience in setting own research agenda.
- Evidence of teamwork and collaboration with relevant partners.
- Full driving licence.