College of Science Engineering and Food Science, UCC: PhD in Food Sciences: The PhD position is open to candidates who meet residency requirements in Ireland or the EU. Non-EU candidates may apply, but they must cover extra fees themselves. The studentship comprises an annual stipend for four years and fees at the EU level (approximately €7,000 per year). The current stipend is €20,000 per annum. The project is funded for 48 months, with a start date of June 2023. The language of the laboratory is English.

PhD position: The student will be registered in the College of Science Engineering and Food Science, University College Cork, Ireland. The student will be primarily based at UCC in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences. If relevant, the student may conduct some research activities in other laboratories at various stages of the studentship. Principal Investigator Team: Prof Elke K. Arendt (UCC) Project Title: Food design and in vitro digestibility

Project summary: Vitamin D deficiency is common across Europe, especially in Ireland. It can have a negative impact on skeletal development among children and contribute to ill-health among adults, including impaired immune defence, which is of particular concern during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vitamin D deficiency is due to low sunlight and/or low vitamin D intake. Limited sun availability in Ireland means that we depend on food to supply vitamin D, but because the amount of vitamin D in our food system is low, our vitamin D intake is also low. Scientists have known for a decade that fortifying food can potentially prevent vitamin D deficiency, but to date, insufficient cooperation between scientists and the public, the government, policymakers, and the industry has failed to convert knowledge to action.

The project aims to provide evidence for the technological feasibility of producing healthy, fibre-rich, reduced-salt, vitamin D-fortified bread as a sustainable means of addressing widespread vitamin D deficiency in Ireland. The PhD student will investigate molecular interactions and integration and further determine the impact on health using an in vitro digestibility model.

The scientific activities will be carried out in the state-of-the-art pilot scale/food processing facilities as well as the analytical chemistry, microbiology, and microscopy labs.

This position is interdisciplinary, involving food design, food chemistry, nutritional sciences as well as advanced food analytics such as HPLC, laser and scanning microscopy and novel sensory techniques.


  • To conduct high quality research under the supervision and direction of the Principal Investigators
  • To work as part of an international team
  • To work with other partners/collaborators in achieving the research goals of the project.
  • To present research progress and project outcomes at project meetings and national and international conferences
  • To contribute and produce a literature review and research articles

Selection Criteria

  • BSc, MSc degree in food chemistry, food engineering, food technology, food chemistry, biochemistry or similar disciplines
  • Highly motivated individual with a keen interest in food research
  • Have basic laboratory skills, organizational and communication skills
  • Have the ability to work effectively as part of a team to achieve results within the time frame of the project.

To Apply:

Unique reference number: DIGEST2023 (as a single PDF) should include a cover letter, a detailed CV, and TWO referees’ names and contacts.

Applications should be sent by email only to Dr. Laura Nyhan (  Please cite the unique position reference DIGEST2023 only in the subject of all emails related to the PhD, Applications will be accepted until 31st May 2023 at 5pm GMT.

Closing Date for Applications: 31 May 2023

College: College of Science, Engineering and Food Science

Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time

Job Type: Research

Salary: see advert for stipend details

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