TEAGASC PHD WALSH SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY “Pain management to improve the welfare of dairy cows: investigating non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use in both lame and periparturient cows” Walsh Scholarships Ref Number 2022011

Background: Pain in dairy cows is widely recognised as an important issue for dairy cow welfare and causes substantial public concern. Pain can arise in many situations, including the parturition process and lameness. Research has demonstrated that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have benefits in reducing pain in dairy cows; however, a very low proportion of Irish farmers use NSAIDs. It is critical that the issue of pain management in dairy cows is proactively addressed to ensure the welfare and sustainability credentials of Irish dairy products are maintained.

The aim of this project is to investigate the benefits of using NSAIDs in both lame and periparturient cows in a pasture-based system. Studies will be conducted to assess the efficacy of NSAID treatment on lameness outcomes and recovery rates in lame cows, and to determine the benefits of using NSAIDs in the periparturient cow on her welfare, productivity, and future lameness risk. This project will provide critically needed data to generate improved guidelines to farmers to allow them to reduce lameness and improve the welfare of their dairy cows.

The successful PhD candidate will work as part of a collaborative team, which includes experts in the field of dairy cow lameness and welfare, and will have access to some of the best (experimental) facilities for grass-based and housed dairy systems research. The student will have the opportunity to develop his/her skills in a broad range of areas, including dairy cow pain and lameness management, data management and analysis, writing and publishing peer-reviewed scientific papers, and networking with experts in the field.

The student will also have the opportunity to attend and present research findings at (inter)national conferences. This position will allow the candidate the opportunity to work at Ireland’s leading agricultural research organisation, attain a PhD from a highly-ranked University, to gain a skillset and qualification which will equip them for a wide variety of future careers, and to significantly contribute to improvement of dairy cow welfare in Ireland.


Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.1 undergraduate degree (or a minimum of a 2.2 degree and a masters degree) in Agriculture, Animal Science, Veterinary Science or similar subjects, have experience of dairy farms and hold a drivers licence eligible in Ireland.

Experience in the area of dairy cow behaviour and lameness, data processing, and data analysis is an advantage. The applicant should be self-motivated with the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. The candidate must be proficient in both written and spoken English.


This PhD scholarship is a joint research project between Teagasc Moorepark, Co. Cork, Ireland and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham, UK. The successful candidate must be willing to travel between the Teagasc Research Centre at Moorepark and Nottingham to accomplish both academic and research objectives.

The student will be based at the Teagasc Research Centre, Fermoy, Ireland and will be registered at the University of Nottingham, working under the supervision of Dr. Chris Hudson in association with Teagasc supervisor, Dr. Muireann Conneely.

The scholarship funding is €25,000 per annum, for 4 years, and includes University fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum. The stipend (paid from the University of Nottingham) is €19,000 per annum. The scholarship is open to applications from UK and ROI nationals. If you have a different nationality or immigration status that you would like to discuss, please do get in touch (email: SV-PG-VET@exmail.nottingham.ac.uk) .

Further Information

For informal enquires and further information regarding the position, please contact:  Dr. Christopher Hudson (chris.hudson@nottingham.ac.uk)   

Application Procedure

Candidates should apply online and include a CV. When completing the online application form, please select the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, then PhD Veterinary Medicine and Science (48m) and, once submitted, send your student ID number to SV-PG-VET@exmail.nottingham.ac.uk

Closing Date 31st July 2023

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