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03/08/2021

Teagasc invests €4m to create 40 Walsh Scholarship postgraduate opportunities in agri-food research

Kilkenny Kilkenny

Teagasc has 40 exciting Walsh Scholarship opportunities for recent and experienced graduates who wish to pursue postgraduate study on topical agri-food issues. The scholarships are awarded in association with national and international Universities, Technological Universities and Institutes of Technology and will provide scholars with a high quality research experience and transferable skills to advance their careers in the agri-food sector.

Some of the topical issues include: predicting the carbon sequestration of soils; assessing integrated pest management on Irish grassland farms; investigating the quality of irrigation water in horticulture; nutrient loss in poorly drained soils; and the authentication of Irish whiskey. There are also postgraduate opportunities in: improving the health and welfare of Irish dairy calves; developing solutions for scab resistance in potatoes; developing methodologies for rapidly identifying pests; and examining the structure and shelf-life of high protein bakery products, among many more research opportunities.

The scholarships include a tax-free bursary of €24,000 per annum which includes University fees up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum for up to four years for PhD’s and two years for master’s degrees. They are open to graduates from a wide range of science-related disciplines including agriculture, food, biology, veterinary, horticulture, forestry, microbiology, molecular biology, as well as agricultural economics, environmental and social science.

Commenting on the scholarship opportunities, the new Head of Research Development and Walsh Scholarships, Jane Kavanagh, said: “The scholarships provide students with a fantastic opportunity to develop their research and transferrable skills, while being immersed in a world-leading research environment.  All the Scholars join a team of leading scientists with a strong track record in their particular area and they have access to state of the art research infrastructure at Teagasc Research Centres. In association with the Universities, the Walsh Scholarships programme equips the Scholars with the knowledge and skills required for a wide range of careers in the agri-food sector. Today’s announcement represents a major investment of €4 million by Teagasc in training the next generation of leaders for the agri-food industry.”

Through the annual Teagasc travel awards for Walsh Scholars there are also opportunities for Scholars to spend up to three months at Research Institutes or Universities in Europe and around the world.  

A key element of the Teagasc Walsh Scholarships Programme is the annual Walsh Scholar of the Year Competition and award ceremony which will take place virtually this year on Friday, 9th July.

Speaking about the upcoming virtual event, Professor Frank O’Mara, Director of Research said: “Communicating science and the impact of research is critically important for transferring knowledge to relevant stakeholders and the general public.  At Teagasc we place a strong emphasis on developing the Walsh Scholars’ science communication skills, providing them with targeted training, culminating in the annual competition”.

This virtual event will feature some of our current and former Walsh Scholars, who will discuss their experiences of the programme, their research interests and careers to date. Attendees will find out about the exciting opportunities currently available in PhD and master’s degrees and will have an opportunity to network virtually with Teagasc and third-level supervisors, researchers and industry representatives. We encourage prospective students, employers and anyone interested in science to attend.

The Walsh Scholarship – Next Generation event will be held on Friday, 9th July, at 10.30am. Please click here to register.

Graduates interested in finding out more information on the scholarship opportunities and submitting an expression of interest in a project can do so by clicking here

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