PhD scholarship in Aquatic animal health economics - DTU Aqua - #335251

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet


Dato: for 1 uge siden
By: Kongens Lyngby, Region Hovedstaden
Kontrakttype: Fuld tid

Join us on our mission to monitor and promote health of fish and shellfish, with special focus on sustainable aquaculture.

DTU Aqua is looking for a PhD student to work with assessing the economic and environmental costs associated with diseases in farmed fish in aquaculture. You will take part in the European Partnership on Animal Health and Welfare. Its general goals are to progress Europe towards healthy and sustainable livestock production systems (for both terrestrial and aquatic animals), including the reduction of anti-microbial usage, and to greatly improve production animal welfare, in line with the European Green Deal and farm-to-fork strategy. Furthermore, the EUP AH&W will enhance public health and well-being by facilitating cross-sector collaboration in a One Health – One Welfare perspective. The partnership includes 90 partners from all across Europe, and the first workplan was started on January 1st 2024 (https://www.provaxs.com/eupahw ).

Your main focus will be to investigate biological and economic costs of diseases in the Danish rainbow trout production. During your scholarship, you will gain scientific expertise in assessing the economic costs of fish diseases, estimating risk factors, implementing scenario modelling and assessing environmental impacts of diseases in animal production. You will have ample opportunity for long and short research stays at scientific institutions in other countries.

You will be working together with fish health experts, experts on animal health economics and veterinary epidemiologists from several partner institutes in Denmark and Europe. Fish disease is considered to be one of the main hindrances for a sustainable aquaculture production, but very little research has been done on the actual costs of disease and their prevention and control, both for the farmers, for the society as a whole and for the environment. Therefore, this PhD project aims to evaluate the economic costs associated with diseases in Danish rainbow trout farming, and estimate the carbon footprint of such diseases. You will have the opportunity to shape your own research directions, with the help of the project supervisors, within the remit of this aim.

You will be situated at the Section for Fish and Shellfish diseases in Kgs. Lyngby near Copenhagen. The section offers state-of-the art laboratory and experimental facilities, where we carry out research on virology, immunology and host-pathogen interactions. We have more than 30 years of experience with research on fish diseases, and a large international network. The section is the National reference laboratory on fish, crustacean and mollusc diseases, and EU reference laboratory on fish- and crustacean diseases. In addition, the section has a large project portfolio and currently employs 27 people with a background in molecular biology, immunology/vaccinology, diagnostics, virology, bacteriology, epidemiology and laboratory techniques. We work closely together with  economists from Wageningen and Aarhus University and this PhD project offers the opportunities to develop a unique set of interdisciplinary skills.

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will be responsible for developing a hypothesis as the background for the project, collecting data from fish farms, for analyzing data publishing your novel findings  and communicating them with farmers and a range of stakeholders.

Specific tasks in the project will be:

  • Select relevant available data sources and models that can be used to model disease burden estimates.
  • Evaluate biological effects and economic burden of key diseases in rainbow trout production
  • Evaluate the economic costs associated with surveillance programmes for diseases in Danish aquaculture
  • Elicit, evaluate and synthesis the opinions of fish farmers about disease control
  • Estimate the carbon footprint of diseases in aquaculture 

In addition as a PhD student you will:

  • Complete specialist courses needed for project-specific skills and the transferrable skills needed to become an independent researcher 
  • Visit and engage with external partners to develop your research network and expand your scientific expertise.
  • Disseminate scientific results in peer-reviewed articles and assist in scientific advice to Danish ministries and agencies 
  • Attend conferences to present your research and expand your academic network. 
  • Engage in other ongoing projects on costs of diseases in aquaculture, and other relevant activities at the section
  • Participate in teaching within control of diseases in aquaculture

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree within any of the following areas: Veterinary or animal science, Aquaculture technology, agroeconomy or bioeconomy or in similar fields.

In addition, you should have the following personal skills

  • Curiosity and high motivation for aquaculture research.
  • Ability to take personal responsibility for getting things done
  • Be creative and interested in exploring new technology and in adopting new ways of working and solving problems
  • Accuracy and patience for data collection and management.
  • Analytical skills and some experience in statistical analysis.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English. 
  • Ability to work in a team and to assist colleagues, as well as being able to work independently

Personal suitability and motivation for the position will be emphasized.

Approval and Enrolment  
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education

Assessment
An assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Researcher and head of section for Fish- and shellfish diseases Britt Bang Jensen and Senior scientist Niccolo Vendramin. First rounds of interviews will be carried out in week 10/11 2024. 

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms 
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

Starting date is 1/5-2024, or as soon as possible.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here http://www.dtu.dk/english/about/job-and-career/working-at-dtu/career-paths.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher and head of section for Fish- and shellfish diseases Britt Bang Jensen, tel.:+45 93 51 89 48, email: [email protected]

You can read more about DTU Aqua at https://www.aqua.dtu.dk/ ; and the section for Fish and Shellfish diseases here: https://www.aqua.dtu.dk/english/research/fish-and-shellfish-diseases

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark . Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar ” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU. 

Application procedure 
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 3 March 2024 (23:59 Danish time)

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply now", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file . The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

About the section
The Section for Fish and Shellfish Diseases conducts research on host-pathogen interactions, disease prophylaxis and pathogen characterization. The section gives research-based advice and is at the forefront on the development of diagnostic tools and preventive measures of diseases in fish, bivalves and crustaceans. 

Furthermore, the section is appointed as the European Union reference laboratory for Fish and Crustacean Diseases and as the reference laboratory for the fish disease viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) for the World Organisation for Animal Health.

DTU Aqua, Technical University of Denmark
DTU Aqua – National Institute of Aquatic Resources – works for well-functioning oceans, rivers, and lakes where biodiversity can thrive. Our research, advisory service, and education contribute to the development of a sustainable blue bioeconomy, robust aquatic ecosystems, and reduced effects of climate change. We have a large national and international network and cooperate with research partners, public authorities, industry, and NGOs. We have state-of-the-art research facilities and Denmark’s only ocean- and arctic-going research vessel. The Institute has 360 employees, one-half being scientific staff, including 50 PhD students. More than 35 nationalities are represented at the Institute, and we support an equal gender distribution. We are located in Lyngby, Hirtshals, Nykøbing Mors, and Silkeborg and have regular activities in Greenland. Learn more on aqua.dtu.dk 

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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