Post Doctoral level 1 – Modeller - VistaMilk Project (Temporary)

Crops, Environment and Land Use Research Centre, Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford, Y35 Y521
 Salary:  Post Doc (Level 1) with a Salary Scale of €37,028 to €41,025
Research   Funded Full Time
Closing Date: 14/05/2021 Closing Time: 12:00


Job Summary

Temporary Externally Funded Non Grant-in-Aid contract post, the indicative duration of which is 36 months, subject to contract.  A panel may be formed from which future similar vacancies may be filled; such a panel will remain active for a maximum period of 12 months.


Basic Function

This competition seeks to recruit a postdoctoral researcher focused on modelling the impact of management on ecosystem carbon flows and changes in soil organic carbon (SOC). This position join a well-resourced team of permanent and contract staff investigating the impact of management on C fluxes and have available a large range of datasets of SOC and CO2 fluxes for model constrain and validation. They will conduct model refinement, including the incorporation of new grass growth modelling into biogeochemical models which will improve our understanding of the impact of soil type and land-use management practice on carbon sequestration. This position join the scientific group of Thematic Programme 1 of the VistaMilk SFI Research Centre led by Teagasc Moorepark and will be based at Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork. VistaMilk represents a unique collaboration between Agri-Food and ICT research institutes and leading Irish/multinational food and ICT companies. The Centre is hosted by Teagasc, the national agency with responsibility for agriculture and food research, in partnership with the Tyndall National Institute, Ireland’s national microelectronics institute, the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics (at UCD, NUIG, DCU). VistaMilk is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).



Changes in agricultural practices associated with the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, World Trade Organisation negotiations, Kyoto and Gothenburg protocols have highlighted the importance of reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, the national Climate Action Plan has set a 51% reduction target for national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Teagasc Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) highlighted the key role in both enhancing carbon sequestration in agricultural soils as well as reducing CO2 emissions from organic soils.

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. 

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 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, publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals, writing grant applications, and attracting external funding; the development of active collaboration with relevant national and international research communities; the development of communication and presentation 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.

Job Objectives

Duties & Responsibilities specific to this project:

  • To model the impact of management on ecosystem carbon (and nitrogen) cycling using an ensemble of ecosystem and soil biogeochemical models (eg. DNDC, DAYCENT, RothC, ECOSSE).

  • To improve model architecture via linkage to grass growth models.

  • To publish findings in peer-reviewed publications

  • To contribute to the teamwork and team-spirit in the agri-environmental research department at Johnstown Castle and the Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Moorepark, and to foster and add to further collaboration and integration.

  • To assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service Charter and Action Plan.

  • To actively participate in the annual business planning and Performance Management Development System (PMDS) processes.

  • Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time.

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.

  • 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 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.

  • To take up additional duties as they may arise and be assigned by management.

Skills Required


  • PhD in computer science, mathematics, agricultural science, environmental science or environmental policy

  • Relevant research experience not to exceed 3 years’ post-PhD

  • Full Irish driving licence

  • Experience in modelling environmental processes

  • Ability to synthesis knowledge through literature review.

  • Proven ability to write concise reports

  • Good one-to-one and group communication skills. 


  • Postgraduate degree in environmental science, soil science, environmental policy or environmental modelling

  • Knowledge of livestock agricultural systems

  • Good working knowledge of programming languages

  • (C++, Python, R)

  • Understanding of Irish agricultural systems.

  • Understanding of EU and national GHG policy

  • Understanding of knowledge transfer, communication and outreach strategies.


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