Post Doctoral Microbiome Researcher

Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc, Grange, Dunsany, Co Meath, C15 PW93
 Salary:  Post Doc (Level 1) with a Salary Scale of €39,540 to €43,698
Research   Funded Full Time
Closing Date: 24/02/2023 Closing Time: 12:00


Job Summary

Temporary Externally Funded Non Grant-in-Aid contract post, the indicative duration of which is 27 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

The successful candidate will be based at the Animal and Bioscience Research Department, Teagasc Grange, Co. Meath. While most of the research programme will be conducted on-site working with cattle, conducting studies related to animal health, evironment and feed efficiency, collecting biological samples and recording other performance data, some work will be conducted on dairy cattle herds at Teagasc Moorepark, Co. Cork.

Tasks will involve liaising with laboratory staff, recording performance, conducting genomics-based sample preparation for microbial profiling, metagenomics, host animal data collation, bioinformatics and statistical analysis.

Post-Doctoral Researcher may also liaise with international collaborators and have the opportunity to travel to acquire lab-based or bioinformatics and other skills as required. The successful candidate will also be integrally involved in postgraduate student supervision, preparation of progress reports as well as peer reviewed scientific manuscripts.



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. 

The agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry and a key player in the national economy. Sustainability of ruminant production has implications for the environment, the economy and food security. ‘Microbiome’ is a term that describes the genome of all the microorganisms, symbiotic and pathogenic, living in and on all vertebrates. Microbiomes associated with the host play a key role in health, welfare and environmental efficiency in ruminant production systems. This post doctoral fellowship is part of a large international project called ‘HoloRuminant’, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020). The goal of the project is to elucidate the developmnet and role of ruminant-associated microbiomes and their interplay with the host in early life and throughout fundamental life events. The project will use a holistic multi-omics approach to characterise the acquisition and evolution of microbiomes from different ruminant body sites and their influence on the host’s resistance to disease and environmental efficiency of production. The project will determine microbiomes’ functions by combining multi-level information for microbes, host and their interaction; define microbiomes’ roles during challenging life periods such as perinatal, weaning, and after exposure to pathogens; and evaluate the effect of ruminant microbiomes on critical phenotypes for sustainable production, health and welfare.

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:

  • Assist in the management of all aspects of the agreed research programme on these animals.

  • Collect biological samples (e.g., nasal, respiratory tract, saliva, blood and rumen contents) from cattle over time and from a range of animal models and record performance measurements such as health and environmental measurements.

  • Develop and conduct metagenomics based laboratory procedures and liaise with laboratory staff in collaborating institutions (i.e. Teagasc, UCD and internataional partners' laboratories) to ensure effective collaborative data analysis.

  • Conduct bioinformatics and statistical analysis of genomic data to assess the development of microbiomes over time and their relationship with performance traits such as animals health, feed efficiency and the enviroment.

  • Supervision of two postgraduate students, technical staff, protocol review, and collaboration with research staff.

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 Molecular Biology and/or Animal Science.
  • Relevant research experience not to exceed 3 years’post-PhD.
  • Demonstrated research and technical expertise in molecular biology related sciences.
  • Evidence of research activity (publications, conference presentations, awards) and future scholarly output (working papers, research proposals etc.).
  • Excellent project management, analytical, report writing and data analysis skills.
  • An ability to collaborate with team members and PhD students to help build research knowledge and skill and to guide professional development.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral, written, presentation) with an ability to enable effective knowledge and technology transfer.
  • Ability to generate new ideas, unique concepts, models and solutions.
  • Candidates must satisfy and continue to satisfy during employment with Teagasc, legal requirements to drive unaccompanied on Irish public roads.



  • Knowledge of microbiology, sequencing technology, genetics/genomics and bioinformatics.
  • Experience of organising and conducting ruminant-based research projects.
  • Knowledge of Animal Health, Nutrition and Physiology.
  • Experience in setting own research agenda.
  • Evidence of teamwork and collaboration with relevant partners.

Note:  Alternative location(s) may be considered solely at the discretion of Teagasc management.

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