Analysis of chemical hazards on waste spread onto agricultural land

  • Training/Education
  • Ireland
  • Posted 1 month ago

University of Galway

Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in analysis of chemical hazards on waste spread onto agricultural land [College of Science and Engineering / Engineering / Civil Engineering / Ryan Institute]

Application(s) are invited from suitably qualified candidates for full-time funded PhD scholarship(s) starting in December, 2023 affiliated to Civil Engineering at the University of Galway.

University of Galway

Located in the vibrant cultural city of Galway in the west of Ireland, the University of Galway has a distinguished reputation for teaching and research excellence For information on moving to Ireland please see Detailed Project Description This project (SAFEWASTE) will help support the use of animal waste, wastewater treatment sludge and other relevant wastes as organic fertilizers in agriculture by ensuring they are free of chemical and biological hazards, thereby protecting food safety and public health. The overall project is highly multidisciplinary and involves researchers from Teagasc, University of Galway, TU-Dublin and UCD.

It will:

(1) deliver new data on the types, prevalence and concentrations of chemical and biological hazards in wastes intended for land spreading in Ireland

(2) provide a novel risk-ranking approach to identify the waste-hazard combinations that should be prioritised to achieve maximum food safety/public health protection and validated methods to control these hazards

(3) identify risk pathways, differences in policy and practice for controlling chemical hazards in wastewater treatment sludge, the effect of food processing on each hazard, the most appropriate land application method(s) to minimise the risk of food contamination and the impact of waste spreading on soil microbiota.

The PhD student recruited in this project will focus on the development, validation and application of methods for the analysis of veterinary drug and pesticide residues in various waste types to be spread on agricultural land. The student will be registered at the University of Galway and based in the Food Safety Department, at the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Dublin 15, Ireland. The analytical chemistry laboratories are based in the Food Safety Department at Ashtown, Dublin 15, Ireland. The group consists of approximately 15 scientists made up of PhD students, research scientists and technologists. The laboratory is internationally recognized as a centre of excellence for the analysis of chemical contaminants in food and environmental samples. The laboratory participated on several EU and nationally funded research projects. The laboratory also fulfils a role of an Irish National Reference Laboratory for a range of substances including veterinary drugs and pesticides. All of these tests are accredited to ISO17025 and are validated to a high standard. The residues group has six laboratories equipped with state of the art instrumentation including seven LC-MS/MS systems and one ICP-MS. The laboratory also has a range of other equipment such as HPLC and GC systems.

Working closely with other PhD students within the SAFEWASTE project, the candidate will:

(1) Identify target residues for research,

(2) Develop and validation LC-MS/MS methods,

(3) conduct a survey of chemical hazards in various agricultural wastes intended for land spreading in Ireland

(4) investigate the effectiveness of strategies to reduce or eliminate chemical hazards in waste materials intended for land spreading

(5) develop a decision support tool to identify an optimal means in which organic waste materials may be applied safely to land and within the regulatory limits

(6) investigate the difference between regulatory requirements and current practice in controlling metal(oids), disinfectants, general biocides and other relevant chemical hazards in agricultural wastewater treatment sludge and other relevant wastes.

Living allowance (Stipend): €19334 per annum, [tax-exempt scholarship award]

University fees: €5666

Start date: 27 November, 2023

Academic Entry Requirements:

Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Chemistry or Biochemistry) The successful candidates should be highly self-motivated and be prepared for laboratory work and extended periods of field work with modern analytical equipment. Applicants whose first language is not English must show evidence of English proficiency.

To Apply for the Scholarship:

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest to Professor Mark Healy ().

Contact Name: Professor Mark Healy

Contact Email:

Application Deadline: 06/10/23 and time 17:00 (Irish time 24hr format)

Primary Supervisor name (if applicable): Professor Mark Healy

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email – cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this posting.

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