Students urged to apply for scheme

Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA (right) and Queen's University student Elizabeth Magowan launch DARD's 2015 Postgraduate Agricultural and Food Studentship Scheme with up to 12 studentships available for 2015.  Elizabeth, from Dromore, successfully applied under DARD's 2012 Scheme and is currently in her 3rd year of her postgraduate studies on bovine TB. Application forms for the 2015 Scheme are available from www.dardni.gov.uk/postgraduate-study and the closing date for applications is Friday 20th February 2015. Photo by Diarmuid McLaughlin
Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA (right) and Queen's University student Elizabeth Magowan launch DARD's 2015 Postgraduate Agricultural and Food Studentship Scheme with up to 12 studentships available for 2015. Elizabeth, from Dromore, successfully applied under DARD's 2012 Scheme and is currently in her 3rd year of her postgraduate studies on bovine TB. Application forms for the 2015 Scheme are available from www.dardni.gov.uk/postgraduate-study and the closing date for applications is Friday 20th February 2015. Photo by Diarmuid McLaughlin
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Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has launched the 2015 Postgraduate Agricultural and Food Studentship Scheme.

In launching the scheme the minister has reaffirmed the department’s commitment to research and the important role it plays in the sustainable development of agri-food businesses in Northern Ireland.

Encouraging prospective postgraduate students to apply to the scheme Minister O’Neill said: “This is a positive opportunity for local graduates to be supported in a postgraduate course whilst at the same time aiding my department to meet strategic goals and research needs through the Postgraduate Agricultural and Food Studentship Scheme.

“In 2015 we will fund up to 12 new Postgraduate Studentships and continue to fund 18 PhD Studentships in their second and third year of research. In addition to meeting our research needs, this investment helps develop the science base for the north of Ireland.”

Third year postgraduate student Elizabeth Magowan was awarded a DARD Studentship to carry out research into bovine TB.

Elizabeth, who graduated from Queen’s University in 2012 with a BSc Honours in Biological Sciences, said: “Bovine tuberculosis inflicts financial and emotional hardship on farming communities and I want to thank DARD for providing me with the funding to use cutting-edge technology in carrying out my research. The three years of research have been very challenging, but I look forward to graduating with a PhD in 2015.”

Other projects currently funded include research on beef systems, milk production, marine fisheries, woodland, animal and plant health, poultry, pigs and aquaculture.

Applications for the Postgraduate Agricultural and Food Studentships 2015 must be aligned to one of the Department’s DARD’s Priority Research Areas 2015.

Details of these, along with application forms and terms and conditions, are available from the DARD website at www.dardni.gov.uk/postgraduate-study or by email to postgraduate@dardni.gov.uk or by telephone on (028) 9052 4710.