A Research Assistant/ Post-Doctoral Researcher is sought to work on Pillar 4 (Process Quality and Safety by Design) of the Dairy Processing Technology Centre. The Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC) is a centre of excellence for dairy processing research and innovation in Ireland.

The DPTC is a strong, long-term industry-academic collaborative partnership that will develop, build and translate the knowledge and capabilities in dairy processing that are needed today and for the long-term growth of the sector. Current industry members of the Centre are Arrabawn Co-op, Aurivo Co-op, Carbery Group, Dairygold Co-op, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, Kerry Group, Lakeland Dairies and Tipperary Co-op.

Job Posted: 20 May 2015
Closing Date for Applications: 15 Jun 2015
Department: Dairy Processing Technology Centre
School: School of Engineering
College: College of Science, Engineering and Food Science
Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time
Job Type: Research
Salary: See below for details

Position Summary

Project Title: Quality by Design in the Dairy Industry

The objective of this project is to develop a quality by design (QbD) approach limited to the relational models that can be developed by extracting process intelligence from existing industrial data. The project consists in two phases: (i) establishes a framework for action that pools in expertise from other industrial sectors; (ii) industrial data will be used to obtain a QbD system with existing. The outcome of the project will be the establishment of the best control strategies and modes of operation to minimise the impact of variability in raw materials and external conditions, and thus deliver consistent quality and shelf life, to the extent achievable with no further investment in equipment and analysis.

QbD relies on data management and analysis, through a systematic, scientific, risk-based, holistic and proactive approach to process development.

The first phase of this project will establish a working group for QbD in the dairy sector, which will produce a benchmarking analysis of QbD in Dairy and will also provide the second phase with a collection of data for analysis (for one selected industry subsector/dairy product).

The second phase will apply data mining and statistical techniques to extract process intelligence from the gathered data, establishing quantitative relationships between the operating factors that are controlled and the critical quality attributes, which will extend beyond the manufacturing process, throughout the distribution and sales chain. The outcome is limited to the factors and parameters for which data was collected in phase 1, and to the corresponding ranges of values.

Please note that this post may be filled at Research Assistant or Post-Doctoral Level depending on the experience and qualifications of the successful candidate.

 Salary: IUA Research Assistant Scale €19,665 – €29,637 p.a. (New Entrants) / (Post-Doctoral  Scale €33,975 – €38,155 p.a. (New Entrants)

Post Duration: 24 months

Research Assistant

This title will apply to a person of appropriate qualifications e.g., B.Eng., M.Eng., PhD, employed on a contract for the purpose of assisting in the performance of research in the University. A Research Assistant will usually work under the direction of one or more Principal Investigator’s/Senior Researchers within a dedicated laboratory on one or more research projects.

Key Duties and Responsibilities – Research Assistant

  • To work under the direction of the Principal Investigator/Project Leader.
  • To provide assistance in conducting research activities, including planning, organizing, conducting, and communicating research studies within the overall scope of a research project.
  • To coordinate and perform a variety of independent and team activities involved in the collection, analysis, documentation and some interpretation of information/results.
  • To undertake tasks which may include recording results and preparing technical reports including conclusions and recommendations.
  • To coordinate the development of forms, questionnaires and the application of qualitative and quantitative research techniques; write procedures manuals for data collection and coding.
  • To present information on research progress and outcomes to others responsible for the research project.
  • To provide guidance as required to any support staff and/or research students assisting with the research project, as agreed with the Principal Investigator/Grant holder.
  • Ideally to contribute to the publication of findings.
  • To confer with the Principal Investigator in developing plans for research projects and to discuss the interpretation of results and the preparation of manuscripts for publication.
  • To perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.

Criteria – Research Assistant

  • A graduate qualification in a field of discipline relevant to the area of investigation i.e. B.Eng., M. Eng. or PhD in Chemical Engineering, Food Engineering or Pharmaceutical Engineering.
  • Some research experience is desirable but not essential.
  • Good report writing and presentation skills
  • Good analytical skills and computer skills.
  • An ability to work independently to a tight schedule.
  • Capability of working effectively within a team to achieve results.
  • Evidence of excellent organisational and communication skills.
  • High levels of initiative are encouraged.
  • Previous laboratory experience and practices are desirable, but not essentia

Key Duties and Responsibilities – Post-Doctoral Researcher

This title will apply to newly qualified Post-Doctoral Researchers and will be considered as a period of training as the researcher will have dual goals in terms of the research project and their own career development.  The researcher will be mentored by a Principal Investigator (PI).  It is expected that a researcher would spend not more than 3 years at the Post Doctoral level, subject to the term of the project and would then be eligible to compete for a Senior Post Doctoral post advertised by the University.

The primary focus of the Postdoctoral Researcher will be research however a particular emphasis during this stage should include;

  • To conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator/Project Leader.
  • To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Principal Investigator, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies.
  • To gain experience in grant writing.
  • To engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which they are engaged, as directed by, with the support of and under the supervision of a Principal Investigator.
  • To become familiar with the publication process.
  • To acquire generic and transferable skills (including project management, business skills and postgraduate mentoring/supervision).
  • To engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of the research group, School or College.
  • To interact closely with postgraduate research students who are studying for a Masters or a PhD and possibly have an agreed role in supporting these students in their day to day research in conjunction with an academic supervisor.
  • To carry out administrative work to support the programme of research.
  • To carry out additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.
  • To contribute to costing research grant proposals and assist in the financial management of a research project.

Criteria – Post-Doctoral Researcher

  • A PhD qualification in a field/ discipline relevant to the area of investigation, i.e., Chemical Engineering or Food Engineering or Pharmaceutical Engineering.
  • Appropriate research experience.
  • Appropriate technical competence and accomplishment.
  • A capability of working within a project team to achieve results.
  • Good communication, organisation and interpersonal skills.
  • A commitment to gaining practical experience working on a research project.
  • Ability to work well within a team.

For Informal Enquiries on the post candidates should contact:

Name: Dr. Maria Sousa-Gallagher

Title: Lecturer in Process & Chemical Engineering

Email Address: m.desousagallaghe@ucc.ie

Telephone: 353-21-4903594

How To Apply:

Please submit a short cover letter and C.V. to Dr. Maria Sousa Gallagher, Email Address: m.desousagallaghe@ucc.ie ; Telephone: 353-21-4903594 on or before the closing date Monday 15th June 2015.