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Teagasc and UCD Announce 2014 Walsh Fellowship Awards

The Director of Teagasc, Professor Gerry Boyle, and the President of UCD, Professor Andrew J Deeks, today announced the award of nine new Postgraduate Fellowships to UCD being funded by Teagasc under its Walsh Fellowships Postgraduate Programme. These nine new Fellows will join the existing 125 Fellows already being funded in UCD under the Walsh Fellowships Programme and undertaking a broad range of innovative research under the joint supervision of UCD and Teagasc staff. It is expected that further Fellowships will be announced early in 2015 following yesterday’s announcement by Minister Coveney of the success of joint UCD/Teagasc proposals under the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s recent FIRM, Stimulus and CoFoRD programme calls.

The new Fellows will undertake research across a range of areas in dairy, beef and pig production, climate change and the engagement of dairy farmers with the important issue of health and safety on farms. In addition to the nine new research-based Fellows, 10 new Walsh Fellows will join the UCD/Teagasc Masters in Agricultural Innovation Support Programme. This Masters Programme is geared specifically to building the competencies of students for careers in agricultural advisory and education services both in the public or private sector.

"UCD has had a long history of collaboration with Teagasc, most particularly in the areas of agriculture and food science." The President of UCD, Professor Andrew Deeks said at the announcement. "These new fellowships build on this collaboration and extend to other schools including the School of Biosystems Engineering and the School of Biology and Environmental Science. Consequently adding value through cross-disciplinary research interaction."

Professor Boyle stated that he was pleased to be able to announce these new Fellowships with UCD. He stated that UCD is by far the largest beneficiary of this programme and that it has greatly strengthened links between Teagasc and UCD, not just in the areas of agriculture and veterinary science, but also across a broad range of other sciences.

He went on to say that these links help Teagasc to build increased critical mass, making it possible to address some critical issues in depth, develop new programmes, expand international co-operation and thereby continue to provide the necessary information for the on going development of the industry.

The Walsh Fellowships Programme is a crucial component of the National Agricultural Research, Education and Innovation Partnership which was agreed between UCD and Teagasc in 2011. This agreement aims to strengthen the long-standing co-operation between both organisations and to focus a mutual interest on joint programmes in the broad areas of animal science, plant science, economics, rural development, rural environment, food processing and food safety.

Pictured at the launch of the Teagasc Walsh Fellowships for 2014 at UCD was Michael Berkery, Chairman of the UCD Teagasc Partnership Board with President of UCD Prof Andrew Deeks and Prof Gerry Boyle Director of Teagasc.