Nutritional Health For All

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Current Vacancies

Postgraduate Opportunity: MPhil Studentships in Maternal Nutrition

Applications are invited for two postgraduate MPhil research studentships in maternal nutrition at DIT and the Rotunda Hospital.


There is increasing evidence that the food and nutrients a woman consumes during pregnancy can influence the long term health of both her foetus and the mother herself. However, there are still many gaps in our knowledge about the precise effectors of these nutrition-related health outcomes. These studies will aim to investigate the associations between maternal dietary practices, nutrient intakes and other health behaviours, and maternal and neonatal health outcomes.

Candidate Specification

The successful candidates will have at least an honours 2.1 primary degree in nutrition and/or dietetics. They must possess excellent knowledge of dietary intake assessment methodology, and have demonstrated experience of large scale clinical data management and statistical analysis. A background in maternal health research and/or clinical work would also be an advantage. From a broader perspective, the appointees will be motivated self-starters with commitment and drive, with very good problem-solving, inter-personal, writing and communication skills.

Project Outline

Both projects will require the collection of detailed dietary intake and other health behavioural data from women attending the Rotunda Hospital for their booking visit at the end of the first trimester. Both projects will also require the collection of physical and clinical data from neonates born to these women. The projects will seek to establish the nature and extent of any associations between maternal diet and lifestyle behaviours in pregnancy and neonatal health outcomes, with a view to informing future practice and policy development in this area.

Each studentship will be funded for up to 24-months, with this funding covering both the student stipend and the student’s annual academic fees. Each student will also have to undertake a series of taught modules as part of their degree. At the conclusion of each project, the successful applicant will produce an MPhil academic thesis, as well as at least one full peer-reviewed academic paper outlining their findings.

Meat Technology Ireland (MTI)

The project is funded through Meat Technology Ireland, a research collaboration between the Irish meat industry and Enterprise Ireland. As well as their activities in the Rotunda Hospital and DIT, the successful candidate will be part of a larger research team in the ‘Meat Technology Ireland’ centre concerned with identifying, assessing and prioritising new market opportunities for Irish beef and sheepmeat. Meat Technology Ireland (MTI) is an industry-led initiative that will build a strategic research and innovation base in beef and sheepmeat processing in Ireland.  The Meat Technology Ireland Centre is a dedicated public-private partnership investment in world-class beef and sheep meat processing research and innovation leading to smart, competitive meat processing.  The Centre will be a one-stop shop for meat processing research and technology, serving as a hub to co-ordinate all beef and sheepmeat processing research needs for the sector.

While reporting to the hiring manager, the successful candidate will also produce periodic reports for MTI, to ensure research outputs from the Centre are seamlessly transferred and embedded in the MTI member companies.  The candidate will be required to act within the MTI Memorandum of Understanding governing the management of confidential information, and may contribute to identifying opportunities and formulating solutions to facilitate progress for the participant companies.

Application Process

Applications comprising a cover letter stating your specific interest in this area of study, along with a copy of your current CV, should be sent by email to Dr. Daniel McCartney, Programme Director and Lecturer in Human Nutrition & Dietetics at DIT at Informal enquiries about these positions can also be sent to Dr. McCartney at this email address.

The closing date for applications is Friday 7th December 2018, with interviews to be held in DIT Kevin Street in mid-December. Short-listed applicants will be notified of their interview times by email after 7th December.

DIT is an equal opportunities employer.

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