First listed on: 08 November 2017

PhD Student - Spore formers risk assessment of raw milk - AgResearch

The Organisation

AgResearch is the Crown Research Institute tasked with delivering cutting-edge agricultural science and innovation to benefit the wider New Zealand economy.  Our internationally-recognised scientists work across the agricultural sectors in collaboration with a range of stakeholders both nationally and internationally, putting science and innovation at the forefront. We are proud to be a unique organisation that is driving prosperity by transforming agriculture.

The Role

We are seeking a PhD Student to investigate the prevalence and diversity of spore forming bacteria in non-bovine dairy production systems. The outcome of the study will be to identify the different types of spore forming bacteria present in raw milk and investigate their impact of milk quality. This information will contribute to the development of management practices to reduce the number of bacterial spores in raw milk to improve milk quality and shelf-life.

The research will be undertaken within the Food Assurance and Meat Quality team based at the Hopkirk Research Institute, AgResearch in Palmerston North, New Zealand. The PhD candidate will be enrolled at Massey University, and have supervisors from both Massey University and the Food Assurance team. The project is funded by the SSIF, AgResearch.

The Successful Candidate will have:              

  • A relevant Masters in microbiology/ biochemistry/ molecular biology.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills (IELTS score of 6.5 required if English is not first language)
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Diligence, resilience and enthusiasm
  • Ready to go on farms and coordinate well with farmers.
  • To read more about the Hopkirk Research Institute go to
  • Previous experience working in a microbiology and/or molecular biology laboratory would be advantageous.
    The intended start date for this project is 01 February 2018, or as soon as possible after this date.


As a student with an A Grade average or better the three year studentship offers an annual stipend ($30,000) and covers University fees and operating costs. It is important that the candidate is able to fulfil the requirements for initial and continued enrolment in a PhD programme at Massey University.

How to apply

If you are interested in this opportunity, please apply on-line via the link provided and include a covering letter detailing why you feel you would be suitable for this project.

Applications close: 4 December 2017.

For more information or for a confidential discussion please contact: Dr Tanu Gupta, Scientist  via email on or phone +64 6 351 8365.



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