PhD student

Ghent University


July 23, 2021


→ Apply before 23/07/2021 23:59 (Brussels Time) → Faculty of Bioscience Engineering → Department: BW22 - Dierwetenschappen en Aquatische Ecologie → Occupancy rate:100% → Number of positions: 1.00 → Type of employment: Contract of unlimited duration with a 4 year clause → Term of assignment: → Wage scale: WM1 to WM4 (master degree) → Required diploma: Master


Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state- of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.

Job description

We welcome candidates for a full time position as PhD student at the Laboratory for Animal Nutrition and Animal Product Quality (LANUPRO, Prof. S. De Smet), belonging to the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University. The PhD student will be linked to the H2020 project INTAQT (INnovative Tools for Assessment and Authentication of chicken meat, beef and dairy products' QualiTies).

INTAQT is a five-year project with 20 partners from 9 countries and started on 1 April 2021. The goal of the INTAQT project is to perform an in-depth multi- criteria assessment of the relationships between livestock husbandry systems and intrinsic quality traits of animal-sourced products. This will be achieved through the development of quality assessment and authentication tools in a multi-actor approach, to provide science-based decision support for policy makers, industries, farmers and consumers as well as develop means to improve husbandry practices complying with high quality of animal products and sustainability of production, defined as the “One Quality” of products. INTAQT will focus on unprocessed and processed ready-to-eat chicken meat, beef and dairy products stemming from a gradient of extensive to intensive husbandry systems from a wide variety of European countries. The project will utilize a participatory approach, involving all actors of the agri-food chains from farmers to consumers (including organizations of farmers, advisors' community, breeders, processors, and retailers), scientists, certification bodies, policy makers and citizens. The challenges that INTAQT addresses are: i) to develop comprehensive models quantifying the impact of husbandry systems on quality traits related to product safety, nutritional value and sensory features, ii) to co-construct with agri-food chain actors rapid and cost-effective innovative and practical analytical tools for the prediction of the intrinsic quality of livestock products and authentication of the associated husbandry systems, iii) to co-construct with agri-food chain actors, multi-criteria scoring tools of the various intrinsic quality traits of products, and iv) using all these developed tools, to promote innovative husbandry practices (approved by agri-food chain actors and society) to achieve consistently and verifiable excellent quality, safe, healthy and tasty animal-based products from both extensive and intensive husbandry systems.

The role of the PhD student in this project is

  • to collect data on nutrient composition of animal-sourced foods,
  • to statistically model the relationships between animal husbandry systems and intrinsic product quality traits,
  • to assist in sampling of meat and laboratory analyses.
  • Given the interdisciplinary and data-based character of the research, collaboration and exchange with other partners in the project and interest in data analysis and modelling at the interface of animal and food science will be key. The scientific findings should lead to publications in international peer reviewed journals and into a PhD manuscript.

    Profile of the candidate

    Candidates should have background and/or affinity with food science, livestock production systems and statistical modelling. We are looking for candidates with a critical and analytical attitude and eager to take initiative. Other expectations:

  • You hold a Master degree in bioscience engineering, animal science, food science or similar.
  • You have strong interest in scientific research in order to obtain a PhD degree.
  • You have affinity for quantitative research on the quality of animal- source foods from diverse livestock production systems.
  • You have good writing and presentation skills.
  • You master the English language, written and orally, in an academic context.
  • You have organisational skills and can operate both independently and in a multidisciplinary team.
  • How to apply?

    Send an email to Prof. Dr. Ir. Stefaan De Smet ( before 16 July 2021, with subject ‘Application for INTAQT' and include:

  • a copy of your CV, including study results in a file with name ‘CV surname'
  • a motivation letter (max. 1 page) in a file with name ‘Motivation letter surname' describing your research interests, skills and motivation to apply for the position
  • contact details (name, phone email) of at least one reference person
  • From the submitted applications, a shortlist of candidates will be selected and will be invited for an interview. The interviews of the candidates will take place in July/August. Selection will be based on compentences, independent from gender, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or physical disability.

    More information can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Ir. Stefaan De Smet (Tel 0032 99 264 90 03, Email

    Do you have a question? Please read our FAQ regarding the online application process.

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