PhD position Improving dairy goat udder health (1.0 FTE)

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PhD position Improving dairy goat udder health (1.0 FTE)

Job description

We seek an enthusiastic animal scientist or veterinarian for a PhD project aiming to develop tools to improve dairy goat udder health.
Udder health is of great importance for producing high quality milk, but also for efficient and sustainable milk production and strongly impacts animal welfare. Therefore, the Dutch dairy goat industry aims to improve udder health. In this project, several studies will be performed to better understand within-farm transmission dynamics of mastitis pathogens and to develop tools to monitor udder health in dairy goats. This, in combination with existing knowledge, will be turned into a practical udder health control tool which can be used by advisors to coach farmers to understand the mastitis problem on their farm and to take effective measures for improving udder health. The effects of this tool will be tested in a controlled field trial.
The project is run by a consortium of Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR), Utrecht University (UU) and various private partners representing the Dutch dairy goat industry. The candidate will be based at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FVM) of the UU and at WBVR.


For this position, we are looking for an effective communicator and a team player. You should have a strong drive to improve udder health by understanding the challenges and based on that understanding, design effective and feasible interventions. Additional training (e.g. courses in epidemiology and data analysis) is part of the appointment. Practical work with animals, for instance in collecting samples in the field, will be part of your job.
We are looking for a colleague who:

  • has a MSc degree in Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, or similar. Affinity or experience with dairy animals is an advantage but is not required.
  • enjoys working with a variety of people, such as farmers, veterinarians and academics from several disciplines.
  • is proficient in the Dutch language, but also proficiency in English (written and oral) is needed. Communication with Dutch goat farmers is essential.
  • has analytical and quantitative thinking skills by nature.
  • excels in work organization and has efficient management skills when working with large data collections.


You will be offered a temporary position (1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment in the first year. The gross salary ranges between €2,541 in the first year and €3,247 in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.
In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions , including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University .

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University , the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FVM) has a unique position in the Netherlands. Not only is this the only institution where veterinarians are trained, researchers are also working together on innovative scientific research. In addition, the faculty provides specialist clinical care in the largest academic veterinary hospital in Europe. Thanks to this position, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is a point of contact for all veterinary matters, both nationally and increasingly internationally. The faculty employs approximately 900 veterinarians, scientists and support staff and counts 1.500 students. The faculty is located at Utrecht Science Park in the Androclus Building near the historical city centre of Utrecht.
You will be part of the Sustainable Ruminant Health (SRH) team within the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University, which is an energetic team of academics, veterinarians and other staff who have a vision to promote the health of ruminants in sustainable ways. You will also work at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR), an organization which conducts innovative research for government and industry in the field of animal and public health, and at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS) of the FVM.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Gerrit Koop (Veterinary Epidemiologist/Assistant Professor), via
Interviews will be held at February 24, 2023.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.
To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the 'apply' button.

The application deadline is
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