ResearchEducationNewsPublicationsJobsBusiness cooperationFaculty

Home / Research / Departments / Department of Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition / PhD education in Animal Health, Welfare and Nutriton

PhD education in Animal Health, Welfare and Nutriton

Vision and Objective of the Research Education

The Department of Animal Health Welfare and Nutrition (SVE) aims to provide a PhD degree of the highest international standard within these core disciplines. This requires an equally high standard of the PhD student, the supervisor(s), and the work environment. We expect completion of the degree within the nominal 3 years and, in return, offer good career possibilities after the degree has been completed. SVE considers the PhD education programme to be an integral part of its research.

Introduction to SVE

SVE conducts studies on nutrition, management, and the influence of various production systems on resource management, environmental load, product quantity and quality, reproduction, and animal health and welfare. The provided knowledge is used to obtain an overall nutrient balance and to improve the nutritional and environmental conditions for animal production, reproduction, health, welfare and the nutritive quality of animal products. Through research in animal immunology and disease mechanisms as well as in production diseases and interaction with genotype, nutrition, behaviour, management and production systems, we aim at improving animal health and disease resistance. We study the animals’ health and their behavioural needs in interaction with production environment and production factors. Our knowledge of the animals’ behavioural needs and adaptability is implemented in new production systems and facilities as well as in the improvement of existing production systems. We develop methods for assessment of animal welfare in commercial livestock herds as well as methods and models for health economic evaluations. We develop animal models to study nutrient metabolism and utilization, disease mechanisms, reproduction, human physiology and human medicine. Our Department focuses on international research collaboration and domestic presentation of research-based knowledge in a constructive dialogue with the agricultural sector, public authorities and society about animal and product-related issues.

The research is focussed in the following 6 research units to one of which the PhD student will be attached:

Research unit

Head of research unit

Animal nutrition and environmental impact

Hanne Damgaard Poulsen

Nutrition and production physiology

Knud Erik Bach Knudsen

Microbiology and gastrointestinal health

Bent Borg Jensen

Disease mechanisms, -markers and -prevention

Morten Dam Rasmussen

Behaviour and stress biology

Birte Lindstrøm Nielsen

Herd health and production management

Jan Tind Sørensen

SVE has approx. 160 employees, out of which 90 are scientists including about 20 PhD students, while the remaining employees are laboratory technicians and administrative staff. The department is located at Foulum close to Viborg.

National and International Cooperation

SVE has a broad research cooperation with other Danish universities and research institutions. In addition to this, at the national level, SVE particularly cooperates with the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, The Danish Ministry of the Environment, the Danish Ministry of Justice, and their affiliated units (e.g. the Danish Plant Directorate, The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, the Directorate for Food, Fisheries and Agri Business, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency).

SVE also has numerous contacts and contracts with organizations, private as well as cooperative, working with cattle, pigs, poultry, mink and horses.

At the international level, SVE cooperates with many universities and research institutions in Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America. At present, the department participates in a number of EU projects. Moreover, the expertise of the department is utilized through cooperation with Danish authorities, Danish and foreign companies and supranational institutions such as the EU, FAO, WHO and DANIDA.

As a result of the many and varied outside contracts, SVE receives a high number of external grants.

Working Environment

The Department focuses very much on ensuring a good working environment. Efforts are made to ensure good management and to improve the competence of the employees. Staff satisfaction surveys are carried out, just as yearly staff development meetings between employer and employee. These surveys and meetings also include master and PhD students. A fine-meshed safety structure based on the safety of the individual person is established whether you work in the laboratory, animal facilities or in the field.

PhD Courses Offered

A number of PhD courses are being set up at the Department. In addition to this, joint courses for DJF PhD students will be established in particular in cooperation with DJF’s PhD School. Further information can be obtained by contacting the departmental PhD Coordinator.

Quality Safeguards

SVE is striving to ensure the quality of the PhD education through special courses for supervisors, extended visits abroad as part of the study programme, networking, establishing a course programme at the highest international level and a continuous development of an inspiring professional and social environment for the PhD students.

Management and Connection to DJF/AU

The PhD education in Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition is based in the Department of Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (DJF), University of Aarhus. Together with similar PhD education programmes at the other DJF departments it represents DJF’s PhD School, which works as an umbrella for the PhD education programmes with a view to ensuring the education programmes and the quality in supervision, PhD courses, completion of the studies, coordination across departments, faculties and other universities. The responsibility for supervision and the educational quality rests ultimately with SVE, which strengthens the professional connection and ensures support for the individual PhD student.

The PhD education programme is run by a PhD Coordinator, who has the task of establishing, maintaining and developing the programme. In this work the Coordinator will receive advice from a PhD education committee, which consists of the Coordinator, two scientists with experience in PhD supervision, and two PhD students. The members of the committee are appointed by the Research Director at SVE for a period of 2 years, for PhD students, however, for only 1 year at a time.

Admission Requirements

A Master’s degree in natural science or agricultural science from a Danish or foreign university. For particulars, contact the PhD Coordinator.

Contact and Further Information

PhD Coordinator, Head of Department Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen
Secretary: Karin V. Østergaard