PhD position - Optimizing lactation length in dairy cows

The period around calving is a critical period for a dairy cow, with large physiological changes, a negative energy balance and an increase in the incidence and severity of health disorders. The main aim of ...

22 dagen geleden


Bornsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur


The period around calving is a critical period for a dairy cow, with large physiological changes, a negative energy balance and an increase in the incidence and severity of health disorders. The main aim of the project is to determine the value of actively extending lactation length by delaying the start of breeding after calving. This will be evaluated during the entire lactation as well as the following dry period and first weeks of the new lactation, using a multidisciplinary approach. Aspects involved in this study will be: animal health and metabolism, milk production, fertility and economics. The project will result in improved knowledge of dairy cow physiology and the relationship between lactation, nutrition, metabolism and fertility, in order to improve dairy cattle health, performance and longevity.
Your primary responsibility will be to conduct a large in vivo experiment at Dairy Campus Leeuwarden, perform laboratory analyses in Wageningen, perform statistical analyses of research data and write reports and papers.
The project is a collaboration between Wageningen Livestock Research and Wageningen University (Chair group of Adaptation Physiology) within the research programme One Health for Food (1H4F), part of Duurzame Zuivelketen (DZK) and funded by ZuivelNL and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.


We are looking for an enthusiastic, result-driven person with an MSc degree in animal science, veterinary science, biology or a comparable scientific background. The candidate should have a multidisciplinary interest in animal physiology and have excellent communication skills. Proficiency to communicate in English and Dutch (both oral and written) are a prerequisite. We are looking for a team-player, who excels in problem-solving, is highly effective in time and project planning and is familiar with data processing and statistical analysis. Practical experience with dairy cattle, experience with animal experiments (article 9 certificate), and a driver's license will be of benefit as well as an affinity to work with laboratory techniques.


A challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment. You will be part of a research team involving multiple partner organisations. The proposed start is Autumn 2017.
A fulltime position as a PhD candidate (38 hours per week) for 4 years, after which you should have completed your PhD thesis and individual training plan. The salary for a PhD candidate starts at € 2.222,- gross per month in the first year and extends to a maximum of € 2.840,- gross per month in the fourth year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).
Participation in the training program of the Graduate School 'Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences' (WIAS), see
An excellent opportunity to develop an international scientific network.
You may apply for the PhD position until 6th of August, 2017.
To apply, please upload your letter of motivation and CV via our online application button.

Additional information

Dr. ir. A.T.M. van Knegsel, Adaptation Physiology Group, phone +31 317 483653,
Drs. R.M.A. Goselink, Wageningen Livestock Research, phone +31 317 480705,


A PhD - Optimizing lactation length in dairy cows
The successful candidate will join the stimulating and international research environment of Wageningen University and Research. Together we work on the mission: 'To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life'. A staff of 6,500 and 10,000 students from over 100 countries are working worldwide in the domain of healthy food and living environment for governments and the business community-at-large. The strength of Wageningen University & Research lies in its ability to join the forces of specialised research institutes and the university. It also lies in the combined efforts of the various fields of natural and social sciences. This union of expertise leads to scientific breakthroughs that can quickly be put into practice and be incorporated into education. This is the Wageningen Approach.


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